Sherman Noble – black, age 35

Sentenced to death in Jefferson County, Kentucky
By: A jury
Date of crime: 3/1987
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Noble beat Lorenzo Harris, Charles Thompson, and Walker Ison to death with a hammer in three separate incidents over a week. In 1988 Noble was found incompetent to stand trial and he remained in a mental institution until 1997 when Noble was found competent to stand trial. The prosecution’s evidence included a confession by Noble. The defense contested guilt by arguing the confession was obtained by coercion. During the penalty phase, Noble presented evidence of mental illness including treatment for chronic paranoid schizophrenia. The jury sentenced him to death for the murder of Thompson and Harris, and life in prison for killing Ison. Although not presented at trial, Noble is facing charges for shooting Michael Cox to death in 1985.
Prosecutor(s): Mac Shannon Defense lawyer(s): Noble defended himself, assisted by Ramon McGee
Sources: Cincinnati Post 12/18/2004; Courier-Journal (Louisville) 12/1/2004, 12/21/2004, 2/8/2005; Lexington Herald-Leader 2/8/2005