Justin C. Anderson
Date of Crime: 10/12/2000
Anderson approached 87-year-old Clara Creech while she was gardening in her yard. Anderson shot Creech in the head and then burglarized Creech’s home. During police questioning, Anderson admitted killing Creech, told police there was no particular reason why he choose to kill Creech, and then led police to the gun he used to kill Creech. Anderson was also found guilty of attempted capital murder for shooting Roger Solvey during a robbery that occurred less than a week before killing Creech. Anderson’s first death sentence for killing Creech was overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court because the jury did not consider mitigating circumstances. The Arkansas verdict form requires the jury to check one of four options regarding mitigating circumstances. The jury selected the option that no mitigating evidence was presented. However, Anderson had presented evidence that his mother was mentally retarded, he was put into the foster care system, and he was abused. Another option the jury could have selected was that the evidence presented was not convincing.
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the October 1975 shooting death of Wesley Noble, a 76-year-old retired farmer. Witnesses said Mr. Noble pleaded for his life just before he was killed during the armed robbery of a grocery store in Casscoe. Clark was one of three men from Detroit involved in the robbery, in which a second man was also killed, five people were wounded, and a woman was raped. All were robbed of jewelry and money. Mr. Pickens was 21 at the time. Clark's two companions also were convicted of capital murder. Edward Pickens was sentenced to death and has been executed. Vincent Gooch, now 42, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life without parole. Clark is currently housed in Michigan serving a life sentence for another crime.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1996 death of Holly Strickland and received a life without parole sentence. Court documents show that, on May 18, 1996, Collins shot Strickland when she answered the door of a house where she was staying in Wynne.
Roger Louis Coulter
On October 27, 1989, petitioner was convicted by the Ashley County Circuit Court of capital murder and sentenced to death for killing a five-year-old girl during the course of, or in furtherance of, raping her.
Joe Lewis Dansby
Convicted and sentenced to Death after his conviction in Miller County in April, 1997, for the 1992
murders of Jeff Lewis, 23, and Malissa Clark, 21, also of rural Nevada County.
Don William Davis
Davis was sentenced to death for the 1990 slaying of Jane Daniel of Rogers.
Sentenced to Death 4/08. Decay killed Kevin Jones and Kendall Rice in a Fayetteville apartment in April 2007, shooting both in the face with a .40-caliber handgun. Decay killed them because they disrespected him by stealing marijuana and a pistol from him, prosecutor John Threet said during the trial.
A Benton County jury has sentenced a man to death. Erickson Dimas-Martinez was found guilty last week for the capital murder of 17-year old Derrick Jefferson. During closing arguments attorneys encouraged the group to carefully consider everything brought up in the trial. Prosecuting attorney Van Stone told jurors to remember the defendant saying "it's nothing" after shooting and killing Jefferson and showed jurors the picture of Dimas-Martinez wearing the victim's hat two days after the murder.
Defense attorney Katherine Street also spoke with jurors and said "this is tough, it doesn't get harder" in reference to the death penalty decision.
Sentenced to Death 4/1/10.
Damien Wayne Echols
Echols in of the West Memphis 3. On May 6, 1993, the bodies of three eight-year-old boys (Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore) were found in a creek in Robin Hood Hills near West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted in 1994 for the murders. Damien Echols was sentenced to death and Jason Baldwin to life imprisonment at their joint trial. Misskelley was tried separately and sentenced to life in prison.
Convicted and sentenced to death in the 1994 rape and murder of security guard Laurie White at a North Little Rock Mall. Sentenced to Death 1999.
Jack Gordon Greene
On July 26, 1991, Mr. Greene was arrested in Norman, Oklahoma, for his role in the July 23, 1991
slaying of Sidney Burnett in Arkansas.
