Patrick Haney—white, age 29

Sentenced to death in Fayette County, Pennsylvania
By: a jury
Date of crime: 9/3/11
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Haney beat his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son Trenton Lewis St. Clair to death. The defense presented mitigating evidence that Haney had a rough childhood and no serious prior criminal record.
Sources: Herald-Standard (Uniontown PA) 2/13/14

Charles Hicks – black, age 34 

Sentenced to death in Monroe County, Pennsylvania
By:  a jury
Date of crime:  January 2008
Prosecution case/defense response:  Charles Ray Hicks beat, killed, and dismembered Deanna Null, 36, while she was still alive.  Parts of her body were discovered in garbage bags along the Pennsylvania interstate. The bags were found by Department of Transportation workers on January 29, 2008.  Hicks declined to provide useful additional information to other murders investigators suspected him of committing in Fort Worth, Texas, so the district attorneys offer of dropping the death penalty was withdrawn.  He admitted to killing five women, but did not meet the district attorney’s expectation of disclosure. The jury deliberated for seven hours before reaching its decision.
Sources:  The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) 11/20/2014; 2014 WLNR 32654539

Timothy Jacoby – white, age 37

Sentenced to death in York County, Pennsylvania
By:  a jury
Date of crime:  03/31/2010
Prosecution case/defense response: Timothy Matthew Jacoby beat, shot, and killed Monica Schmeyer, 55, in a botched robbery at her home. The police discovered her when they arrived at her residence to investigate a dead air 911 call. In ruling out the most likely suspect, her ex-husband, the police began to suspect Jacoby who frequented the same bar as her ex-husband, Jon Schmeyer. At the bar, Mr. Schmeyer would complain aloud about his ex-wife and having to pay her $1,700 cash in alimony. Ms. Schmeyer was shot with a .32-caliber handgun, Jacoby owned such a handgun, and investigators were able to match shell markings on a shell from the scene with one from Jacoby’s parents’ farm. Jacoby declined to testify on his own behalf at trial and sentencing and also declined to have the psychiatrist who examined him testify. Jacoby was previously convicted of a failed 2006 robbery where he stole six silver necklaces and $47,650 box full of loose diamonds from a jewelry store, before dropping the goods while fleeing the scene. The jury deliberated less than three hours after seven days of testimony for the first-degree conviction and less than an hour to sentence him to death.
Sources:  York Daily Record (Pennsylvania) 10/10/14; 2014 WLNR 28191033

Raghunandandan Yandamuri – Asian, age 26

Sentenced to death in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
By:  a jury
Date of crime:  10/22/2012
Prosecution case/defense response:  Raghunandan Yandamuri stabbed and killed Satyavathi Venna, 61, and suffocated to death an infant of 10-months, Saani Venna, in a kidnapping-for-ransom scheme gone horribly wrong.  Payment of gambling debts was the alleged motive.  Yandamuri, a native of India in the United States on a visa and working in the information technology field, represented himself at trial and was unable to convince the jury that he was forced by two men to enter the residence so that they could kidnap and hold the child ransom.  Satyavathi Venna, the grandmother of the slain child, was babysitting and let Yandamuri in the apartment as she recognized him as a family friend.  As she attempted to prevent the kidnapping, he slashed her throat to the bone, placed a handkerchief in the crying baby’s mouth, and tied it in place with a towel before stuffing the child into a suitcase.  He dumped the child’s body in an empty sauna covered in trash at the apartment complex where both he and his wife, and the Venna family lived.  The ransom note, found on the scene, asked the parents for $50,000 in cash but included nicknames of the parents that only those close to the family would know.  Although he gave both a written and taped confession, he later claimed both confessions were coerced by detectives.  His attorney at sentencing cited the death of his Indian policemen father by alleged terrorists when Yandamuri was 10, depression, suicidal thoughts, previous psychiatric treatment which is rarely acknowledged in the Indian culture according to his attorney, and both bipolar and personality disorders   The jury deliberated for three hours.
Sources:  Bucks County Courier Times 10/15/14, 11/21/2014; 2014 WLNR 32797057, 2014 WLNR 28694284