John David Battaglia - TX - 3/30/16 - Stayed

Started by Jeff1857, September 24, 2009, 01:53:18 PM

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Grinning Grim Reaper

Media Advisory: John David Battaglia scheduled for execution

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - Austin, Texas


John David Battaglia was convicted and sentenced to death in Texas state court for the brutal murders of his two daughters Mary Faith and Liberty, aged nine and six years old, respectively.  The evidence presented at trial is as follows.

Mary Jean Pearl was married to Battaglia for nine years, from 1991 to 2000.  They had two daughters, Mary Faith, who was born in January 1992, and Liberty, who was born in January 1995.  Throughout their marriage, Battaglia was verbally abusive toward Ms. Pearl, and she filed for divorce when she became afraid that Battaglia would be physically violent.  On Christmas morning 1999, before the divorce was final but during the couple's separation, Battaglia went to Ms. Pearl's house to pick up the girls for church.  Battaglia became angry at Ms. Pearl and attacked and beat her in front of the children.  As a result of that incident, Battaglia was charged with assault and placed on probation.

Battaglia's and Ms. Pearl's divorce was final in August 2000.  An Agreed Protective Order was issued at that time which prohibited Battaglia from committing family violence against Ms. Pearl or their daughters, and from stalking, threatening, or harassing them. The order also prohibited Battaglia from possessing a firearm.

Around Easter 2001, Ms. Pearl received a phone message from Battaglia in which he angrily swore at her and called her names.  She reported the call to Battaglia's probation officer, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.  Battaglia learned that his case was being considered for a probation revocation and on Wednesday, May 2, 2001, he found out that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.  He was assured by a police officer that the warrant would not be executed in front of his children and that he could make arrangements with his lawyer to peacefully turn himself in.

Battaglia had plans to have dinner with his daughters that evening.  While making plans on the phone about where to eat, Battaglia told the girls that he was not very hungry because he might be arrested that night and would not see them again for a year or more.  Ms. Pearl dropped the girls off with Battaglia at the agreed meeting place and then went to a friend's house.  When she arrived, she received a message that the girls had called and wanted to ask her something.  Ms. Pearl dialed Battaglia's phone number.  Battaglia answered the phone, which was on the speaker-phone function, and ordered Mary Faith to "ask her."  Mary Faith said, "Mommy, why do you want Daddy to go to jail?"  Ms. Pearl began to tell Battaglia not to do this to the girls, and then she heard Mary Faith say, "No, daddy, please don't, don't do it."  Ms. Pearl yelled into the phone, "Run, run for the door."  She heard gunshots, and Battaglia scream, "Merry fucking Christmas."  After hearing more gunshots, Ms. Pearl hung up and called 911.

The police discovered the girls' bodies in Battaglia's apartment. Nine-year-old Mary Faith had three gunshot wounds, including a shot to her back which severed her spinal cord and ruptured her aorta, a contact shot to the back of her head which exited her forehead, and a shot to her shoulder.  Either of the first two shots would have been rapidly fatal.

Six-year-old Liberty had four gunshot wounds and a graze wound to the top of her head.  One shot entered her back, severed her spinal cord, went through a lung, and lodged in her chest.  After losing about one third of her blood, she received a contact shot to her head which passed through her brain, exited her face, and was immediately fatal.

The girls were shot with a semiautomatic pistol which was found near the kitchen phone.  Mary Faith's body was found by the phone in the kitchen.  Liberty's body was found ten to fifteen feet from the front door.

After shooting his daughters, Battaglia went with a girlfriend to a bar and then to a tattoo parlor where he got tattoos related to his daughters.  Battaglia was arrested next to his truck outside the tattoo parlor.  It took four officers to restrain and handcuff him.  Officers took a fully loaded revolver from Battaglia's truck after his arrest.

Police recovered two rifles, three shotguns, and a pistol (in addition to the murder weapon) from Battaglia's apartment.  The morning after the offense, police retrieved an answering machine from Ms. Pearl's house.  There were two messages from Mary Faith stating that they had a question and asking Ms. Pearl to call them back.  There was also a message from Battaglia, left after the murders, in which he told the girls goodnight, stated that he hoped they were resting in a different place, that he loved them and that they were very brave, and that he wished they had nothing to do with their mother, that she was "evil and vicious and stupid."