Timothy Lamont Howard
Tim Howard was an anomaly in southeast Arkansas: a black man who socialized mainly with whites. He married a white woman. He had affairs with white women. The people he dealt drugs with were white. His closest friends, Brian and Shannon Day, were white. On Saturday, Dec. 13, 1997, an anonymous caller notified the sheriff s office for Little River County that blood was dripping out of a U-Haul rental truck parked on Howard’s property. Police drove to the scene, a farm in the tiny town of Ogden (pop. 126), about three miles from the Texas border and 20 miles from the border with Oklahoma. After breaking the padlock on the truck, deputies found the body of Brian Day. He’d been beaten severely and shot in the head with a .38 caliber bullet. When officers drove to the Days’ home to inform Shannon Day of her husband’s murder, they found her dead as well. Shannon’s body was slumped in a bedroom closet, covered with various items, including a mattress and some picture frames. Trevor Day, the couple’s seven-month-old son, was found in a zipped bag in another room, beneath a pile of clothes. A cord was tied around the baby’s neck, but he was alive. Four days later, police arrested Timothy Lamont Howard, a 28-year-old with no prior convictions. They charged him with the Days’ murders and with the attempted murder of young Trevor. Two years passed before Howard’s case went to trial, but when it did, in December 1999, a jury quickly found Howard guilty. It sentenced him to death for each of the Days’ murders and to an added thirty years in prison for the attempted murder of their child.
Dorothy Lawson testified that she had been assisting Bill Burton, age 79, her deceased husband's brother-in-law, in his rehabilitation following hip surgery. Mrs. Lawson was at Mr. Burton's trailer home the night of April 2, 2001, and was watching television with Mr. Burton when she heard someone knock on the door. It was about 7:45 p.m. but still light outside. She opened the front door, and a man pushed passed her. She recognized the man as the person she had seen next door. She later identified that person as Mr. Isom. He walked over to Mr. Burton and, standing near him, said, "I want some money." Mr. Burton replied that he currently had no money but that his social security check was coming tomorrow. Mr. Isom pulled a pair of broken scissors from his pants' back pocket and threatened Mr. Burton. Mr. Burton gave him two $100 bills and another forty dollars. Mr. Isom became angry and said he wanted more. He made Mr. Burton stand up and walk towards the bedroom. He then made Mr. Burton lie down on the floor in the hallway. Mr. Isom next grabbed Mrs. Lawson and told her to remove her pants and underwear and lie down in the hallway near Mr. Burton. Mr. Isom raped her vaginally, forced her to have oral sex with him, and raped her anally. During the rapes, Mrs. Lawson testified that she could clearly see his face. When she complained about the pain, Mr. Isom said: "It's going to be worse than this before the night's over." There was a knock at the back door, and Mr. Isom said: "Don't say a word. If you do, I'll kill you. I'll kill you now." Whoever was at the back door apparently left. Mr. Isom forced Mrs. Lawson into a closet. When she later looked out and told Mr. Isom to stop standing on Mr. Burton's head because he was old, Mr. Isom forced her back into the closet and said: "I know he's old. That's why I want to hurt him." She next saw Mr. Isom lying on top of Mr. Burton. She attacked Mr. Isom and in the process cut her hand on his scissors. She bled on Mr. Isom, which enraged him, and he said: "You're going to get it now." He demanded the diamond rings worn by Mr. Burton. Mrs. Lawson gave Mr. Isom her ring instead. Mr. Isom took her into the bedroom and knocked her unconscious. When she awoke, Mr. Isom was choking her. Mrs. Lawson testified that she could plainly see his face. She passed out again, and when she awoke some time later, she was alone. There was warm blood on the back of her head and rattling in her chest due to internal bleeding. She discovered that she was paralyzed on one side. On April 3, 2001, Erma Shook, a neighbor and relative of Bill Burton's, entered the side door of his trailer home after 8:00 a.m. and heard Mrs. Lawson crying for help. Ms. Shook dialed 9-1-1 from Mr. Burton's trailer home. Donald King, a patrol sergeant with the Monticello Police Department, was the first to arrive at the scene. He testified that he found Mr. Burton dead, lying on the floor in the hallway, and Mrs. Lawson lying on the floor in the master bedroom. The cause of death of Mr. Burton was later determined by associate medical examiner, Dr. Charles Kokes, to be multiple sharp and blunt force injuries. Mrs. Lawson told Sergeant King that a black male who lived next door was the assailant.
