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Death Law
 
Michael Tisius v. State of Missouri

In 2000, Mr. Tisius was charged with two counts of murder in the first degree,
section 565.020.1 The charges arose after Mr. Tisius shot and killed two deputies, Leon
Egley and Jason Acton, at the Randolph County jail. Mr. Tisius shot the deputies in an
attempt to help his former cellmate, Roy Vance, escape from the jail. A jury convicted
Mr. Tisius of both counts and senten... More...
   $0 (04-28-2017 - MO)

MARVIN A. STANTON V. STATE OF ARKANSAS

On September 25, 2015, Stanton and the victim, Jesse Hamilton, confronted each
other at a Raceway gas station in Texarkana, Arkansas. While the testimony of the State’s
witnesses differed significantly from Stanton’s testimony regarding the circumstances, the
parties agree that the confrontation escalated into a fight that ended when Stanton shot
Hamilton with a handgun, causin... More...
   $0 (04-28-2017 - AR)

STATE OF LOUISIANA V. JOSHUA I. LEE

Defendant‘s charges arose from the burglary of Chad Huth‘s home on
Cameron Boulevard in Gentilly, New Orleans, resulting in Mr. Huth‘s death and
injury to Christopher Wells.

Paul Patin, a friend, testified that at the time of the incident he had been
living with Mr. Huth at Mr. Huth‘s residence. In the early morning hours of April
22, 2010, Mr. Patin was watching tele... More...
   $0 (04-28-2017 - LA)

United States of America v. Sabino Orlando Martinez Seal of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

Beaumont, TX - Port Arthur Man Convicted for Federal Violations Related to Port Acres Murder

A 35-year-old Port Arthur, Texas man has been found guilty by a jury for federal violations related to the murder of a Port Acres woman in the Eastern District of Texas.

Sabino Orlando Martinez was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery,... More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)

Dustin Vanhalst v. The State of Texas Jury convicts Dustin Lynn Vanhalst of murder

Dustin Vanhalst was convicted of murdering Jay Clements and was sentenced to serve
forty-seven years’ confinement in prison. On appeal, Vanhalst contends that the State’s witness,
Justin Deen, was an accomplice and that there was insufficient evidence to corroborate Deen’s
testimony as required by Article 38.14 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The trial court
instruct... More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)

NICHOLAS JOHN MATEIK V. THE STATE OF TEXAS Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas at Dallas

Appellant and HS were both welding students at Mountain View College in Dallas in the
spring and summer of 2015. Although they were enrolled in different classes, at times the classes
were in the same room, causing appellant and HS to be in the room together. HS described the
welding department as three rooms: a classroom, a small welding room, and a large welding
room.
More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)

Karease Latoya Peterson V. THE STATE OF TEXAS Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas at Dallas

Appellant’s live-in boyfriend, Matthew Jones, was charged with and pleaded guilty to
continuous sexual assault of appellant’s daughter G.P. Jones impregnated G.P. twice. G.P. was
13 years of age the first time and the record does not indicate her age at the second pregnancy.
G.P. received no prenatal care and the first child died within five days of birth. Appellant knew
of... More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Eric Matthew Frein Pike County Courthouse - Milford, Pennsylvania

Milford, PA - Jury Votes To Impose Death Penalty For Killer To State Trooper

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged Eric Frein, age 33, with capital murder for shooting and killing one Pennsylvania state trooper and shooting with intent to kill another at the Blooming Grove barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police in the Pocono Mountains in 2004. Cpl. Bryon Dickson, II was killed and ... More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - PA)

Joseph Karr v. State of Texas Boyfriend arrested for stabbing Southwest flight attendant Kelly Turner

In October of 2014, Karr and his girlfriend, Kelly Turner, traveled from California
to Austin, Texas. The couple had been dating since June of 2014, and the trip to Austin was intended
to allow Karr to meet many of Turner’s friends and family for the first time. On October 31, Turner
and Karr went out to dinner with some of Turner’s friends, including Jancy Darling and her
boyfri... More...
   $0 (04-26-2017 - TX)

