Dennis Hicks – white, age 53
Sentenced in Mobile County, Alabama
By: a judge after jury recommendation (count for and against death unknown)
Date of Crime: 09/2011
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hicks befriended Joshua Duncan, a mentally challenged 23-year-old, at church. Duncan went missing in September and Hicks was the last person to see him. In October, Duncan’s body was found decapitated and disemboweled. Investigators found three children who lived at the residence where Duncan was murdered and who had seen the savaged body. Hicks was on parole after serving 25 years for a double murder where he shot and stabbed two victims then left their bodies in a trunk. Hicks argued that his alibi was not probably considered and accused the police of planting evidence. Hicks claimed that he had been assisting Duncan in learning to live on his own by letting him rent a room, work odd jobs, and teaching him to drive, and would never have harmed Duncan.
Sources: Press-Register 4/6/16 (2016 WLNR 10496655), Press-Register 12/14/12 (2012 WLNR 26838495)
Justice Knight – black, age 18
Sentenced in Henry County, Alabama
By: a judge with jury recommendation of 11 to 1 for death
Date of Crime: 2012
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Knight conspired to kill Jarvis Daffin because he wanted to take his tax refund money. Knight and Antwain Wingard participated in the murder, but Knight was the trigger man. Knight was found guilty of capital murder during first-degree robbery, capital murder during a first-degree kidnapping, and capital murder while shooting someone in a vehicle. The defense presented mitigating factors included no significant criminal history, problematic childhood, a mother that took illegal drugs and drank alcohol at the time of Knight’s birth, several psychological diagnoses, and others.
Sources: Dothan Eagle 7/10/13 (2013 WLNR 16762248), http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/crime_court/justice-knight-sentenced-to-death-for-henry-county-killing/article_734ace84-9c60-11e6-9622-0fa676c0cb4f.html
Thomas Lane – white, age 37 (re-sentence)
Sentenced to death in Mobile County, Alabama
By: judge (judge overrode jury’s recommendation of 8 to 4 for life without parole)
Date of crime: 10/12/03
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lane was convicted of killing his estranged wife. Theresa Lane was provided to Lane through a service that delivered Filipino women to American men. The two were married for eight years, but Lane told people that Theresa became too “Americanized” and he wanted a new mail-order bride. Theresa refused to sign the divorce papers, so Lane wanted to get rid of her. He broke into her home with a chisel, drowned her in the tub, and then stole money and jewelry from the home. The judge invited Lane to speak and Lane stated that there was only female blood found at the scene and since his DNA was not found, he did not commit the crime.
Sources: Mobile Register 4/28/06 (2006 WLNR 7565418)
Stephon Lindsay – black, age 35
Sentenced to death in Etowah County, Alabama
Date of crime: 3/5/13
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lindsay put his hand over his 20-month-old daughter and slit her throat with a small hatchet while the child’s mother was asleep upstairs. Police found the child’s body in the woods in a duffle bag. Lindsay pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Lindsay believed in satanic worship and these practices led to the killing. A video was shown to jurors where Lindsay claimed that his God, “Yahweh,” told him to kill his daughter.
Sources: The Gadsden Times 3/2/16, Birmingham News 2/10/16 (2016 WLNR 4968064) Birmingham News 6/19/13 (2013 WLNR 15056248), Birmingham News 3/22/13 (2013 WLNR 7161549)