The State presented evidence that Battaglia's history of violence predated the relationship involving the victims' mother, his second ex-wife.  The earlier history of violent behavior was presented through the testimony of Battaglia's first ex-wife, Michelle Gheddi.  Ms. Gheddi told the jury that she was married to Battaglia from 1985 to 1987, during which time they had a child named Kristy.  During the couple's marriage, Bo, Ms. Gheddi's son from a previous marriage, also lived with them.   Ms. Gheddi described her family's life with Battaglia as one of increasingly violent episodes on his part.

She first observed Battaglia's violent tendencies during an incident on the road involving strangers.  In February of 1985, the couple was traveling late at night on a highway.  Teenagers in the car ahead of theirs shined a big spotlight at Battaglia.  Battaglia reacted by reaching in a bag for his gun.  Ms. Gheddi was surprised by the presence of the weapon and removed the bag from Battaglia's reach to avoid further trouble.

In July of 1985, when Ms. Gheddi was pregnant with Kristy, Battaglia violently grabbed her, placed his arm around her neck, and made it clear to her that she should not ask him again for his help with a household chore.  There were also incidents during which Battaglia threw Bo against a wall and kicked him hard enough to raise Bo off the floor.  In March of 1986, Ms. Gheddi asked Battaglia for help in a household matter, and he jabbed his finger into her chest, bruising her, as he instructed her to leave him alone.  In June of 1986, Battaglia beat her after he became angry at her disapproval of his interest in attending art school.  In September of 1986, Battaglia became angry at her silence in his presence, struck her in the head, and caused her to drop ten-month-old Kristy, which resulted in Kristy hitting her head against the wall.  The couple separated after this incident.

Once they were separated, Battaglia began stalking Ms. Gheddi.   There were incidents when she would find Battaglia inside her garage when she arrived home.  Battaglia wiretapped her home telephone and, thereafter, it became apparent to her that he had been listening to her telephone conversations with others.  In the latter part of 1986, Battaglia threatened to kill her, giving her descriptive details of how he would do this if she did not resume her relationship with him.

On one occasion, Ms. Gheddi actually found Battaglia standing over her in her bedroom late one night.  He tried to have sexual intercourse with her but she resisted.  He later telephoned her to inform her that her protective order was comical and worthless in protecting her from him.  Later, he threatened her because she had reported this incident to the police.  Specifically, Battaglia called Ms. Gheddi's employer and fabricated a tale of her sexual impropriety with a fellow employee.  He told the employer that he would not spread this information if the charges against him were dropped.  Due to this threatening contact from Battaglia, the other employees were informed that he was a security risk.

In January of 1987, Battaglia encountered Ms. Gheddi while traveling on a highway.  He tried to force her car into the median, gestured toward her as if he were firing a gun at her, and threw a rock at her car.  As a result, Battaglia was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail.  On August 25, 1987, he appeared at Ms. Gheddi's home in violation of the protective order and pushed her down her porch stairs.  She informed the police of the protective order violation.  Battaglia threatened her for having charged him with another offense.  He later found her walking home from a bus stop and beat her until she was unconscious.  He told her that if he had to go to jail, he would make it worth his while.  She was hospitalized for her injuries.  Battaglia then threatened her son, saying he would also beat him the same way.  This incident resulted in Battaglia's assault conviction, for which he was placed on probation.

