Anthony Lane – Black, age 19

Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10-2)
Date of crime: May 22, 2009
Victim: Frank Wright
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lane admitted to shooting Wright three times at a car wash and taking Wright’s vehicle.  Lane attempted later to burn the vehicle—which contained the contents of his wallet—explaining that he needed to get rid of some evidence.  The defense denied the robbery motive (thus removing the case from a felony-murder) arguing Lane only took the car after he panicked.  The prosecution argued that Lane had staked out the spot with a night sight waiting for the perfect opportunity to shoot and steal.  Lane’s journal included gang references and violent poetry.The defense offered testimony from a psychologist that Lane was borderline mentally retarded (70 IQ) and was traumatized by the shooting death of his mother by another relative.
Sources: Birmingham News (AL) 1 4/5/2011 (2011 WLNR 666089), Birmingham News (AL) 1 6/7/2011 (2011 WLNR 11853363).

Courtney Lockhart – Black, age 23

Sentenced in Lee County, Alabama
By: a judge overriding a jury recommendation of life without parole (12-0)
Date of crime: March 4, 2008
Victim: Lauren Burk, 18
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lockhart abducted the victim in an Auburn University parking lot, forced her to disrobe, and shot her in the back as she tried to escape from a moving vehicle.  Lockhart left her to die on a rural road.  The Defense argued that the gunshot was accidental.  A psychologist testified that Lockhart was a troubled young man after returning from his tour in Iraq but did not say he had PTSD.  In overturning the life sentence, the judge noted that Lockhart was suspected in five robberies at about the same time and in the same location as the slaying.  One of those robberies involved gunfire (no injuries), and another involved a failed abduction.
Sources: AP Alert – GA 3/2/11 23:03:41, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA) 3/3/11 (2011 WLNR 4103142)

Derrick Penn – Black, age 42

Sentenced in Mobile County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (unanimous)
Date of crime: May 27, 2009
Victim: Janet Penn, Demetrius Powe
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Penn broke into the apartment of his estranged wife, chased her into the bathroom, and shot her twice.  He attempted to fire at her boyfriend, but his gun jammed; he instead pistol-whipped Powe to death.  The defense argued that Penn had suffered abuse at the hands of his father as a child and had seen as a child his father beat his mother.  The Prosecution argued that this was a simple case of jealousy.
Sources: Press-Register (mobile, AL) C1 5/6/2011 (2011 WLNR 9571576).

David Riley – White, age 19 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced in Lauderdale County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crime: January 10, 2005
Victim: Scott Michael Kirtley, 38
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Riley shot Kirtley to death during a liquor store robbery.  The prosecution showed video footage of the robbery in which Riley ordered Kirtley to the back, fired, heard moaning, and fired several more times.  The prosecution argued he showed clear intent to kill and showed no remorse.  The defense disagreed, arguing that Riley was no cold-hearted killer and had no intent to shoot Kirtley.
Sources: 4/5/2011 AP Alert – AL 15:21:54, 12/22/2009 AP Alert – AL 15:49:21, WHNT 3/10/2011 (,0,259102.story)

Aubrey Shaw – White, age 31

Sentenced in Mobile County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crime: August 2007
Victim: Bob Gilbert, 79, Doris Gilbert, 83
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Shaw attacked and stabbed the Gilberts, his great-aunt and great-uncle, more than 50 times in their home before robbing them.  The defense argued addiction and sexual abuse as a child as mitigating factors as well as his Christian faith.  The court found them outweighed by evidence that the deaths were drawn out and painful combined with the terror and agony of watching a spouse brutally assaulted.
Sources: Press-Register (AL) 7/2/11 C1 (2011 WLNR 13541966).

Tawuan Townes – Black, age 18

Sentenced in Houston County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10-2)
Date of crime: November 2008
Victim: Christopher Woods, 28
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Townes shot the victim, Woods, while robbing his home with accomplice Cornelius Benton looking for money and drugs.  Benton shot Woods in the leg with a pistol; Townes then fired the fatal second shot with a rifle shot to the chest.  The prosecution argued Woods was begging for his life.  Townes claimed he was only attempting to scare the victim when he fired, and the defense argued immaturity and a 10th grade education
Sources: Dothan Eagle (AL) 3/9/11 (2011 WLNR 4695067), Dothan Eagle (AL) 3/10/11 (2011 WLNR 4860500), Dothan Eagle (AL) 3/10/11 (2011 WLNR 4747111).

Corey Wimbley – black, age 22

Sentenced to death in Washington County, Alabama
By: a jury
Date of crime: December 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Wimbley and Juan Crayton shot Ray Wheat (age 55) inside a grocery store along the interstate. Authorities said the shooting occurred during an apparent robbery and an attempt to burn the store. Wimbley was apprehended at a bus station in Mobile with a ticket he had purchased to Florida.
Sources: 12/22/08 AP Alert – AL 11:19:06.

Michael Woolf – White, age 30

Sentenced in Mobile County, Alabama
By: a judge upon jury recommendation of death penalty (11-1)
Date of crime: March 5, 2008
Victims: Angel Woolf, 30, Ayden Woolf, 2
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Woolf shot his son during a fight with his wife and then shot her.  The Prosecution argued Woolf was obsessed with whether his son was his after learning about his wife’s extramarital affairs.  Woolf testified that he shot his son accidentally and called 911 immediately after the shootings.  The judge noted Woolf’s significant history of criminal activity including convictions for burglary, receiving stolen property, possession, and domestic violence.
Sources: Press-Register (Mobile, AL) C1 11/3/10 (2010 WLNR 22307211), Press-Register (Mobile AL) C1 2/18/11 (2011 WLNR 4271394)