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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Don’t Execute Me! Condemned Ohio Man Who Beat And Raped Baby To Death Before Putting Her Limp Body Next To Her Mother As She Slept (MailOnline Article)

steven-smith-pedofileIn a desperate bid to save his life, convicted Ohio baby killer Steven Smith has asserted that he never meant to murder his girlfriend’s six-month-old daughter – only to sexually assault her.

The girl, Autumn Carter, of Mansfield, Ohio, died in 1998 because Smith was too drunk to realize his sexual assault was killing the child, Smith’s attorneys planned to tell the Ohio Parole Board Tuesday. And Ohio law is clear, they say: a death sentence requires an intent to kill the victim.

‘The evidence suggests that Autumn’s death was a horrible accident,’ his attorneys, Joseph Wilhelm and Tyson Fleming, said in a written argument prepared for the board.

They continued: ‘Despite the shocking nature of this crime, Steve’s death sentence should be commuted because genuine doubts exist whether he even committed a capital offense.’
Smith, 46, was never charged with sexual assault, meaning the jury’s only choice was to convict or acquit him of aggravated murder, his attorneys say.

The Richland County prosecutor says Smith continues to hide behind alcohol as an excuse, and calls Smith’s actions ‘the purposeful murder of a helpless baby girl.’

Prosecutor James Mayer told the board in his own written statement that the girl’s injuries are consistent with a homicide that contradicts Smith’s claim he didn’t intend to kill the girl.

‘The horrific attack upon Autumn Carter showed much more than Smith’s stated purpose,’ Mayer said.
Mayer said Monday he didn’t know why Smith wasn’t charged with rape, but said it wasn’t part of a trial strategy.

The attack happened early in the morning of September 29, 1998, in the Hardwood Drive apartment of the girl’s mother, Kaysha Frye, a 19-year-old woman Smith, then 31 years old, had been dating about six months.

Frye was awakened after 3am by a naked Smith, who placed Autumn beside her in bed, according to records prepared for the parole board hearing.

Frye realized the girl wasn’t breathing, told Smith he’d killed her, then ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
Smith, known to consume as many as 12 beers a day, had had several beers earlier in the evening and had a blood-alcohol content of .123 – well above the legal limit – when he was tested almost eight hours later, at 11am, records show.
Smith had unsuccessfully tried to have sex with his girlfriend the evening before the attack, according to records.

The prosecutor argued that Smith’s assault of the girl was revenge for Smith’s failure to perform with Frye.
Smith’s attorneys dispute this, saying the girlfriend was not upset with Smith.

Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Smith’s attack lasted as long as 30 minutes, during which time Smith beat the girl to death.
Expert witnesses for Smith conclude he may have accidentally suffocated the girl within three to five minutes while he lay on top of her, according to Smith’s clemency petition.
Autopsy showed that little Autumn died of trauma and compression asphyxia. The child also suffered optical nerve damage consistent with being violently shaken.

Smith’s attorneys have an uphill battle in their argument because of the ‘moral repugnancy’ surrounding the claim of partial innocence, said Doug Berman, an Ohio State University law professor and death penalty expert. Click here for the rest of the article written and published by MailOnline.

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.

Serial Killer who chopped up his victims and sold their flesh to Chinese markets is finally executed

01/10/13, CHINA — A Chinese serial killer was finally executed today after spending six months in a Chinese jail for the murder and dismemberment of eleven Jinning County residents.

March, 2008 thru April, 2012, Zhang Yongming, 57, strangled eleven boys and young men, all residents of Jinning County. After murdering his victims, he would chopped them to pieces and then sell their flesh as ostrich meat at the local market. He would then burn any leftovers in an attempt to destroy evidence.

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He was finally arrested in the beginning of May, 2012 in Nanmen village which is located in Yunnan province. He was investigated over the murder of one of his last victims, a 19-year-old man. When police searched his home they found the young man’s cellphone, credit card, etc, but the most gruesome discovery was numerous eyeballs being preserved in wine bottles. Which is a traditional practice in the Asian culture with snakes, to make “snake wine” and dried human meat.

After discovering the evidence, Zhang was immediately arrested and the following month he was sentenced to death by Kunming Intermediate People’s Court.

The court deemed his acts “extremely cruel” and that the consequences were going to be “extremely serious.” He was also denied his political rights for the rest of his (short) life.

This isn’t the first time Zhang was sentenced to death. He was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for homicide in 1979 when he was 24 years old. He was released in September 1997 at age 42 after receiving a number of several sentence reductions. But despite having his life saved and getting a plot of land and compensation from the government, Zhang continued to commit crimes.

In his village, Zhang was known as a “Cannibal Monter”. But despite the suspicion of other village goers, and the fact that he had already been sentenced to death and released, he was able to get away with multiple murders over a four-year time span.

The other villagers told a local reporter that they had witnessed what they believed to be white bones protruding from the top of green bags, which were hanging from Zhang’s home.

According to MailOnline, Beijing administration refuses to publish its execution statistics and is believed to have the highest rates in the world. The latest report from Amnesty International predicts ‘thousands’ every year, whilst U.S.-based advocacy group the Duihua foundation estimated that 4,000 prisoners were executed in 2011.

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.