Dacarius Holliday – Black, age 30

Sentenced in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: May 14, 2007
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Jurors found Holliday guilty of beating Darian Coon (age 2) to death.  Coon, the son of Holliday’s girlfriend, had 75 contusions to his body as well as lacerations to his liver and kidney.  Prosecutors contended that because Coon was younger than 12 and because Holliday had committed second-degree cruelty to a juvenile that he was eligible for the death penalty.  Moreover, the prosecution claimed Holliday had killed Coon because he had urinated on himself.  It was reasoned by the defense that although Holliday was reckless and negligent, he didn’t intend to kill Coon.
Sources: 6/28/07 AP Alert – LA 12:28:19, The Baton Rouge Advocate (LA) 1/20/10 (2010 WLNR1233976), 3/17/10 AP Alert – LA 20:03:38, 7/8/10 AP Alert – MO 11:13:30, 10/19/11 AP Alert – LA 14:11:10.

James Magee – White, age 30

Sentenced in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
By: a jury
Date of crime: April 18, 2007
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Magee went on a shooting rampage, killing his wife, Adrienne (age 28), and their son, Zach (age 5).  Their daughter, Ashleigh (age 8) was shot in the shoulder but survived.  Ashleigh’s older sister, Aleisha (age 7) played dead to avoid being shot.  Defense attorneys argued that Magee was under the influence of alcohol and pain medication during the shootings that caused a lack of mental clarity.  They also argued that Magee’s father was an abusive alcoholic that could be used to partially explain Magee’s violent tendencies.  The shooting occurred shortly after Magee was served with a restraining order from his wife, as they had separated a few months prior.
Sources: Press-Register (Mobile, AL) 4/21/07 (2007 WLNR 8136451), New Orleans Times Picayune 10/16/09 (2009 WLNR 20453991), UPI NewsTrack 10/17/09 (UPI NewsTrack 02:00:58), New Orleans Times Picayune 10/20/09 (2009 WLNR 20694067).