Timothy Scott Boyle – White, age 20

Sentenced in Madison County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)
Date of crime: October 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Boyle assaulted his girlfriend’s daughter, Savannah White (age 2), resulting in her death.  Testimony in the trial showed that White died from blows to the head. Savannah’s older sister (Boyle’s girlfriend) testified that she saw Boyle slap her around and throw her against a bathtub in the family’s home one night shortly before she died.  A jury convicted Boyle of capital murder and recommended a death sentence.
Sources: The Gadsden Times AP Alert 3/14/10 – AL 20:29:38, Press-Register (Mobile, AL) 3/14/10 (2010 WLNR 5960894), Birmingham News (AL) 3/14/10 (2010 WLNR 5476933).

Justin T. Hosch – White, age 20

Sentenced in Autauga County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10 – 2)
Date of crime: October 19, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Joey Wilmore (age 48), a local mechanic, was shot while working on the car repair shop he was building.  Hosch was convicted of the shooting and found guilty of two counts of capital murder, burglary and theft of property.  Additionally, two other aggravating circumstances existed at the time of the shooting, being under sentence of another crime when he killed Wilmore, and doing so in an attempt to escape from custody.  He stole Wilmore’s truck after escaping from a nearby minimum security detention center a few days earlier.  Hosch was serving time for possession of marijuana and for receiving stolen property.  Witnesses for the defense testified that Hosch experienced a rough and abusive childhood, which caused him to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a developmental disorder and substance abuse.
Sources: Montgomery Advertiser (AL) 9/3/10 (2010 WLNR 17569031), Birmingham News (AL) 9/4/10 (2010 WLNR 17835657), Montgomery Advertiser (AL) 10/15/10 (2010 WLNR 20727593).

Michael Brandon Kelley – White, age 27

Sentenced in St. Clair County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10-2)
Date of crime: November 16, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: The nude body of Emily Milling (age 23) was found alongside a road, she had been brutally beaten and choked to death.  Kelley was ultimately charged with the killing and was found guilty of two counts of capital murder and one count of sexual torture.  Kelley, a long-haul truck driver, maintained that two men he met through work had in fact killed Milling.  Authorities said a surveillance camera from a nightclub in Leeds shows Milling leaving with Kelley and not return, despite his testimony that he took her back.  Investigators retrieved blood stained clothes from Kelley’s mobile home and car, along with personal items believed to have belonged to Milling.
Sources: Birmingham News (AL) 11/20/08 (2008 WLNR 22273239), Birmingham News (AL) 11/20/08 AP Alert – AL 11:02:43, Birmingham News (AL) 9/3/10 (2010 WLNR 17634179), The Daily Home (AL) 11/19/10 AP Alert – AL 18:59:44.

Ronnie Kirksey – Black, age 34

Sentenced in Etowah County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)
Date of crime: April 15, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Kirksey was convicted of the first–degree murder of Yolanda Norris’ son, Cornell Norwood (age 23 months).  Norris, Kirksey’s girlfriend at the time, said she came home and found her son in a pool of blood on the floor. When questioned by Gadsden police detectives, Kirksey said he used one foot to stand on the child’s head with all of his weight.  However, at trial he claimed that he fell on the child.  The prosecution focused on the brutal and unwarranted characteristics of the killing, while Kirksey’s family begged the jury to spare his life.
Sources: The Gadsden Times (AL) 2/19/10 AP Alert – AL 13:39:42, The Gadsden Metro (AL) 2/22/10 (http://www.gadsdenmetro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2329:kirkseys-recommended-sentence-death&catid=117:etowah-county-news&Itemid=396), The Gadsden Times 2/23/10 AP Alert – AL 14:16:40, 2/23/10 AP Alert– AL 17:30:15.

Jeffrey Riggs – Black, age 38

Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama
By: a judge overruling a jury recommendation of life without parole (10-2)
Date of crime: January 10, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Riggs received the death penalty for the shooting of Norber Lea Payne, the mother of his young child.  Riggs had threatened to kill Payne if she did not stop dating another man.  The judge overrode the jury’s recommendation for life without parole due to his view of the incident as the execution of a defenseless woman.  The defense argued the killing was not heinous enough to warrant a death sentence, in addition to Riggs having no prior criminal history and killing out of jealousy, not premeditation.  However, the prosecution maintained that the premeditated nature was proven by threatening voicemails Riggs had left on the phone of Payne’s new boyfriend, stating “that he had an almost dead woman at his house.”  Therefore, they concluded that Riggs had plenty of time to cool down and act reasonably as the shooting occurred a week after the voicemails.  Furthermore, Riggs used a .50 caliber handgun (the biggest pistol the judge claimed to have seen in his entire legal career) to shoot Payne four times.  These elements led the judge to decide that there was inadequate mitigation to offset the aggravation in the case.
Sources: 1/10/08 AP Alert– AL 17:22:29, The Birmingham News (AL) 1/11/08 (2008 WLNR 681985), The Birmingham News 6/15/10 (2010 WLNR 12237619), The Birmingham News 6/15/10 AP Alert – AL 11:21:46, The Birmingham News 6/18/10 (2010 WLNR 12470314).