Alvin Bernal Jackson
Jackson was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1996 in the November 1995 stabbing death of Sgt. Scott Grimes, 41, at the Department of Correction’s Tucker Unit. At the time, Jackson was serving life in prison without parole in the 1990 slaying of Little Rock businessman Charles R. Colclasure, 47.
Stacey E. Johnson
Stacey Eugene Johnson was convicted of the murder of Carol Heath and sentenced to death in 1994.
On the morning of April 2, 1993, a friend discovered Carol Heath’s body in the living room of Heath’s apartment in DeQueen, Arkansas. When the police removed Heath’s two children from the home, Ashley Heath, then six years old, told Heath’s friend that a man had broken into the home during the night.
Ashley was interviewed by Arkansas state police investigator Hayes McWhirter a few hours later. Ashley told McWhirter that a black male with “a girl sounding name” had come to the house during the night. Ashley said that the man, who was wearing a green shirt and sweater, told Heath that he had just been released from jail, and said that the man was mad at Heath for dating another man, Branson Ramsey. Ashley said that after her mother and the man fought, she saw her mother on the floor bleeding, and that the man was next to her mother, holding a knife. Johnson was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 14th, 1993, after falsely identifying himself to officers during a traffic stop. According to one officer,
Johnson offered each officer $5000 to let him go, and told the officers that he had killed someone in Arkansas. Johnson was taken into custody and returned to Arkansas.
Jack Harold Jones Jr.
Convicted and sentenced to Deathfor raping and murdering a bookkeeper and beating her 11-year-old daughter. Jones, who is 43, was convicted in 1996 of capital murder, rape and criminal attempt to commit murder in the killing of Mary Phillips and the beating of her daughter, Lacy. On June 6th, 1995, 34-year-old Mary Phillips and her daughter, Lacy, were at a Bald Knob accounting office when Jones entered the office and robbed them. Lacy lost consciousness and was left for dead. When she awoke, police were taking photographs of her. Mary Phillips was found nude from the waist down with a cord from a nearby coffee pot wrapped around her neck. She also had been hit about the head and had bruises on her arms and back.
Larry Jones was convicted on three counts of capital murder for the deaths of his wife, Sandra Jones, and her two sons, Courtney Jones, 17, and Daron Davis, 10. For his wife's murder, Jones was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole; for the murders of the two boys, Jones received two sentences of death by lethal injection. Sandra Jones spent the evening of April 10, 1998, at the house of her brother-in-law, Gary Jones, visiting and drinking with several friends. She left for home shortly after 10:30 that night. About two hours later, Larry Jones showed up at Gary's house; Larry told his brother he had "just killed all three of them." Larry asked his brother to comeback to his house with him and to provide him with an alibi. On the way back to Larry's house, he told Gary that Sandra had come home and taken a bath; while she was bathing, he claimed he inspected her underwear and found "some discharge" in them. Larry Jones later gave the police a different story, stating Sandra came into the bedroom, woke him up, and told him that she wanted to break up with him. When he asked why, she allegedly said that she had been unfaithful to him and threw a pair of panties in his face. During their conversation, Jones had been "fixing on" a stack of videotapes with a butterfly knife. As Sandra continued to taunt him about her infidelity, Jones said, he hit her. "I thought I was hitting her with my right hand ... the hand I had my butterfly knife in. I hit her twice. I thought I was hitting her in the face area, but it turned out that I hit her twice in the neck." Sandra died of a single slicing stab wound that penetrated four and a half inches through her neck. Jones further claimed that the two boys came in while he and Sandra were fighting and that he only swung at them to push them away from him. Courtney died in the kitchen, having been struck twice with the knife; his right carotid artery was severed with a blow that sliced approximately four and three-eighths inches through his neck. Daron, whose body was found on the floor next to his bed in the front bedroom, sustained four wounds; his jugularvein was cut, and the muscles that supported his larynx were severed. Gary Jones later testified that it looked like "his throat was almost cut off." Larry Jones opened a window in a back bedroom, and then called the police to report that someone had broken into his house and murdered his family. When the police arrived, Gary Jones told them that his brother had confessed to the killings. Larry was arrested, given his Miranda warnings, and taken to the police station. Following a jury trial in February of 1999, Jones was convicted on all three counts of capital murder. The jury found that four aggravating circumstances existed and no mitigating factors were present; thus, they sentenced Jones to death for the murders of Courtney Jones and Daron Davis and to life in prison for the murder of Sandra Jones.
