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

Texas Set To Put Mentally Retarded Child Killer To Death In Less Than 48 Hours

Too mentally ill to be executed: Attorneys for Jonathan Green argue that he should be spared

Pictured; Jonathan Marcus Green

Jonathan Green, a Texas death-row inmate, will be put to death on Wednesday night and will be the 487th inmate executed in the state since the reinstatement of the death penalty.

On June 21st, 2000, Green kidnapped 12-year old Christina Neal near Lake Conroe, in Montgomery County, TX. He then brought her to his house where he then raped and strangled her to death. He buried her in his yard but eventually dug her up and placed her corpse in his home behind a chair, where it would be found less than one week later by police.

Pictured; Victim, Christina LeAnn Neal

Green was initially suppose to be executed in June, 2010 but had a last minute stay of execution so that appeals courts could evaluate his mental condition and determine whether he is competent to be executed. Green suffers from schizophrenia, and his attorney claims he also is borderline mentally retarded. His attorney also claim’s he didn’t know what he was doing at the time of the kidnapping and murder.

But prosecutors claimed he knew exactly what he was doing and that it was wrong hence the reason he buried her and tried to burn evidence.

It was ruled that he will be executed Wednesday night, October 10th, 2012.

 

Full story on Christina LeAnn Neal’s kidnap, rape and murder:

In June 2000, Victor Neal, who was separated from his wife
Laura, lived in the small community of Dobbin with his three daughters:
sixteen-year-old Victoria, fifteen-year-old Jennifer, and the victim,
twelve-year-old Christina. On the evening of June 21, 2000, Victor and Jennifer
left home to get dinner for the family. Victoria and Christina said that they
would eat when they returned from a friend’s house. The friend, Maria Jimenez,
lived just down the street from the Neal family. After Victor and Jennifer left,
Victoria’s boyfriend (and Maria’s uncle), Manuel Jimenez, came by the house to
pick up the two girls. After driving around for a while, the group went to
Maria’s house where they stood outside talking with Maria and her two brothers,
Martin and Jose. While standing outside by the truck, Victoria and Christina
began arguing. Victoria walked away from the argument and toward Maria’s house,
leaving Christina and Jose outside. Shortly thereafter, Jose told Victoria that
Christina was angry and had left. When Victoria returned home, she discovered
that Christina was not there. The next morning, Victor saw Jennifer and Victoria
sleeping on the couch. He also noticed that the door to the girls’ bedroom was
closed. Assuming Christina was asleep in the bedroom, Victor left for work. When
he got home about 3:00 or 4:00 p.m., Jennifer and Victoria told him that
Christina had never returned home the night before. Victor asked the girls to go
to Maria’s house and tell Christina to come home. They found that Christina was
not at Maria’s house. After learning about the argument between Christina and
Victoria the night before, Victor concluded that Christina had spent the night
at another friend’s house, and the family began searching the neighborhood.
Along the road near the Neal home, Victoria and Maria found Christina’s glasses.
The glasses were “smashed and broken,” but Victoria testified that Christina had
a habit of destroying her glasses when she got mad. Victor stopped looking for
Christina around 11:00 or 11:30 p.m. The next morning, Victor asked his sister,
Tereza Goodwin, to look for Christina while he was at work. Christina had run
away before, so Victor told Tereza to report her as a runaway if she could not
find her. Later that day, having failed to locate Christina, Tereza reported her
missing to a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy. Local law-enforcement officers
then joined the family in searching for Christina. On June 26, the FBI joined
the search. On that same day, Jennifer and her mother found what appeared to be
Christina’s panties at the edge of the woods across from the Neal home. Also
around this time, Victoria found Christina’s bracelet and necklace along a
pathway in the woods. The search continued. On June 28, investigators spoke with
Jonathan Marcus Green, who lived in Dobbin. He said he had no information
concerning Christina’s disappearance, and that he was either at home or at his
neighbor’s house on the night she disappeared. He gave the investigators
permission to search his home and property, with the condition that he be
present. Investigators performed a cursory search of the house and property, but
they noticed nothing significant. A few days later, investigators again asked
Green his whereabouts on the night of Christina’s disappearance. Again, Green
claimed to have been at home or at his neighbor’s house. On July 19, Manuel
Jimenez, who lived on the property behind Green’s, told investigators that Green
had an unusually large fire in his burn pile the day after Christina
disappeared. A few days later, investigators went to Green’s home and asked if
they could search his property again, including his burn pile. Green again
consented, but insisted that he be present during the search. FBI agents Sue
Hillard and Mark Young walked around the burn pile with Green. Young pushed a
metal probe into the ground to vent the soil and check for any disturbances.
When the probe sank three feet into the ground at one location, Young determined
that the ground had been disturbed or dug up in that area; he concluded that the
disturbed section covered a very large area. He also smelled a distinct odor
emanating from the disturbed section of ground which he identified as “some sort
of decaying body.” The investigation team then began to dig up the disturbed
area. Green, who had been cooperative up to that point, became angry and told
the officers to get off his property. The investigative team returned to Green’s
property later that night with a search warrant. They discovered that part of
the burn pile had been excavated, leaving what appeared to be a shallow grave.
They also smelled the “extremely foul, fetid odor” of a “dead body in a decaying
state.” When investigators asked Green what had happened at the burn pile, Green
said that he had dug the pit to show authorities that “there was no dead body in
there.” An officer then arrived with a “cadaver dog,” trained to detect human
remains. As the dog was walking to the burn pile, it alerted to the house. Upon
entering the house, the dog repeatedly went to the side of a recliner that was
wedged into a corner of the room. Agent Hillard looked behind the recliner and
saw “a foot sticking out of the top of [a blue] bag” and what appeared to be
human remains. Before the discovery was announced, Green was overheard to say,
“Those Mexicans are setting me up” and “put a body in my house.” The remains
were identified as Christina’s. The medical examiner, Dr. Joye Carter, concluded
from a ligature mark around Christina’s neck that Christina was strangled. She
also determined that Christina’s arms had been tied behind her back and that
Christina had been sexually assaulted before she died. She testified that the
body had been wrapped in a blanket and placed inside a blue bag. During the
course of the autopsy, various materials were recovered from Christina’s body.
Two black hairs that did not appear to be Christina’s were found in her pubic
area. Based on the way Christina was positioned within the blanket, Carter
determined that the hairs must have been present before her body was wrapped in
the blanket, and could not have been transferred there afterward.
Mitochondrial-DNA testing excluded 99.7% of the African-American population as a
source of the hair. Green, an African-American, could not be excluded from the
remaining 0.3%. Carter also recovered a black cotton cloth from Christina’s
mouth. The cloth was positioned in such a way that Carter determined, to a
medical certainty, that the cloth did not cause Christina’s death. Criminalist
Bradley Mullins from the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab testified
that many of the fibers recovered from Christina’s body matched fiber samples
seized from Green’s property and residence. On the panties that were recovered
near the Neal home five days after Christina had disappeared and nearly a month
before her body was found, Mullins found a fiber that had characteristics
identical to carpet in Green’s residence. 

