Devin Banks – black, age 18
Sentenced to death in Shelby County, Tennessee
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/16/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Banks killed Kadhem Al-Maily and permanently disabled Hussain Altilebawi. Banks and his co-defendant, Michael Hilliard, took cash, clothing, stereo equipment, and two vehicles from the victims. After shooting Altilebawi three times, Banks forced Al-Maily to lie face down on the ground; Al-Maily was shot in the back of the head execution style. Though Banks considered the two victims his friends, he told authorities he shot them because he thought he had been defrauded and the men were also having a quarrel over a woman.
Prosecutor(s): Karen Cook; Stacy McEndree
Defense lawyer(s): Unknown
Sources: Memphis Commercial Appeal 4/12/2005 (2005 WLNR 5749311); AP Alert – Tennessee 4/11/2005 (4/11/05 APALERTTN 20:41:46).
Harold “H.R.” Hester – white, age 37
Sentenced to death in McMinn County, Tennessee
By: A jury
Date of crime: 12/14/1999
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hester bound and gagged his ex-wife, Dora Hester, and 77-year-old Charles Haney in Haney’s mobile home and threatened them with a knife before throwing kerosene on the victims and the home and setting fire to the trailer. Haney died from intense heat and from breathing the fire. Dora Hester was critically wounded, and had her legs amputated. Dora Hester was a caregiver for the elderly man, but her ex-husband was also staying in the mobile home with them. Dora Hester testified at trial that H.R. Hester became upset because she would not give him money for alcohol. H.R. Hester was found at a wrecker service near the mobile home; he smelled of kerosene and had burned hands. Acquaintances had heard him threaten to kill his ex-wife. The defense argued that it was a crime of passion and that Hester was worried he was losing his ex-wife to the elderly man.
Prosecutor(s): Jerry Estes, Shari Tayloe Defense Lawyer(s): Rich Heinsman, Lee Davis
Sources: Knoxville News-Sentinel 3/12/05; Chattanooga Times Free Press 3/12/05, 3/14/05