Timothy Wayne Kemp
In October of 1993, police found the bodies of David Wayne Helton, Robert "Sonny" Phegley, Cheryl Phegley, and Richard "Bubba" Falls in a trailer in Jacksonville, Arkansas. All four victims had been shot, and all but Falls had been shot more than once. Another victim, Becky Mahoney, was also shot but hid in a bedroom closet during the shootings and survived. Mahoney later identified her boyfriend, Timothy Wayne Kemp, as the perpetrator. In November of 1994, Kemp was convicted of four counts of capital murder and sentenced to death on each count.
Convicted and sentenced to Death 5/09 for the murder of Randy Walker. Lacy hit Walker with a fireplace poker, stabbed him with a knife, slit his throat and then set fire to Walker's mobile home. Lacy and Broderick "Brody" Laswell of Farmington intended to rob Walker but only made off with $20 dollars from Walker's wallet and a .22-caliber gun, according to testimony. Police found Walker's badly burned body lying on the floor of the master bedroom in his trailer on Beaver Hollow Road about 7 p.m. Aug. 30, 2007 long after a fire burned out. Autopsy results showed Walker died of blunt force trauma to the head and torso and stab wounds to the chest and neck. The autopsy indicated he was dead when the fire began, according to court documents.
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the Feb. 9, 1993, beating and strangling death of Debra Reese, 26, in the Sunnyside addition, where he had attacked several other women. He was also convicted of raping two Jacksonville women and was tried for the murder of Christine Lewis, daughter of the late Alderman Robert Lewis. Lee was also suspected of killing a Jacksonville prostitute and dumping her body in a shed near the railroad tracks. Lewis, 22, was abducted from her Sunnyside home in November 1989 as her 3-year-old child watched. She was raped and strangled and her body dumped in the closet of an abandoned home. The jury could not agree on a verdict in that trial, but prosecutors decided not to retry him when he received the death sentence in the Reese case and was convicted for raping two women. DNA evidence tied Lee to the murders and rapes. Reese was struck 36 times with a tire tool her husband gave her for protection while he was out of town on a truck driving job. Lee, who had just been paroled after serving time for burglary, was arrested an hour after the murder when witnesses reported seeing him walking the street.
was sentenced to death on December 12, 2008 for the murder of University of Arkansas student Katie Wood. Marcyniuk broke into Wood's apartment the morning of March 9 and waited for her to come home. The two had dated previously, but Wood had broken up with Marcyniuk some time berfore. During testimony, Marcyniuk said he didn't remember much, only wrestling with Wood on the kitchen floor. Then he said he remembered seeing blood everywhere and that he then dragged Wood to the bathroom and then crawled out the window.The basis for the death penalty sentence was the especially cruel and depraved manner in which Marcyniuk killed Wood and his prior felony conviction involving the use or threat of violence against a former girlfriend who rejected him.
