“Your Killing An Innocent Man” – Death Row Inmate’s Final Words Before Being Put To Death Wednesday Morning

John Middleton‘You are killing an innocent man’: Last words of murderer meth dealer, 54, put to death 19 hours after he got a temporary stay

  • John Middleton, 54, was convicted of killing three rival meth dealers in 1995
  • His execution was scheduled for 12:01am but got pushed back 19 hours after a federal judge granted a temporary stay on the grounds Middleton may be mentally ill
  • An appeals court overturned that stay and the execution proceeded Wednesday evening
  • He was pronounced dead at 7:06pm after receiving a pentobarbital injection

A former methamphetamine dealer was executed Wednesday for killing three people in 1995, 19 hours after a federal judge granted a temporary stay.
John Middleton, 54, was pronounced dead at 7:06pm after receiving an injection of pentobarbital, becoming the sixth man to be executed in Missouri this year.

Click here for full article written and published by Dailymail

Christa Pike (Female Death Row Inmate)

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Mugshot photo of Christa Pike

Christa Gail Pike was the youngest female ever to be sentenced to death in the United States. Born March 10, 1976 she was 18 years old at the time she committed murder and 20 when she was sentenced to die by lethal injection.

Pike lived a troubled life growing up. She allegedly endured sexual abuse and was doing drugs with her mother before she had even hit her teen years. She had behavior issues including bipolar and dropped out of high school. In 1994 she joined the Job Corps in Knoxville, Tennessee, a government program aimed at helping troubled youth by offering vocational training and career skills. There, Pike met and fell for a young man named Tadaryl Shipp, one year her junior. Together they “dabbled” in the occult and devil worship.

Pike became jealous of fellow Job Corp student Colleen Slemmer, then 19. She believed Slemmer was trying to “steal” her boyfriend from her although friends of Slemmer deny the accusations, Pike was set on a vendetta and started harassing Slemmer. One day she had snuck into her dorm room and watched the victim sleep. It got so bad that days before the murder Slemmer had called her mother telling her she wanted to come home but her mother told her she couldn’t due to signing a 2-year contract.

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Photo of Victim Colleen Slemmer

Pike, Shipp and a friend named Shadolla Peterson, 18, came up with a plan to lure Slemmer to an isolated, abandoned steam plant close by on the University of Tennessee Campus. They choose the wooded area due to it being isolated.

On January 12, 1995, Pike, Shipp, Peterson, and Slemmer signed out of the dormitory and proceeded to the woods where Slemmer was told they wanted to make peace by offering her some marijuana. Upon arrival at the secluded location Slemmer started to become nervous and asked Pike if they were really planning on smoking some weed. Pike then turned on Slemmer and started to yell at her and attacked her. For the next 30 – 40 minutes she was taunted, beaten, and slashed, and a pentagram was carved in her chest with a box cutter. A meat cleaver was also used in the attack. Sometime during the torture Pike had said “The bitch wont die” followed by “I want to see her brains flow” and it was then that she lifted a large chunk of asphalt paving over Slemmer’s head and proceeded to smash her skull until brain matter started flowing out of her head. Pike kept a piece of her victim’s skull and began to show it off around the school and within 36 hours the three were arrested.

Below are crime scene photos of Colleen Slemmer

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Smaller full body shot of Slemmer’s brutalized corpse

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“Take me to my King”: Texas Death Row Inmate, Rickey Lynn Lewis, Executed Tuesday (Star-Telegram)

rickey-lewis-executedHUNTSVILLE, Texas (Star-Telegram) —

A Texas convict with a lengthy criminal history was executed Tuesday evening for fatally shooting a man and raping the slain man’s fiancee during a home break-in more than 22 years ago.

Rickey Lynn Lewis already had been in and out of prison five times in less than seven years when he was arrested three days after the killing of 45-year-old George Newman and attack on Newman’s fiancee in 1990 at their home in a rural area of Smith County, about 90 miles east of Dallas.

Lewis, 50, acknowledged the rape, but not the killing.

“If I hadn’t raped you, you wouldn’t have lived,” he told Newman’s fiancee, Connie Hilton, in the moments before the single lethal dose of pentobarbital was administered. “I didn’t kill Mr. Newman and I didn’t rob your house.

“I was just there. … I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. It wasn’t me that harmed and stole all of your stuff,” he said to Hilton, who stood behind a glass window a few feet away. The Associated Press normally does not name rape victims, but Hilton, 63, agreed to be identified.

