Posts Tagged ‘Death Row’

Marked for death: Brett Hartman claims he had nothing to do with the brutal 1997 murder of Winda Snipes in Akron, Ohio

Pictured: Bret Hartman Akron, Ohio Death Row Inmate set to die tonight

Ohio is set to execute a man on Tuesday who claims he is innocent of stabbing a woman 138 times, slitting her throat and cutting off her hands.

Brett Hartman, a convicted killer who admitted to having sex with Winda Snipes early on the morning of Sept. 9, 1997 at her Akron apartment, claims that when he went back to Snipes’ apartment later that day, found her mutilated body and panicked before trying to clean up the mess and calling 911.

While Hartman still maintains his innocence, he has been found guilty by numerous courts over the years.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal by Hartman on Monday.

Reports indicate that the convicted killer asked the high court on his appeal that he be allowed to renew arguments that his original attorneys did a bad job presenting evidence that could have led a jury to spare him.

Hartman came within about a week of execution in 2009 before federal courts allowed him to pursue an innocence claim. The claim failed before he had a new date set last year. That date was eventually postponed due to a federal lawsuit over Ohio’s execution policy.

Three separate efforts for clemency on Hartman’s part have been denied by the Ohio Parole Board, which cited the brutality of the Snipes’ slaying and the “overwhelming evidence” of Hartman’s guilt.

A long held argument by Hartman’s attorneys has been that crucial evidence from the crime scene and Snipes’ body both have never been tested. The argument essentially raises questions about Hartman’s innocence.

According to the AP, the evidence includes fingerprints allegedly found on a clock and a mop handle. Hartman also argues the evidence could implicate an alternate suspect.

The AP further reports that Hartman’s attorneys say their clients behavior in prison has been exemplary and shows he is a changed man. They cite his devotion to religious studies, his development as an artist and community service projects in prison.

Hartman would be the 49th inmate put to death since Ohio resumed executions in 1999.

The death row inmate slept for about three hours early Tuesday, spoke on the phone with a friend, then visited with an aunt, a sister and another friend Tuesday morning, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith told reporters.

He ate most of his last meal Monday, including steak, baked potato and fried shrimp, then declined breakfast Tuesday, Smith said.

Source: Ibtimes

 

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Photo of Ronald Post who is currently sitting in Ohio’s death-row

NOTE: The article posted below was written and published by Huffingtonpost in September, 2012. However, an updated article written and published by Dailymail.co.uk on November 9, 2012, which is titled “Doctor says 400lb death-row inmate is to fat to receive lethal injection” – can be found by Clicking here.

11/09/12, COLUMBUS, OHIO — A condemned Ohio inmate who weighs at least 480 pounds wants his upcoming execution delayed, saying his weight could lead to a “torturous and lingering death.”

 

Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, said his weight, vein access, scar tissue and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems. He’s also so big that the execution gurney might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in federal court papers filed Friday.

“Indeed, given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death,” the filing said.

 

Post, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz in Elyria.

A spokeswoman for the prisons department had no comment on the pending litigation.

Inmates’ weight has come up previously in death penalty cases in Ohio and elsewhere.

 

In 2008, federal courts rejected arguments by condemned double-killer Richard Cooey that he was too obese to die by injection. Cooey’s attorneys had argued that prison food and limited opportunities to exercise contributed to a weight problem that would make it difficult for the execution team to find a viable vein for lethal injection.

 

Cooey, who was 5-foot-7 and weighed 267 pounds, was executed Oct. 14, 2008.

In 2007, it took Ohio executioners about two hours to insert IVs into the veins of condemned inmate Christopher Newton, who weighed about 265 pounds. A prison spokeswoman at the time said his size was an issue.

 

In 1994 in Washington state, a federal judge upheld the conviction of Mitchell Rupe, but agreed with Rupe’s contention that at more than 400 pounds, he was too heavy to hang because of the risk of decapitation. Rupe argued that hanging would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

 

After numerous court rulings and a third trial, Rupe was eventually sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2006.

Ohio executes inmates with a single dose of pentobarbital, usually injected through the arms.

Medical personnel have had a hard time inserting IVs into Post’s arms, according to the court filing. Four years ago, an Ohio State University medical center nurse needed three attempts to insert an IV into Post’s left arm, the lawyers wrote.

 

Post has tried losing weight, but knee and back problems have made it difficult to exercise, according to his court filing.

