Omar Cash – black, age 26
Sentenced to death in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
By: a jury
Date of crime: 4/21/08
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Muliek Ronald Brown was at a car wash polishing his car when Cash came up and shot him in the back of the head. Cash testified that he was being hunted down by Brown and other members of a local gang, although he was unable to present any evidence that Brown was, in fact, a gang member. Cash’s criminal career including allegations of sexual assault, attempted-murder, and robbery made him almost legendary in law enforcement for escaping convictions. This ended when a jury convicted him of first-degree murder for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Edgar Rosas-Gutierrez and his fiancée in an earlier case in Bucks County where he was spared a death sentence by a jury. The defense in the Philadelphia case urged the jury to consider Cash’s “atrocious childhood,” coming from abusive alcoholic-drug using parents, abandoned at age 6, and detained by age 10.
Sources: Phila. Inquirer 11/8/13, 11/13/13, 11/17/13.
Kevin Murphy – white, age 48
Sentenced to death in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
By: a jury
Date of crime: 4/23/09
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Murphy was convicted of killing his mother, Doris Murphy, 69; his sister, Kris Murphy, 43; and his aunt, Edith Tietge, 81. Murphy murdered the three because they disapproved of the relationship he was having with a married woman who allegedly plotted with Murphy to “knock off” his relatives.
Sources: Pitt. Post-Gazette 5/8/13, 5/9/13.
Ricky Smyrnes – white, age 24
Sentenced to death in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
By: a jury
Date of Crime: February 2010
Prosecution’s Case/Defense Response: Smyrnes was convicted of kidnapping and killing Jennifer Daugherty (age 30), a mentally challenged woman. Smyrnes was the ringleader of a group of six who held Daugherty captive before stabbing and strangling her to death. Before stabbing and strangling her, the group tried to kill her using a cocktail of human waste, bleach, and prescription drugs. She was tortured and raped. Her body was dumped in a garbage can. The defense argued that Smyrnes should be spared because he was mentally ill and of low intelligence.
Sources: Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA) 3/2/13; AP Alert – PA 3/1/2013.
Aric Woodard – black, age 38
Sentenced to death in York County, Pennsylvania
By: a jury
Date of crime: 11/7/11
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Woodard was found guilty of first-degree murder of 2-year-old Jaques Twinn while babysitting Jaques and his 1-year-old sister. Woodard left the children alone to go to the store and when he returned he saw that Jaques smeared feces on the carpet. Woodard assaulted the child injuring his brain, face, ear, stomach, back, buttocks and legs, along with internal injuries including a lacerated liver. The defense attorney presented an alternate theory that the boy drowned in the bathtub and the injuries were a result of aggressive and prolonged CPR. Woodard instructed counsel not to present mitigating evidence.
Sources: York Dispatch (York, Pa.) 10/15/13