Lewis said the two people responsible for Newman’s killing are still alive. He didn’t identify them.

He told Hilton he watched her flee the house to get help. “When I saw you in the truck driving away, I could have killed you, but I didn’t,” he said. “I’m not a killer.”

Lewis thanked his friends who watched through a nearby window “for the love you gave me.”

“I thank the Lord for the man I am today. I have done all I can to better myself, to learn to read and write,” he said, appearing to choke back tears. “Take me to my king.”

As the drug began taking effect, he said he could feel it “burning my arm.”

“I feel it in my throat. I’m getting dizzy,” Lewis said before he started to snore and, seconds later, lost consciousness.

He was pronounced dead 14 minutes after the lethal dose began.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to review Lewis’ case and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously voted against a clemency request.

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Current mugshot photo of Lewis

No last-day appeals were filed by his attorneys to try to halt the execution, the second this year in Texas.

Earlier appeals focused on whether Lewis, a ninth-grade dropout who worked as a laborer, was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty under Supreme Court rulings. The claims included a suggestion from Lewis’ attorneys that the court reconsider a denial it made in his case in 2005. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused that recommendation on Monday.

Hilton declined to speak with reporters after the execution. In a first-person account she wrote of the attack, she said she got out of bed the night of Sept. 17, 1990, after her barking dog woke her and saw a man in the hallway with a shotgun.

She screamed, and Newman responded and was shot in the face. A dog in the home was also killed.

Hilton tried hiding in a bathroom, was struck at least twice in the head and then assaulted for over an hour by Lewis while the other two people Lewis claims were there stole items from the house.

She testified she was ordered to “quit whimpering,” felt a gun barrel on her and was told someone would find her in the morning.

According to court documents, she was left in the kitchen with her hands and feet bound. As Lewis and his partners fled in her truck, she managed to free herself, crawled to Newman to find him dead and then climbed out a window to seek help.

Lewis was arrested three days later after he was seen with some of the items stolen from the house. DNA evidence linked him to the attack.

“There’s still a lot of fear in the back of my mind because the other two men never were caught,” Hilton told the AP last week. “You never know if there’s going to be retaliation.

“He’s never told anyone and as far as I’m aware of, nobody knows. On the other hand, if he were to tell who was with him, that would confirm his guilt, and he’s not going to do that.”

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1996 upheld Lewis’ conviction but reversed his death sentence, finding jurors had faulty instructions when considering his sentence. At a new punishment trial the following year, Lewis again was sentenced to die.

Lewis’ mother, who has since died, testified a 10-year-old Lewis shot his father to protect her. Testimony indicated Lewis’ father had abused him as a child.

Records showed Lewis first went to prison in 1983 for burglary, was paroled and returned to prison as a parole violator. He continued to be a repeat offender and parole violator. His arrest on capital murder charges for Newman’s slaying came six months after his most recent release.

Evidence showed two months before the Newman shooting he stole a truck and led police on a chase. Then four days before the attack, Lewis used a sawed-off shotgun during a store robbery in Tyler.

At least 11 other Texas inmates have executions scheduled through July, including three more this month.

Source of article: Star Telegram

Oklahoma Death Row Inmate Executed Tuesday For The Murder of Three People

steven-ray-thackerMugshot photo of Steven R. Thacker

Steven Ray Thacker, now 42, was sentenced to death for the murders of three people during the Holiday Season in 1999. He was put to death by lethal injection Yesterday, March 12, 2013 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, after sitting on death row for 13 years.

Victim #1: On December 23, 1999 Laci Dawn Griffin Hill, 25, from Bixby, OK. Hill had placed a classified ad in the local newspaper in an attempt to sell her pool table. Thacker spotted the ad and figured it was a good opportunity so he answered the ad and made his way to Hill’s home where he raped, murdered and robbed her. Hill’s body was discovered in an abandoned cabin on December 29, 1999, just two days before the New Years Day 2000. Thacker used the items and money he had stolen from Hill and purchased presents for his wife and her two children. His would claim the lives of two more people until his capture on January 2, 2000.

Authorities soon identified Thacker on surveillance camera using Hill’s debit card but by then he had already made his way to his next victim in the neighboring state of Missouri, approximately 200 miles from Bixby.