George Delacruz v. The State of Texas George De La Cruz sentenced to life in prison

Delacruz and Julie Ann Gonzales had a daughter, L.D., and married young. In
December 2009, shortly after they married, Julie filed for divorce. On March 26, 2010, Julie went
to pick up L.D. from Delacruz’s house and was never seen or heard from again.
Because an initial investigation revealed (1) no evidence of foul play and
(2) messages that had been sent from Julie’s cell phone... More...
   $0 (04-26-2017 - TX)

The State of Texas v. Eric Wayne Donaldson

On March 5, 2014, a Hays County grand jury indicted Donaldson in cause number
CR-14-0122 for two offenses: credit card abuse committed against an elderly individual, see Tex.
Penal Code § 32.31(b), (d), and fraudulent use or possession of identifying information of less than
five items committed against an elderly individual, see id. § 32.51(b)(1), (c)(1), (c-1)(1).
On November 5,... More...
   $0 (04-26-2017 - TX)

Braylon Dominique Ellis v. The State of Texas Killer who beat man with a toilet tank lid gets life

On September 7, 2013, Andrea Brown discovered the dead body of her
older brother Tommy Brown in his home after she went to check on him out of
concern that no one had heard from or seen him for days. An investigation
revealed that Tommy had been the victim of a love triangle with Appellant and
Christina Rodriguez, whom Tommy had met as a pen pal while she was serving
time... More...
   $0 (04-26-2017 - TX)

Christopher Ernest Braughton v. The State of Texas

Emmanuel Dominguez, the complainant, was a United States Marine,
preparing to leave the Marine Corps and using up his vacation time until his
discharge. In early May 2013, Dominguez moved to Spring, Texas and rented a
house with his girlfriend, Jessica Cavender, who was also a United States Marine
and had recently been assigned as a recruiter in Conroe, Texas. Their house was o... More...
   $0 (04-25-2017 - TX)

STATE OF KANSAS v. DAVID CONRAD WIDMER

On February 1, 2015, Brandy, her husband, Alex, and their 6-month-old infant visited Widmer's apartment to watch the Super Bowl. During this gathering, Alex received a call and stated that he had to go to work. Widmer agreed to drive Alex and the two men left the apartment.

At trial, the accounts of what happened next varied significantly. According to Widmer's wife, Tiffany, while the ... More...
   $0 (04-24-2017 - KS)

STATE OF KANSAS v. DAVID DARREL WILLIAMS

About dusk on September 13, 2012, KBI Special Agent Michael Lind met with a confidential informant to set up a purchase of methamphetamine from Williams. The informant arranged a meeting with Williams during a telephone call in which Williams gave the informant directions to his location. After the call, Lind drove with the informant to meet Williams.

As Lind and the informant reached ... More...
   $0 (04-24-2017 - KS)

The People of the State of Colorado v. Sandra L. Jacobson Denver woman gets 36 years for crash that killed Greenwich librarians

A jury convicted the defendant, Sandra L. Jacobson, of vehicular homicide,
driving under the influence, and other related charges arising from a collision between
her truck and a taxi cab. The collision killed two of the passengers in the taxi.
¶3 During the jury selection process, a prospective juror asked the trial court why
the jury has to avoid media coverage of the trial,... More...
   $0 (04-24-2017 - CO)

STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. SAINT H. MERILAN a/k/a, SAINT HILAIRE MERILAN, SAINT H. MERIALN, SAINT MERILAN, JASON WILLIAMS

The State presented the following evidence at trial.
Defendant, having spent the day with his daughter, waited for
Janet,1 the child's mother, to return home from work. As the child
and defendant sat in his car, Janet, her infant son, her partner,
and his sister pulled up and parked facing defendant's car, parked
in front of her apartment. The partner approached defenda... More...
   $0 (04-24-2017 - NJ)

L.M. Birge v. State of Mississippi .

