Gregory Christopher Decay – black, age 21

Sentenced in Washington County, Arkansas
By: a jury
Date of crime: April 3, 2007
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Decay shot Kevin Barkley Jones (age 24) and Kendall Rachell Rice (age 24) once each in the face in their apartment. Decay allegedly confessed to police, during an interview, that he killed the couple because he believed they had broken into his apartment and stolen marijuana and a gun. A police report says that at the couple’s apartment, Decay confronted Jones, who began acting in a threatening manner, so Decay shot him in the lower part of the face then turned and shot Rice. Decay later told doctors at the state hospital he didn’t kill the couple. Jesse Westeen (age 21) drove Decay to the couple’s apartment. The state sought the death penalty because more than one person was killed during the criminal episode and because they believe Decay’s actions were premeditated, deliberate and for the purpose of causing the death of Jones and Rice.
Prosecutor(s): John Threet
Defense lawyer(s): Denny Hyslip, Julie Tolleson
Sources: AP Alert 4/21/08 – AR 21:50:34; AP Alert 4/23/08 – AR 20:49:40; AP Alert 4/25/08 – AR 11:31:07;;

Zachariah Scott Marcyniuk – white, age 28

Sentenced in Washington County, Arkansas
By: a jury
Date of crime: March 9, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Marcyniuk beat and stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend Katharine Wood (age 24) in her apartment three weeks after she had broken up with him. Prosecutor John Threet sought the death penalty because the murder was committed in an especially cruel and depraved manner. The prosecution argued that Marcyniuk broke into Wood’s apartment and waited for her to return and then he attacked and killed her. The defense argued that Marcyniuk’s mental health prevented him from understanding his actions as he beat and stabbed Wood.
Prosecutor(s): John Threet
Defense lawyer(s): W.H. Taylor, Stevan Vowell
Sources: AP Alert 10/11/08 – AR 17:01:26; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 12/12/08 (Death penalty advised in slaying Man convicted of killing UA student to be sentenced today -LexisNexis), 12/13/08 (Washington County Judge: Death sentence fitting for Marcyniuk Slain woman’s kin get apology – LexisNexis), 12/13/08 (Execution ordered in murder case March 9 slaying of ex-girlfriend gets Marcyniuk death sentence – LexisNexis), 12/20/08 (Confessions of a fence-sitter – LexisNexis); Arkansas Traveler via University Wire (Former U. Arkansas student likely to spend years on death row – LexisNexis);

James Aaron Miller – white, age 30

Sentenced in Sebastian County, Arkansas
By: a jury
Date of crime: December 26, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Miller murdered his girlfriend, Bridgette Barr (age 28), and her two children: Sydney Barr (age 5) and Garrett Barr (age 2). Bridgette Barr was strangled, Sydney Barr was stabbed in the neck and Garrett Barr was smothered. The autopsy of Garrett Barr’s body revealed that the body had been placed in a heated oven at some point. Miller lived with the bodies for five days after the killing. He confessed to killing the mother and daughter but said he didn’t remember killing Garrett Barr, though he assumed he must have done it. The defense argued that Miller suffered from a mental defect and didn’t understand, at the time, that his actions were criminal.
Prosecutor(s): Gunner DeLay
Defense lawyer(s): Coy J. Rush, Jr.
Sources: AP Online Regional 4/6/08 – US 02:34:17; Oklahoman 4/08/08 (2008 WLNR 6637889);