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Photo of Laci Hill

Laci Hill’s Find A Grave

Victim #2: On New Years Day 2000 Thacker stabbed Forrest Reed Boyd, 25, after Boyd walked in on Thacker burglarizing his Aldrich, MO home. He stole Boyd’s vehicle and made his way down to Dyersburg, Tennessee.

Forrest Reed Boyd’s Find A Grave

Victim #3: Ray Patterson, 52, was a tow truck driver Dyersburg, TN. It just so happens that he was working at the time Thacker’s stolen vehicle broke down.  He contacted the tow service and when Patterson noticed the credit card used to pay for the service was stolen, he was stabbed to death.

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Photo of Raymond Patterson

Thacker received two death sentences for the murders of Hill and Paterson. He received life without parole for pleading guilty to killing Boyd.

According to reports, he had a personality disorder but refused medication which would have helped his mood swings.

When asked if he had any last words he went on to apologize for his actions.

“”I would like to apologize sincerely to the families of Laci Hill, Forrest Boyd and Ray Patterson. I don’t deserve it, but as God has forgiven me, I hope you will forgive me for the pain I’ve caused.”

Thacker then winked at his stepfather, Donald Johnston, who silently nodded back at him. He was administered the lethal cocktails moments later at 6:03PM. He was pronounced dead at 6:10PM

When the execution was over, Nikki Hodgson, a friend of Hill’s, spoke about the experience saying it brought “a little bit of closure,” but that she didn’t believe the punishment was just.

“It is so humane,” she said of lethal injection. Thacker is “just going to sleep. It’s nothing like what the victims endured.”

“When something like this happens … you never truly move on. You just survive. It never leaves you, and this won’t make it leave you,” Marnie Reed, Hill’s best friend said after the execution.

According to the Death Penalty Information Website, last year there were 43 people on Oklahoma’s death row. Six were put to death bringing the toll down to 37, and Thacker is the first to be put to death this year which brings the toll to 36. He was the fifth death row inmate to have been put to death in the United States this year.

Frederick Treesh, Ohio Death Row Inmate, Executed This Morning After Landing On Death Row Over Eighteen Years Ago

frederick_treesh03/06/13, LUCASVILLE — A death row inmate who gunned down an adult bookstore security guard on over 18 years ago was executed this morning.

Shortly after 10AM, Frederick Treesh, 48, was led into the death chamber and strapped down. The prison system said Treesh’s veins checked out beforehand, but executioners seemed to have a little difficulty inserting the IVs.

Now, what led him to this moment?

On the night of August 27, 1994 Treesh, a former drug addict, walked into an adult store in Cleveland, OH and gunned down Henry Dupree in a cold-blooded crime-spree. After murdering the guard, he and a co-defendant robbed the store before running off. Several days prior he and his accomplice, gunned down another man working in another store.

Ghassan Danno, a Livonia, Michigan video-store owner was working the register on August 24, 1994 when Treesh and another man came in demanding money. They then took off with money and items but not before gunning down the owner.

Treesh had the opportunity to make a last statement and seemed to have alot to say. He started off by apologizing for the death of Dupree, but said he would NOT apologize to family members Danno killed who were witnessing the execution.

“I’ve never been tried, I’ve never been charged,” he said.

‘You want closure? Closure only comes with a book. You close it and put it on a shelf. There is no closure. Every holiday, every birthday, everything, you will think about the victim. So if you want me murdered, just say it,’ he said.

‘This is where drugs lead you,’ Treesh went on to say.

Treesh received a single dose of pentobarbital and was pronounced dead at 10:37AM by Donald Morgan, a prison warden of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.

A small amount of blood ran down Treesh’s right arm after one attempt, while the insertion on the left arm took a couple of attempts with the successful insertion on the inmate’s forearm. Treesh spoke a few times during the insertion process but most of his remarks were inaudible. He yawned shortly after the drug began flowing, then his mouth fell open and he was still for several minutes.

His last two words were muttered, “That’s it”, before he went silent.

Frederick Treesh’s execution came after years of denied appeals, with the most recent occurring last month where he asked for clemency and was denied. He was moved to the state death house in Lucasville last night where he was comforted by two spiritual advisers along with his attorney until approximately 7:30PM. Shortly after the visits he received his last meal which consisted of steak with deep-fried mushrooms, eggs, hash browns, onion rings, cottage cheese, sodas and for dessert he had a hot fudge sundae.

Treesh, originally from Waterloo, Indiana, was the 50th inmate put to death by the state since it resumed executions in 1999, and the fourth person executed in the US in 2013.