 

Post’s request for gastric bypass surgery has been denied, he’s been encouraged not to walk because he’s at risk for falling, and severe depression has contributed to his inability to limit how much he eats, his filing said.

While at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, Post “used that prison’s exercise bike until it broke under his weight,” according to the filing.

 

Source: Huffingtonpost

Detectives have been trying to solve this cold case for years – maybe you can help.

Blonde, blue-eyed, beautiful and blessed with a bubbly personality – the quintessential girl next door. That was Sharon Marshall. She was also very intelligent, an avid reader near the top of her high school class, listed in Who’s Who of American High School Students, a Lt. Colonel in the ROTC and she had earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech University where she planned to study aerospace engineering. Sharon proudly graduated from high school in Forest Park, GA in 1986.

Only her name wasn’t really Sharon Marshall – she didn’t know what her real name was. Nor did she know who her parents were or even what day, month, year or in which city or state she was born. It is thought that Sharon was born sometime in the late 1960’s although no one knows for sure because Sharon had been kidnapped when she was just a toddler, probably sometime between 1973-1975.

Franklin Delano Floyd, a psychopath, sexual predator and convicted felon, abducted and raised Sharon as his own daughter while posing as her ailing father, all the while sexually abusing her from a very young age. Floyd would later claim that he had “rescued” Sharon when she was unwanted and abandoned by her biological parents.

The first known public record of Sharon exists in 1975 in an Oklahoma City school where she was registered under the alias “Suzanne Davis“.

 

SUZANNE DAVIS – 1975

"Suzanne Davis"
“Suzanne Davis”

Sharon’s good natured personality and good grades ultimately worked against her. Although she had few friends and sometimes dressed inappropriately, no one was suspicious of the young lady who had to be home by 4:30 p.m. everyday to help her sick father or wondered why she moved so often that she was in the fourth school in a single year during her high school career. If anyone did get curious and questioned her about the whereabouts of her mother, Sharon would explain that when she was a young girl her mother had died of cancer or she was known to tell others, her mother had died in a fatal car accident. When the questions became too probing or intense Floyd and Sharon would pick up and move to places like Oklahoma City, Louisville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Tampa, New Orleans and Tulsa.

It is known that upon her graduation Sharon moved to Phoenix, AZ.  Sometime during the next couple of years Floyd and Sharon moved to Tampa, FL where she gave birth to a baby boy on March 21, 1988 using the alias “Tonya Dawn Tadlock”. She subsequently named the baby Michael Anthony Hughes and it is thought she used the last name Hughes because at the time, Floyd was using the aliases Charles Hughes and Clarence Marcus Hughes although, he also used many other aliases over the span of his criminal career. The natural assumption is that Floyd was Michael’s biological father, however, this theory was disproved with DNA test results in the 1990’s.

 

Sharon Marshall & Michael Hughes

Sharon Marshall
Sharon Marshall
Michael Hughes
Michael Hughes

Franklin Delano Floyd

Floyd in 2002
Floyd in 2002
DEATH ROW - Current Mug Shot
DEATH ROW – Current Mug Shot

During this time period, Sharon began to work as an exotic dancer, her dreams of studying aerospace engineering by now a distant memory. Sharon made friends with Cheryl Ann Commesso, 19, an exotic dancer who worked at the same club. Cheryl was beaten and killed by two shots to the back of the head in 1989. She was dumped along Florida Interstate 275 and for a long time was known simply as “Jane Doe I-275”. Soon after, Floyd and Sharon left Florida and shortly after that, the trailor they had occupied burned to the ground.

In yet another twist to this stranger than fiction story, Sharon and Floyd were married in 1989 in New Orleans under the aliases Clarence Marcus Hughes and Tonya Dawn Tadlock. Floyd and Sharon, along with Michael, then headed to Oklahoma.

In April of 1990 Sharon was killed in a suspicious hit and run accident while both she and Floyd were being sought in connection with Cheryl Ann Commesso’s murder investigation. Floyd remains the primary suspect in the hit and run that killed his daughter/wife.

After his mother’s death, when DNA test results proved conclusively that Floyd was not Michael’s biological father, Floyds visitation rights were terminated and Michael was put into foster care. His foster parents, who had begun formal adoption proceedings, reported that when he first came to them Michael was non-verbal, had limited muscle control and often exhibited hysterical behavior. While in their care, however, Michael apparently made great progress.