Ms. Gheddi also told the jury that seven hours before Battaglia killed Mary Faith and Liberty, Battaglia left a message on her telephone recorder, at which time he contemplated the effect the loss of Liberty and Mary Faith would have on Ms. Pearl.  In that message, Battaglia accused Ms. Gheddi of conspiring with Ms. Pearl to have him put in jail.  He said that doing this would ruin his life and his relationship with his daughters and that Ms. Pearl needed to lose her children.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Richard E. Coons also testified for the State.  Dr. Coons concluded that Battaglia killed his children as an act of anger and retribution, to punish Ms. Pearl.  Although Dr. Coons agreed with other psychiatrists who had testified on Battaglia's behalf that Battaglia probably has bipolar disorder, he believed Battaglia has a milder form of it.  Dr. Coons stated that Battaglia has Bipolar II disorder rather than Bipolar I.  Bipolar I is characterized by extremely manic behavior, while those with a Bipolar II disorder have hypomanic, or below manic, episodes which do not interfere with their functioning.  Dr. Coons further testified that Battaglia's conscience would not keep him from committing offenses in the future because "[h]is conscious [sic] didn't keep him from committing the instant offense."  He also had concerns about whether Battaglia would remain on his medication in jail because Battaglia liked the manic states he experienced without the medication.  Dr. Coons stated that Battaglia exhibited a number of characteristics of a person with antisocial personality disorder and that Battaglia rationalized and blamed others for his actions.


On May 10, 2001, Battaglia was indicted in the 363rd Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas, for the capital offense of murdering Mary Faith Battaglia and Liberty Battaglia with a firearm during the same criminal transaction.  After Battaglia pleaded not guilty, a jury found him guilty of the capital offense.  On April 30, 2002, following a separate punishment hearing, the court assessed Battaglia's punishment at death.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Battaglia's conviction and sentence in an unpublished opinion on May 18, 2005.

Battaglia filed a state application for writ of habeas corpus in the trial court on February 17, 2005.  The trial court submitted findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending that Battaglia be denied relief.  The Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the trial court's findings and conclusions and denied Battaglia habeas relief on September 23, 2009.

Battaglia filed a federal habeas petition in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, on September 22, 2010.  On August 19, 2013, a magistrate issued findings, conclusions and a recommendation that Battaglia's petition be denied.  On October 9, 2013, the federal district judge adopted the magistrate's findings and denied Battaglia habeas corpus relief.

Next, Battaglia sought permission to appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  On July 15, 2015, the Fifth Circuit denied Battaglia's request.  Battaglia filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on October 16, 2015.  The Court denied certiorari review on January 11, 2016.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

Execution Watch: John David Battaglia, Texas

Posted on March 29, 2016 by Mark R: Execution Watch Editor

(The definitions below are taken from

Faith: a noun meaning (among others, the most common involving a belief in a deity or a religious teaching) "confidence or trust in a person or thing".

Liberty: a noun meaning (among others, the most common involving a government) "freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint".

Faith and Liberty were also the names of two young girls (ages 9 and 6, respectively), taken from this world way too soon, thanks to Huntsville's March 30th guest of (dis)honor, John David Battaglia.

Family members have killed other family members since Cain murdered Abel.  And children have been the center of parental disputes since parents have had disputes.  Sometimes, tragically, the two meet.

But you will be hard-pressed to find a more cold-hearted family murder than that of the Battaglia children.

Battaglia had Faith and Liberty for a scheduled custody visit.  But on May 2, 2001, Battaglia would place a call to his ex-wife (the girls' mother).  Battaglia would then proceed to destroy Faith's faith and restrain Liberty's liberty by murdering the girls while their mother overheard the murders on the phone.

In Texas, killing children (especially your own) will usually get you a death sentence, and less than one year later (April 2002) that would be the punishment handed down by the jury.

All of Battaglia's appeals have been DENIED.  However, he has persistently claimed that he was suffering from bipolar disorder, and shouldn't be executed for what he did (he also claims that he can't remember a thing about what happened).  I have a close friend with bipolar who had issues with her ex-spouse over their daughter--but she NEVER considered killing her in revenge.

In addition to the tragic story, the bipolar angle, and that it was one of the more notorious murders to come out of Dallas, I've followed this case for another reason:  while prisons tend to be overpopulated with school dropouts and menial laborers, Battaglia had enough education to obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license from the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.  As a Texas CPA licensee myself, Battaglia is a stain on our honorable profession.  The wheels of justice may move slowly but the TSBPA doesn't--roughly one year after his conviction his CPA license was REVOKED.

Sometime after 6PM Huntsville time, Wednesday evening, Battaglia will pay for his crimes.  AND--he won't be able to have his CPA license reinstated.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

And in the never say this coming category...