On August 27, 2013, Callie and her sister, Tikea, were at Callie’s residence. Birge’s
daughter, Rose, came by to talk to Callie. A fight broke out between Callie and Rose inside
the residence. The fight eventually moved to the street. Although the versions of events
differ, it is undisputed that Birge shot Callie in the chest with a shotgun, and Callie died from
her injuries.More...
   $0 (04-23-2017 - MS)

JUAN DAVID RODRIGUEZ vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

The instant case is Juan David Rodriguez’s second successive
postconviction appeal. “Juan David Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree
murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit a felony, attempted armed robbery,
armed burglary with an assault, aggravated assault, and attempted first-degree


- 2 -
murder.” Rodriguez v. State (Rodriguez I), 609 So. 2d 493, 49... More...
   $0 (04-23-2017 - FL)

DONALD LENNETH BANKS vs. STATE OF FLORIDA DONALD LENNETH BANKS vs. JULIE L. JONES, etc.

Donald Lenneth Banks was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2005
murder of Linda Volum. This Court’s opinion on direct appeal included the
following regarding the murder and Banks’ subsequent trial:
During the late evening hours of March 9 or the early morning hours of March 10, 2005, the Victim was stabbed to death. The killing probably occurred between midnight and 4:00 a.... More...
   $0 (04-23-2017 - FL)

ELIJAH BROOKINS vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

This case involves a brutal stabbing murder on a Florida Department of
Corrections (DOC) transport bus. The two DOC officers responsible for
transporting the inmates testified that they did not see or hear anything out of the
ordinary during the drive from Jefferson Correctional Institution to the Northwest
Florida Reception Center (NFRC) in Washington County. Both officers t... More...
   $0 (04-22-2017 - FL)

Myron Lorenzo Johnson v. State of Tennessee COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE

On direct appeal, this Court summarized the evidence presented at the Petitioner’s trial as follows:
On July 22, 2001, Detective Brad Corcoran with the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department was called to the scene of an abandoned truck off Old Hickory Boulevard. The body of the victim, Eugene “Juan” McAdams, was discovered in the bed of the truck covered with a white sheet; his ankles and w... More...
   $0 (04-22-2017 - TN)

State of Tennessee v. David G. Jenkins COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE

Mrs. Amanda Matthews, the victim’s wife, testified that at the time of the victim’s death on Saturday, March 23, 2013, they and their two-year-old daughter were living in Cowan, Tennessee. The victim’s truck needed repairs, so they were renting a red Chevrolet Impala. On March 23, the victim left in the Impala between noon and 2:30 p.m. and told Mrs. Matthews that he would not be gone long. More...   $0 (04-22-2017 - TN)

In the Interest of R.L., a/k/a RC, a/k/a R.M. and R.L., children Harris County Courthouse - Houston, Texas

In these accelerated appeals,2 appellant, T.H.L., challenges the trial court’s orders, entered after a bench trial, awarding the Department of Family and Protective Services (“DFPS”) permanent managing conservatorship of her four minor children, R.C.,3 R.L., C.J., and C.C.J. (collectively, “the children”).4 In her sole issue, T.H.L. contends that the trial court erred in appointing DFPS as the chi... More...   $0 (04-21-2017 - TX)

JAMES E. WRIGHT, JR. vs. STATE OF IOWA Judge Overturns Murder Conviction in 2000 Iowa Pub Shooting

In State v. Heemstra, 721 N.W.2d 549, 558 (Iowa 2006), the supreme
court held willful injury cannot serve as the predicate felony for felony murder “if
the act causing willful injury is the same act that causes the victim’s death.” The
court limited application of this new rule “only to the present case and those
cases not finally resolved on direct appeal in which the issue h... More...
   $0 (04-21-2017 - IA)

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