Warren Lee Hill Granted Stay of Execution Over Mentally Disabled Claim

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02/20/13, ATL, GEORGIA — NYDailyNews Update;

The execution of a Georgia man who killed a fellow prisoner in 1990 was halted Tuesday at the last minute so courts could consider claims that he’s mentally disabled and other issues.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted its stay of execution as 52-year-old Warren Lee Hill was being prepared for lethal injection. In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the appeals court said further review is needed of recent affidavits by doctors who changed their minds about Hill’s mental capacity.
“In other words, all of the experts — both the State’s and the petitioner’s — now appear to be in agreement that Hill is in fact mentally retarded,” judges in the majority wrote in their order.
The state court of appeals also issued a stay to allow more time to consider a challenge related to the state’s lethal injection procedure.
Earlier in the day, the state parole board, the Supreme Court of Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court had all declined to stop the execution.
“We are greatly relieved that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the execution of Warren Hill, a person with mental retardation. All the doctors who have examined Mr. Hill are unanimous in their diagnosis of mental retardation,” defense attorney Brian Kammer said in an email.
A spokeswoman for the state attorney general declined comment.
Hill was sentenced to die for the 1990 beating death of fellow inmate Joseph Handspike. Authorities say he used a board studded with nails to bludgeon Handspike while he slept and other prisoners pleaded with Hill to stop. At the time Hill was already serving a life sentence for murder in the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend, Myra Wright, who had been shot 11 times.
Hill has received support from various activists and from former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.
“Georgia should not violate its own prohibition against executing individuals with serious diminished capacity,” President Carter said in a statement.
Hill was originally set to be executed in July, but the state delayed his execution when it changed its execution procedure from a three-drug combination to a one-drug method. The state Supreme Court then further delayed the execution after Hill’s lawyers filed a challenge saying corrections officials violated administrative procedure when they made the change. The state’s high court earlier this month denied that challenge, and Hill’s execution was reset for Tuesday.
Hill’s lawyers argue that he is mentally disabled and therefore shouldn’t be executed. The state maintains that the defense failed to meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Hill is mentally disabled.
Death penalty defendants in Georgia have to prove they are mentally disabled beyond a reasonable doubt to avoid execution, the strictest standard in the country. Hill’s lawyers have said the high standard for proving mental disability is problematic because psychiatric diagnoses are subject to a degree of uncertainty that is virtually impossible to overcome. But Georgia’s strict standard has repeatedly been upheld by state and federal courts.

Read More: NY Daily News

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February 17, 2013, GEORGIA — Defense Lawyers desperately trying to save Georgia Death Row Inmate, Warren L. Hill, who is set to be executed Tuesday night

Warren Lee Hill was serving a life sentence for the 1986 murder of his 18-year-old girlfriend, Maya Wright, before being placed on Death Row for the 1990 murder of Joseph Handspike, another inmate. Hill attacked Handspike with a nail embedded in a board, hitting him multiple times. His defense lawyers have been trying desperately to save the man who they claim has ‘mental disabilities’.

Hill is currently at an Atlanta prison and is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday evening at 7PM (Feb. 19, 2013) despite a Supreme Court decision outlawing capital punishment for criminals who are deemed ‘mentally retarded’. On Feb. 5, 2013 Attorney General Samuel Olens released a statement confirming Hill’s execution date.

On February 5, 2013, the Superior Court of Lee County filed an order, setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Warren Lee Hill may occur to begin at noon, February 19, 2013, and ending seven days later at noon on February 26, 2013.

– The release

Hill was supposed to be executed in July, 2012 but was granted a stay of execution after he made an appeal due to the new execution method, which involves the injection of a single drug called pentobarbital, — the same drug often used for euthanizing animals. (Previously, the state of Georgia had used the three-drug cocktail method which typically includes a barbiturate, paralytic, and potassium solution.) — He is one of three Georgia inmates on Death Row trying to fight for a court order that would prevent the state from using a drug to execute them without a doctor’s prescription first.

On Feb 4, 2013, the State Supreme Court judge denied one of Hills last appeals, claiming he met the criteria for mental retardation by a  “preponderance of evidence”.

However, according to defense lawyers, Hill’s IQ was approximately 70.

Many have advocated on Hill’s behalf, including US President Jimmy Carter as well as Handspike’s family saying they “feel strongly that persons with any kind of significant mental disabilities should not be put to death.”

