Billy Dale Green – white, age 43
Sentenced to death in Randolph County, Arkansas
By: A jury
Date of crime: 7/29/1998
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Billy Green had his son, Charles, pretend he was having car trouble to lure the victim, Carl Elliott, to a bridge where Billy shot him. Billy then went to the Elliott house where he beat and killed Elliott’s wife and two children. Billy used a tire tool to kill Elliott’s 5-year-old son, and then hit the wife 27 times with the tool and slit her throat. Billy then put Elliott’s 8-year-old daughter in a trash can and kept her alive for two days in a shed before he drove her to the woods and killed her. Prosecutors argued that Billy killed the family two weeks after Elliott confessed to stealing Billy’s marijuana plants in 1994. The prosecution had no forensic evidence of the crime, but only the testimony of Billy’s son, Charles. The defense argued that Charles killed the Elliott family and blamed it on his father. In mitigation, the defense blamed Green’s upbringing that led him to a life of drugs and crime.
Prosecutor(s): Richard Castleman, Henry Boyce
Defense lawyer(s): Mary Catron, Steve Harper
Sources: The Arkansas Democrat Gazette 8/8/03, 9/23/03, 5/14/04, 5/15/04, 5/18/04, 5/21/04, 5/22/04, 5/28/04; Arkansas Department of Corrections: www.state.ar.us/doc/deathrow.html
Billy Thessing – white, age 33
Sentenced to death in Pulaski County, Arkansas
By: A jury
Date of crime: 2/11/2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Thessing went to 67-year-old Mattie Bassinger’s home to rob and beat her to death. Thessing stole Bassinger’s car and planned to return to her home to set the house on fire to make the death appear accidental. Thessing was arrested after he wrecked Bassinger’s car. A friend testified that Thessing confessed to killing an elderly woman and gave her Bassinger’s food and a television set. Thessing had a long record of felony convictions. He maintained his innocence and testified twice he was a victim of a satanic conspiracy.
Prosecutor(s): Bart Dickinson
Defense lawyer(s): Bill McLean, Bret Qualls
Sources: The Arkansas Democrat Gazette 2/20/03, 9/1/04, 9/3/04, 9/8/04, 9/11/04; Arkansas Department of Corrections: www.state.ar.us/doc