Texas executed its ninth prisoner of 2012 today

Cleve Foster speaking with visitor threw death-row phone

Texas executed its ninth prisoner of 2012 today after death row inmate Cleve Foster, 48, failed to obtain a last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Foster was convicted in 2002 of helping his roommate, Sheldon Ward, kill a Fort Worth, Texas, woman and hide her body in the woods. Ward, however, wrote a death-bed note before he died in prison saying that he’d acted alone, and Foster had nothing to do with the murder.

Foster has maintained his innocence, but didn’t mention that as he was executed. Instead, according to The Associated Press, he expressed love for his family and God before the drugs took effect, he began snoring and then he stopped breathing.

“When I close my eyes, I’ll be with the father,” he said. “God is everything. He’s my life. Tonight I’ll be with him.”

He turned to relatives of his victims and said, “I don’t know what you’re going to be feeling tonight. I pray we’ll all meet in Heaven.”

Foster has been scheduled to die four times over the past year but has received three stays of execution from the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Foster was hoping the country’s high court would step in and give him one more stay. But instead, it cleared the way for his execution with a brief decision just hours before the lethal injection was administered at 6:43 p.m. CT.

In the following pages, take a closer look at 2012’s death row inmates — and their final statements of innocence, acceptance or praise for their beloved Texas Rangers baseball team. Their statements were recorded by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Pictured; Cleve Foster

Article written and published last year on January 12th, 2011 – One day after Cleve Foster’s last-minute stay:

The former Army recruiter was suppose to be executed January 11th, 2011 but had received a last-minute stay of execution from the Supreme Court. Foster was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death-row for the rape and murder of a 30-year-old Sudanese woman in Fort Worth, TX nine years prior. He had always insisted that his friend and former roommate, Sheldon Ward, who was also condemned for the killing, acting alone in the murder of Nyaneur Pal, who was shot in the head and dumped in a ditch in Tarrant County. Ward died of cancer in prison May, 2010.

Foster’s attorneys had asked the Supreme Court to stop the execution on the grounds that trial attorneys failed to get testimony from a blood spatter expert to counter a detective’s testimony that Ward couldn’t have killed and moved Pal’s body by himself.

“The state of Texas is on the verge of executing an innocent man,” attorney Clint Broden told the court.

In the court’s brief order to halt the execution, two Justices indicated that they would have allowed the punishment to proceed.

More than 60 protesters were gathered at the Texas Capitol last night. They rejoiced when they heard the news of the of the stay of execution by phone call from other protesters gathered outside the prison in Huntsville where Texas does its killing.

Foster would have been the first person to be executed in Texas this year had the stay not been granted.