Ryan Gerald Russell – White, age 35

Sentenced in Shelby County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crime: June 16, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Katherine Helen Gillespie (age 11) was killed after she went to live with Russell, her distant cousin and legal guardian, following her mother’s death.  Prosecutors presented evidence that showed Russell shot Gillespie in the back of the head as she tried to hide behind the dryer, stuffed her body into a trash can and placed the trash can in the back of his car, which he left parked in the garage.
Sources: Birmingham News (AL) 6/21/08 AP Alert – AL 17:28:18, Birmingham News (AL) 3/31/09 AP Alert – AL 11:22:51, Birmingham News (AL) 11/20/10 AP Alert – AL 01:53:20, Birmingham News (AL) 12/17/10 (2010 WLNR 25012497).

Jesse Earl Scheuing – White, age 22

Sentenced in Calhoun County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10-2)
Date of crime: November 28, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Video footage from a convenience store robbery showed Scheuing shooting Sean Adam Cook (age 27), the clerk.  Prosecutors argued that Scheuing’s 32 previous felony charges made him a habitual offender and eligible for the death penalty.  They also pointed out the fact that he was on parole for a felony charge in Georgia at the time of the murder.  Jurors were also shown a security camera video from the jail where Scheuing was being held, which showed him creep up behind another inmate and stab him roughly 90 times with a Bic pen.  Defense attorneys called the Chaplin from the jail to testify about his conversion to Christianity to support the claim he was a changed man.  Moreover, the presented seven mitigating factors to support sentencing Scheuing to life in prison without parole rather than death.  Some of the factors listed were Scheuing’s troubled, neglected childhood, his antisocial disorders and the insufficient treatment he received and his clinical dependency on marijuana.  James Potts (age 24) and Tifani Kulp (age 24) were also arrested for their roles in the robbery.
Sources: The Press-Register (AL) 12/8/08 (2008 WLNR 24003320), The Anniston Star (AL) 9/21/10 AP Alert – GA 19:03:28, The Anniston Star (AL) 9/21/10 AP Alert – AL 18:12:54, The Anniston Star (AL) 11/10/10 (2010 WLNR 22437817).

Lameco Turner – Black, age 19

Sentenced in Houston County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (11-1)
Date of crime: April 22, 2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lameco Turner was charged with three others in the shooting death of Prakash Shah (age 54) during a robbery.  Turner’s defense admitted to the shooting but argued it was accidental. The defense also argued a sentence of life in prison for Turner due to: an IQ test indicating borderline mental retardation, his mother was 15 when he was born, no father is listed on his birth certificate, and that the Department of Human Resources found evidence of child abuse during his childhood.  The prosecution found two aggravating circumstances: that the murder occurred during an armed robbery and that the crime was particularly atrocious and cruel due to the contention that Shah suffered immense pain for 45 minutes before he passed away.
Sources: Dothan Eagle (AL) 1/11/10 (2010 WLNR 565705), Dothan Eagle (AL) 1/15/10 (2010 WLNR 932318), AP Alert 1/20/10 – AL 17:30:58, Dothan Eagle (AL) 2/23/10 (2010 WLNR 3824043).

Justin White – Black, age 19

Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama
By: a judge overruling a jury recommendation (10-2)
Date of crime:  July, 1 2006 / October 31, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: White was charged with the strangulation and rape of Sierra Black (age 20), a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  In February 2008 a Jefferson County jury voted 8-4 to recommend life in prison without parole rather than a death sentence.  The subsequent trial concerned an incident four months earlier where White raped and murdered Jasmine Parker (age 17) in her north Birmingham home.  Justin White’s adoptive parent’s, Andrew and Stella, presented reasons for the jury to chose a lesser sentence.  Justin was expelled from two day care centers for bad behavior, he had been on ADHD medication since he was four, he felt abandoned by his mother who gave him up for adoption with a letter saying she had not been a willing participant in his conception, and he was once in a psychiatric hospital for 10 days until the insurance ran out.  The defense cited these explanations and his mental and impulse control problems as reasons to spare him.  The jury recommended life without parole by a 9-3 vote.  The Circuit Judge overruled the jury however, and sentenced White to death.
Sources: Birmingham News AP Alert 3/25/08 – AL 15:43:50, Birmingham News (AL) 3/30/08 (2008 WLNR 6137778), Birmingham News (AL) 12/11/09 (2009 WLNR 25072965), Birmingham News (AL) 2/4/10 (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/02/justin_white_sentenced_to_deat.html).

Mario Woodward – Black, age 32

Sentenced in Montgomery County, Alabama
By: a judge overruling a jury recommendation of life without parole (8-4)
Date of crime: September 28, 2006
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Woodward was found guilty of two counts of capital murder for the shooting of Keith Houts.  Houts, a Montgomery police officer, encountered Woodward during a routine traffic stop in north Montgomery.
Sources: Washburn University School of Law: Death Penalty News 9/25/08 (http://lists.washlaw.edu/pipermail/deathpenalty/2008-September/008539.html), The Montgomery Advertiser (AL) 9/26/08 AP Alert – AL 11:16:45, The Montgomery Advertiser 2/5/09 (2009 WLNR 20125441), The Birmingham News (AL) 9/27/08 (2008 WLNR 18585136), The Montgomery Advertiser 8/10/09 (2009 WLNR 15466211).