The Latest: Federal appeals court stops Texas execution

AP News | Mar 30, 2016

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- The Latest on Texas Execution (all times local):

11 a.m.

A federal appeals court has stopped the scheduled lethal injection of a former accountant set to die for gunning down his two young daughters in Dallas 15 years ago while his ex-wife -- their mother -- was listening helplessly on the phone.

Attorneys for 60-year-old John David Battaglia argued he deserved a court-appointed attorney to investigate and a fair hearing to determine claims he may be mentally incompetent for execution.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, halting the punishment about seven hours before Battaglia could have been taken to the Texas death chamber Wednesday evening.

Battaglia was convicted of killing his 9- and 6-year-old daughters. Authorities said the slayings were revenge for their mother's complaints to Battaglia's parole officer that led to a warrant for his arrest.

If this guy doesn't get snuffed why the hell is there a DP?
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

Word is that Texas will not appeal the 5th Circuit's decision.  WTF!
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?


You are joking me?????

This bag of sh1t needs to go immediately

How can there possibly be any reason for a stay.  Murdering w@nker killed his children. 
What part of that sentence do the idiots not understand?


OMG can't be true- and this in the great state of texas
Born in Berlin, American at heart


He murdered his own two innocent children.  This scumbag deserves the DP.  What is TX and the 5th Circuit court thinking?? Or not thinking!!    Disgusting.  Child murders should be first in line.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money - Margaret Thatcher
The most terrifying words in the English language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan


This was in today's Supreme Court Orders:

The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied.

Grinning Grim Reaper

John Battaglia has a new execution date

 The man who murdered his young daughters out of revenge while their mother listened over the phone has a new execution date.

 State District Judge Robert Burns scheduled the execution for Dec. 7.

 That doesn't necessarily mean the lethal dose of drugs will be administered inside the state's death chamber in Huntsville. A federal court has ordered a hearing to look into Battaglia's claims of mental incompetency. The execution date had to be set before the hearing could take place.

 Battaglia, now 61, was scheduled to be executed in March but won a last-minute stay from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals so his lawyer could pursue the incompetency claims.

 No date has been set for the hearing in Burns' court.

 Battaglia was sentenced to death for killing Faith, 9, and Liberty, 6, at his Deep Ellum loft in May 2001. He arranged a call with his ex-wife, who listened on the phone as the older girl begged: "No, Daddy! Don't do it!"

 In a 2014 interview with The Dallas Morning News, Battaglia said he was "a little bit in the blank" about what happened to Faith and Liberty.

 "I don't feel like I killed them," he said.

 He called his daughters his "best little friends," just the "nicest little kids" imaginable, and said he doesn't grieve for them because they remain with him.

 "Why would I worry about where they are now?" he asked. "We're all here, we're all gone at the same time. I'm not worried about it."

Merry Christmas Scumbag  8)

Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

The TCCA just ruled Battaglia competent and remanded the case back to the trial court to set an execution date.

Couldn't happen to a bigger POS...nail him Texas.  This guy is like two Ronald Phillips.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?


give the scumbag a face ...
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

Grinning Grim Reaper

Feb. 1 Execution Date for Texas Man Who Killed Daughters

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- An execution date has been set for a Dallas man convicted of fatally shooting his two young daughters more than 16 years ago while their mother listened helplessly over the phone.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the agency has received court documents setting John Battaglia for lethal injection Feb. 1.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in September that the 62-year-old Battaglia is competent to be executed. The appeals court had halted Battaglia's scheduled December 2016 execution to review his competency after his attorney had appealed a lower court judge's ruling that Battaglia was mentally competent.

Battaglia was convicted of capital murder for the May 2001 deaths of his 6- and 9-year-old daughters at his Dallas apartment.

The world will be a much better place after Texas snuffs this asshole...and I hope it hurts like a bastard.
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?


This guy is a poster boy for the death penalty.  Those two poor little girls and the scumbag takes no responsibility.  This is someone only Sister Prejean could love.
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money - Margaret Thatcher
The most terrifying words in the English language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

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