In the final twist to this bizarre and sad story, Michael was kidnapped by Floyd from Indian Meridian Elementary School in Choctaw, OK on September 12, 1994. He held school officials at gunpoint and forced Michael and the school principal into the principal’s pick-up truck. Eventually Floyd let the principal go, basically unharmed but traumatized, tied to a tree. Young Michael was never seen again.

Floyd was arrested two months later in Kentucky where he steadfastedly refused to give any information as to Michael’s whereabouts. Floyd claimed Michael was out of the country or possibly in the Atlanta, GA area. However, multiple witnesses have come forward saying Floyd confessed to them that he murdered Michael by drowning him in a bathtub, somewhere in the Atlanta area. Still other witnesses say they saw Floyd bury Michael’s’ body in a grave. Floyd was tried and sentenced to 55 yrs in prison for Michael’s kidnapping.

Some time later, a mechanic working on Floyd’s old pick-up truck, which had been auctioned, discovered a multitude of photos wedged over the gas tank. The explicit photographs clearly proved Sharon had been subjected to sexual abuse her entire life. In addition, photos showing Cheryl Ann Commesso beaten and bound and sitting on the sofa in Floyd’s old trailor in Florida, were discovered along with photos of other females. These photographs were used as evidence against Floyd in the Commesso murder trial in 2002 where he was later convicted and sent to death row.

After Sharon’s death, upon further investigation into Floyd’s background, investigators learned that he was a career criminal who had first been arrested at the age of 17 in a gunfight with law enforcement during a burglary. Floyd was also arrested for abducting and raping a young woman at a bowling alley in 1962. All told, Floyd has admitted to convicting at least 19 felonies.

Floyd has not been convicted of either Sharon or Michael’s murders but is still under investigation for both crimes. He has a documented history of schizophrenia, was raised by two alcoholic parents and at some point was turned over to an orphanage by his mother who never came back to retrieve him. Floyd’s defense attorneys presented these facts in his defense at his trials in an attempt to solicit sympathy from the juries.

Franklin Delano Floyd now sits on death row at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, FL.

Sadly, Michael Hughes has never been located and is presumed dead. His mother “Sharon Marshall” still remains unidentified and is buried in Choctaw, OK.

Real Name: Unknown

Known aliases:

  • Sharon Marshall (most commonly used alias)
  • Suzanne Davis (mostly when she was a young child)
  • Tonya Hughes
  • Tonya Dawn Tadlock

Real Name: Franklin Delano Floyd

Known Aliases:

  • Charles Hughes
  • Clarence Marcus Hughes
  • Trenton Davis
  • Warren Judson Marshall
  • Preston Morgan
  • Kingfish Floyd

If you have any information about Michael or Sharon, please contact the Choctaw, OK Police Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If you found this case interesting and would like to learn more about Sharon and Michael and this fascinating case, I highly recommend author Matt Birkbeck’s terrific book  ” A Beautiful Child”. It’s one of the best true crime stories I have ever read.  Warning:  once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve finished reading it!

Scott Lee Peterson, Sentenced To Death Wendesday – Click here for full article

  • Scott Peterson was  convicted in 2004 of murdering his wife,  Laci, and their unborn son Conner Peterson on Christmas Eve 2002
  • Her torso and fetus were found in April 2003  in San Francisco Bay
  • He has always maintained his innocence
  • Judge described the former fertilizer salesman crime as cruel, heartless, callous, uncaring.
  • Scott Peterson was sent to death-row at San Quentin State Prison

Photo Of Scott Peterson and his former wife, Lacey Peterson.

Scott Peterson was sentenced to death Wednesday. Above is a photo of his jail-cell, he is currently living in isolation but get’s to spend up to five-hours per day outside with other inmates.

As a memorial of stuffed animals, flowers andcandles swelled in front of his Modesto home,Scott Peterson sat across town in a 6-by-9 foot cell. Peterson spent his first night behind bars, sleeping on a 2-inch-thick mattress in a single-person cell, officials said.


“We absolutely do not want to treat this gentleman any differently than we do anyone else,” said Stanislaus County sheriff’s Lt. Janet Rasmussen, who oversees the downtown Modesto jail. “He’s being treated exactly as we would anybody else.”

The former fertilizer salesman will probably be sent within 48 hours to death row at San Quentin State Prison, overlooking the bay where Laci Peterson’s body was discarded, officials said. Peterson became the 644th person awaiting lethal injection in California.