Three doctors who previously took the stand to testify for the state of Georgia against Hill are now claiming that he is in-fact mentally disabled, and should not be put to death.

Dr. Thomas Sachy released a statement last week: ‘Having reviewed my earlier evaluation results and the far more extensive materials from the record of this case, I believe that my judgement that Mr Hill did not meet the criteria for mild mental retardation was in error.’

The other two doctors agreed and claimed their evaluations of Hill mental state in 2000 were ‘rush jobs.’

The state of Georgia has said that Hill’s lawyers have failed to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that their client is mentally disabled and the execution shall proceed.

South Dakota’s First Execution In FIVE YEARS Tonight! Last Meal? Moose Track Ice Cream

Published on 10/15/12 by Dailymail.co.uk — South Dakota’s first execution in five years – and only the second in more than half a century – is scheduled for Monday  night.

At 10 p.m. this evening, Eric Robert, 50, is  scheduled to die by lethal injection at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.  Last April, he pleaded guilty to killing a prison guard Ronald Johnson during a  failed escape attempt.

For religious reasons, Roberts is spending  his final 40 hours fasting and as a result his last meal was on Saturday night  when he ate Moose Track ice cream – vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups  and Moose Track Fudge.

Eric Robert is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Monday evening

Eric Robert is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Monday evening.

According to his lawyer, Mark Kadi, the fast  is religious in nature with 40 hours serving as a metaphor for the 40 day fast  of Christ in the Bible.

Opponents of the death penalty are expected  to begin a vigil outside the prison at eight p.m. Any last-minute appeal or stay  of execution is unlikely, as Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced last week that he  would not intervene.

Warden Doug Weber will accompany Robert into the execution chamber this evening, ask him for his last words and then give the signal to the execution team. The Minnehaha County coroner will be present to declare Robert dead.

None of Robert’s friends or family are  scheduled to attend, said Kadi.

‘He’s been very calm,’ Kadi told UPI.com.  ‘I’ve seen him angry and stressed out, and that’s not what he is right  now.’

Robert was serving an 80-year sentence for a  kidnapping conviction when he and Rodney Berget, 50, tried to escape from Sioux  Falls prison. The two men attacked prison guard Ronald Johnson with a pipe and  covered his mouth with plastic wrap.

Wearing Johnson’s uniform, Robert approached  the prison’s west gate pushing a cart loaded with Berget hidden in a  box.

As the men approached the gate, the  guards  became suspicious. There was a struggle, Robert beat one guard;  other guards  then quickly arrived and detained both inmates.

Johnson’s body was found on the floor in a  Pheasantland Industries building,  where inmates worked on upholstery, signs,  custom furniture and other  projects. Johnson was killed on his 63rd  birthday.

Months later, Robert told a judge that his  only regret was that he hadn’t  killed more guards. He then asked to be put to  death, saying he would  kill again.

Prison guard Ronald Johnson, left, was murdered by Eric Robert and Rodney Berget, right, on his 63rd birthday
Prison guard Ronald Johnson, left, was murdered by Eric Robert and Rodney Berget, right, on his 63rd birthday
 

Prison guard Ronald Johnson, left, was murdered by Eric  Robert and Rodney Berget, right, on his 63rd birthday.

Robert never appealed his sentence and even  tried to bypass a mandatory state review in hopes of expediting his  death.

Berget also pleaded guilty in the killing,  but has appealed his death sentence. A third inmate, Michael Nordman, 47, was  given a life sentence for providing materials used in the murder.

South Dakota’s last execution took place in  2007, and that had been the first in the state for 60 years. Only five inmates  are currently on death row, including Robert and Donald Moeller, 60, who is  expected to be executed later this month after he asked for appeals on his  behalf to be dropped.

‘You have few people on death row,  few  executions, and then you have this coincidence of cases coming all  at once,’  said Richard Dieter, executive director of the nonprofit Death Penalty  Information Center. ‘When people waive appeals, their cases  start to move more  quickly.’

Moeller is scheduled to be put to death the  week of Oct. 28 for the 1990  kidnapping, rape and murder of a nine-year-old  girl. Robert has been on  death row only for about a year, Moeller has been  there for more than  two decades.

A judge last week granted Moeller’s request  that appeals to stay his  execution be dropped. ‘I killed,’ Moeller said. ‘I  deserve to be  killed.’

Source: Dailymail.co.uk