McGehee was convicted by a Boone County jury on Jan. 9, 1998, of capital murder and kidnapping in the August 1996 death of John Melbourne Jr., 15. McGehee, then 21, was the leader of a group of six friends — teens and young adults — who lived together in a house in Harrison and survived by cashing stolen and forged checks. On Aug. 19, 1996, McGehee sent Melbourne, the youngest of the group, into Harrison to cash a stolen check. The boy attracted the suspicion of a store manager who alerted police, who questioned Melbourne and released him into his father’s custody after he told the officers about stolen property at the house. The other residents, angry that Melbourne had “snitched,” later lured him to the house, where they beat him. The group then bound his hands and took him to an abandoned house in Omaha, where they beat him again, cut him and burned him. Finally, McGehee and two others took turns strangling him until he died.
James Aaron Miller
Convicted and sentenced to death in the murder of Bridgette Barr, 28, Sydney Barr, 5, and Garrett Barr, 2. Police said at the time that Barr's two children were visiting their mother for the Christmas holiday season, and normally lived with their father in Muldrow, Okla. Authorities found the bodies Dec. 26, 2006, after police were called by Miller's father, who asked that police check on the family. Autopsy results showed that Bridgette Barr was strangled, Sydney was stabbed in the neck and Garrett was smothered. The autopsy showed the 2-year-old's body was placed for a time in a heated oven but was found by police in a bathtub. A police report said Miller lived with the bodies for about five days before their discovery. Investigators said Miller confessed to killing the mother and daughter but said he didn't remember killing Garrett, though he assumed he must have done it. Police who searched the home found a bottle of window cleaner, allegedly used by Miller to try to clean up blood stains. Officers said there were signs the walls and carpeting had been cleaned as well.
Update: Arkansas Supreme Court Tossed Death Sentence on 1/6/10.
Convicted of capital murder and sentenced to Death for the February 2001 mutilation death of Marie Cholette, 46, of Fort Worth, Texas, at a transient camp near Van Buren.
Terrick Terrell Nooner
Nooner was convicted and sentenced to death for the March 1993 robbery and murder of 22-year-old Scot Stobaugh.
Roderick L. Rankin
Convicted of capital murder and sentenced to Death in a 1994 triple homicide in Pine Bluff.
Sentenced to day for the May 1993 shooting death of Gary Turner in Pine Bluffs. He and a friend, Alford Goodwin, looking for quick money, had waited for a target by an ATM machine at Fifth and Chestnut streets in Pine Bluff. A similar scheme had failed the previous week when an ATM user floored the gas before Goodwin and Reams could get to him. This time the pair, with a .32 pistol in tow, were determined to get what they wanted. And though it was not in the plan to kill someone, that's what happened when Goodwin, who handled the weapon, demanded cash from the driver, Gary Turner. Turner resisted and was murdered by the duo.
Karl Roberts, 35, was convicted in May 2000 by a Polk County Circuit Court jury of capital murder in the May 17, 1999, rape and strangling of his 12-year-old niece, Andi Brewer. Roberts during the July 2000 sentencing phase of his trial told the court, "I want to die." Her body was found May 17, 1999, two days after disappearing from a relative's home in Hatfield in Polk County. Her body was found near Cove in a clear-cut area. Roberts' defense attorney argued he suffered a head injury when hit by a dump truck at age 12 and lost 15 percent of his brain, including a portion tied to the ability to understand consequences for one's actions. Prosecutors argued Roberts knew right from wrong. After his sentence, Roberts waived his rights to any appeals. A judge, however, said his sentence would automatically be appealed to the state Supreme Court. The high court in April reviewed Roberts' case and in a 6-1 decision upheld the death sentence.
Derek Gibson Sales
Was sentenced to death in the slaying of 56-year-old Willie York, a bootlegger who sold beer by the can in the dry county. Authorities said York was beaten and stabbed.
Sales was arrested in York's home a day after the April 16, 2005 slaying. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, and also received a life sentence on an aggravated robbery charge after the court determined he was a habitual offender.
At the time of the slaying, Sales had escaped from the Warren jail where he had been awaiting transfer to the state prison system to serve a 75-year term on a variety of convictions.
Raymond C. Sanders Jr.
