Azad Abdullah – white, age 25
Sentenced to death in Ada County, Idaho
By: A jury
Date of crime: 10/5/2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Abdullah drugged his wife, tied a plastic bag around her head to suffocate her, and then set their house on fire. Four children, who were sleeping in the house when Abdullah set the fire, escaped. The prosecution presented evidence that included burns on Abdullah’s arms and that Abdullah purchased gas cans identical to the ones used in the fire the day before the fire. The defense contested guilt by claiming Abdullah was out of town when the fire started, but in closing arguments admitted he was in town at the time of the fire.
Prosecutor(s): Pat Owen, Shawna Dunn Defense lawyer(s): Kim Toryanski, Mitch Toryanski
Sources: Idaho Statesman 9/15/2004, 11/4/2004, 11/5/2004, 11/15/2004, 11/20/2004, 11/21/2004, 11/24/2004
Erick Hall – white, age 29
Sentenced to death in County, Idaho
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/24/2000
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hall kidnapped and raped Lynn Henneman before strangling her with her own sweater. Hall’s DNA was found on Henneman’s body. The defense contested premeditation by arguing that if Hall killed Henneman it was out of panic or rage. In the penalty phase, witnesses for the prosecution included a woman who was raped by Hall in 1991 and two women who were previously assaulted by Hall. Hall had an extensive criminal history, had previously tried to escape from prison, and had been released from prison 10 months before killing Henneman. The defense presented evidence of Hall’s abusive childhood and drug use. Although not presented at trial, Hall is facing charges for the rape and murder of Cheryl Hanlon in March of 2003, which DNA evidence linked him to as well.
Prosecutor(s): Greg Bower, Roger Bourne Defense lawyer(s): Amil Myshin, D.C. Carr
Sources: Idaho Statesman 10/22/2004, 12/23/2004, 10/27/2004, 10/28/2004, 10/29/2004