Convicted of the murders of Nancy and Charles Brannon on February 28, 1991 and sentenced on Aug. 31, 1992, to die for the gunshot murders of Nancy and Charles Brannon of Malvern.
Charles Brannon’s body was found on church grounds in Rockport on Nov. 21, 1989. Nancy Brannon’s body was found two days later a short distance from where police found the Brannons’ pickup truck on Grigsby Ford Road in Malvern.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1994 for the July 1993 brutal murder of Jo Ann Kennedy, a convenience store clerk.
Thomas Leo Springs
On January 21, 2005, Mr. Springs rammed his car head-on into another car holding three individuals: his wife, Christina Springs; Mrs. Springs’s sister, Kelly Repking; and Mrs. Repking’s three-year-old daughter, Paige Garner. After the collision, Mr. Springs exited his vehicle and smashed in the passenger-side window next to Mrs. Springs. After repeatedly bashing her face into the dashboard, he returned to his car and retrieved a knife. He then returned to the broken window and stabbed Mrs. Springs multiple times. Mrs. Springs died as a result.
Jason Lee Taylor
Convicted of capital murder and kidnapping in the death of 28-year-old Derrick Utsey.
Prosecutors say a motive is unclear in the October 2008 slaying. Another man, 29-year-old Bradley Carter, awaits trial on capital murder charges in Utsey's death.
Sentenced to Death 6/26/09.
Date of crime: 2/11/2003
Thessing went to 67-year-old Mattie Bassinger’s home to rob and beat her to death. Thessing stole Bassinger’s car and planned to return to her home to set the house on fire to make the death appear accidental. Thessing was arrested after he wrecked Bassinger’s car. A friend testified that Thessing confessed to killing an elderly woman and gave her Bassinger’s food and a television set. Thessing had a long record of felony convictions. He maintained his innocence and testified twice he was a victim of a satanic conspiracy.
Mickey David Thomas
Date of Crime: 6/14/2004
Thomas went on a crime spree in Oklahoma and Arkansas which included the murders of Mona Shelton and Donna Cary in Arkansas. Thomas shot Shelton and Cary execution style while robbing a monument store. Thomas then stole a car at gunpoint and was apprehended after a police chase. Thomas was also charged in Oklahoma with the murder of Geraldine Jones, which occurred during a home invasion robbery. Thomas’ criminal history included kidnapping and robbery convictions. Thomas had served nine years in prison and was released from prison a year before murdering Shelton and Cary.
Bruce Earl Ward
Convicted of the capital murder of eighteen-year-old Rebecca Doss and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Doss was a clerk at a Jackpot Inc. conveniance store working the overnight shift. Ward was arrested when a police officer had stopped because the store was open but he could not see a clerk inside. He stopped Ward after seeing him walking away from the restrooms toward a motorcycle and arrested him after finding the body.
Frank Williams Jr.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the fatal shooting farmer Clyde Spence of Bradley during a 1992 robbery. Williams had been fired earlier from a prison work-release job at Spence's farm. On Oct. 7, 1992, Spence fired Williams from his job after he broke a tractor. Just before midnight, Williams returned and shot Spence with a .25-caliber pistol. Police later arrested Williams and found the pistol in his pocket.
Williams received a death sentence for the October 3rd, 1999, slaying of 57 year old Cecil Boren after Williams broke out of the Cummins Unit at
Varner. He had been serving a sentence of life without parole in the slaying of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique "Nikki" Hurd.
Marcel Wayne Williams
On November 20, 1994, Stacy Errickson, the victim, on her way to work, stopped at the Jacksonville Shellstop for gas. The time was approximately 6:45 a.m. Williams approached Errickson's vehicle, drew a firearm, and forced her to move from the driver's seat to the passenger's side. Williams then drove Errickson's car away from the convenience store. Williams then took Errickson to several automated teller machines and coerced her to attempt withdrawals. A total of eighteen transactions yielded the sum of $350. The last transaction occurred at 7:37 a.m. These transactions were recorded by security cameras at several banking facilities. Stacy Errickson did not make it to work that day, nordid she pickup her child from the babysitter at the end of the day.
Police arrested Williams on an outstanding warrant on November 29, 1994, and questioned him based on physical evidence linking him to two other assaults on women. During the course of an intensive interrogation lasting some thirteen hours, Williams admitted having abducted Errickson from the convenience store and robbing her through ATM withdrawals. However, he denied any sexual assault and assured the officers that to the best of his knowledge Errickson was alive. Appellant attempted to implicate others as accomplices asserting that they were the ones responsible for physically harming her. Based upon information Williams supplied, the police recovered a sheet matching Williams description as one he used in connection with the abduction and also recovered a gold ring which Williams identified. On December 5, 1994, police discovered Stacy Errickson's body buried in a shallow grave. Other evidence adduced at trial indicated that witnesses Tammy Victoria and Tammy Keenahan identified Williams as a man they had seen on the morning of November 20, 1994, at the Shellstop. They also testified that after they left the station he followed them in a car and attempted to stop them until they sought refuge at the air force base. Williams subsequently returned to the Shellstop and abducted Stacy Errikson.
Jimmy Don Wooten
On August 5, 1994, David LaSalle, Henry Teb Porter, and Porter’s eighteen year-old daughter, Molly, were hiking on a forest trail near the Long Pool Recreation area in Pope County, Arkansas, when they encountered Wooten riding a six-wheel all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”). According to Porter and Molly, this was the fourth time that day the group had encountered Wooten. The group’s first encounter with Wooten consisted of him driving past them at a fairly high rate of speed without acknowledging their presence. When the group next encountered Wooten, he stopped and talked to them for a few minutes in a “very cordial” fashion and gave them directions to the Long Pool area where they were going to meet others for a
picnic. The group’s third encounter with Wooten occurred about three to five minutes after the second encounter and consisted of him again driving past them at a high rate of speed without acknowledging their presence and, according to Porter, “looking agitated.” The group’s fourth encounter with Wooten took place about two minutes later and began tragically and without warning. As the group was continuing their hike on the trail, Porter heard multiple gunshots and saw LaSalle slump to the ground, having been fatally shot in the head. Porter felt a “bee sting” on his shoulder – the result of a gunshot – and grabbed Molly by the arm, pulling her down. Porter looked in the direction from which the shots came and saw Wooten in a slight crouch with both hands on a semi-automatic pistol. Porter felt something hit him in his face and his head was knocked back into the dirt. When blood began “gushing out,” Porter realized he had been shot again. As Wooten was attempting to reload his pistol, Porter jumped up and ran at Wooten.
Molly was lying on the ground next to LaSalle and screaming at Wooten not to shoot her father. Wooten ran away from Porter as he continued to attempt to reload the pistol and hid behind a tree. Porter then took the keys from Wooten’s ATV and ran into the woods saying, “Now try to get out of here.” Having apparently successfully reloaded his pistol, Wooten stepped out from behind the tree and pointed the gun at Porter. Porter ran for a distance and then stopped to see Molly states she later heard someone come back and start the ATV and drive off. According to a law enforcement investigator and a friend of Wooten’s who was familiar with Wooten’s ATV, it is possible to start that particular vehicle with just
a regular lawnmower key or knife blade. According to law enforcement investigators, Wooten claimed that an individual that “looked just like him” stole his ATV, that he heard shots and thought the individual that stole his ATV was shooting at him, and that he later found his ATV missing keys and with blood on it and the pistol on the floor without its magazine. What Wooten was doing because Molly was still lying beside LaSalle. Wooten began firing again and hit Porter in the forearm. Upon being hit, Porter continued running and ended up at a farm where he summoned help. Molly, after vainly trying to assist LaSalle, ran from the scene and ultimately hid under a rock on a small cliff. Porter accompanied authorities back to the scene of the shooting and Molly was soon located unharmed. Both Porter and Molly positively identified Wooten as the assailant.