Christa Gail Pike

Started by Peter, March 06, 2007, 10:22:47 PM

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Final death-row appeal of Christa Gail Pike delayed again

Prosecutors: Former DA Dossett's death 'suspicious,' want to exhume body

A years-long legal fight over whether convicted killer Christa Gail Pike's trial was fair just got longer.

Knox County Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz was forced to grant another delay in a hearing to determine whether Pike received a fair trial when she was convicted and sentenced to death in March 1996 for the January 1995 torture slaying of fellow Job Corps student and romantic rival Colleen Slemmer.

A final round of post-conviction appeals is aimed at convincing Leibowitz that her defense team at the time was so derelict as to violate her rights.

Today's delay was prompted by the withdrawal from Pike's defense team of attorney Catherine Brockenborough, who cited problems with her law practice as the reason.

The announcement appeared to upset Pike, who cried and attempted to hug Brockenborough. The move was blocked by guards because of prison security rules.

Leibowitz has rescheduled the hearing, which will last 4 to 5 days, to begin April 7, 2008.

Pike was 18 when she grew jealous of Slemmer over Tadaryl Shipp, 17.

The three and another participant in the killing, Shadolla Peterson, 18, all were students at the now-defunct Job Corps training program for troubled youth.

Court testimony showed that Pike hatched a plan to attack Slemmer, enlisting Shipp and Peterson.

Slemmer, who was 19, was beaten, sliced with a box cutter and meat cleaver, and then bludgeoned to death. A pentagram was carved in her chest.

In July of this year, however, Pike's new taxpayer-funded attorneys sought to show that her prior defenders failed to put on proof that Pike suffered bi-polar disorder and was under the sway of a manipulative, violent Shipp.

Shipp, a defense witness, himself sought to portray Pike as an "edgy" woman who would sometimes "black out" with attacks of rage for which she always was remorseful. He also sought through his testimony to minimize her role in the slaying.

"I carved every last bit of it," Shipp testified of the pentagram.

He also testified that he was the one who brought the meat cleaver and box cutter.

Because of his age, Shipp could not be sentenced to death. He is serving a life sentence.

Peterson, a key witness in the case, walked away with probation.

Geez, delay lawyer = 5yrs minimum


The only good thing about giving someone a sentence that is longer than their life is that they tend to stay in prison.  We had a case here in Nevada a few years ago where the person was sentenced to something like 200 years in prison.  By NV law they have to serve at least 1/2 of the term, so they are never getting out.  Unlike the man who was convicted of murder, given a life sentence and only served 20 years of it and was out at about 55 years old.  Still had a quite a fews years to enjoy himself, which is not fair because the person who's life he took didn't get that chance.  At least here in NV, giving people a sentence of many, many years works better than Life with or without Parole.  People who were setenced to LWOP seem to get out of prison just as often.


Christa Gail Pike broke down in tears today as she listened to herself confess to killing Colleen Slemmer in 1995.

Pike's lawyers played the tape of her confession to Knoxville Police Department Investigator Randy York claiming she was going through mood swings and a distraught emotional state at the time.

York, now retired, said that's not the way he remembers it.

Pike was emotional at times, he said, but acting "very jovial and very cooperative" at times as well. "She was not at all combative," York testified.

Pike also sobs on the tape.

"Where in this statement was the jovial part," her lawyer, post-conviction defender Donald Dawson asked. "We have a woman who seems to be struggling with her composure."

York disagreed.

"I don't detect any of that in here, and I don't think you do either," York said. "She never lost her composure. She was always able to keep talking."

On Jan. 12, 1995, Pike and fellow Job Corps students Tadaryl Shipp and Shadolla Peterson beat and slashed classmate Colleen Slemmer and carved a pentagram on her chest with a box-cutter before killing her at a remote corner of the University of Tennessee's agricultural campus. Pike and Slemmer had competed for Shipp's affection.

Pike was sentenced to death after a 1996 trial, a sentence she's appealing.

A police video shot a few hours after her initial confession shows a calm, dry-eyed, occasionally smiling Pike leading police through the crime scene, pointing out the spot where Slemmer died and miming the motion of killing her.

Testimony is expected to continue until at least 7 this evening.

Prominent Knoxville defense attorney Herbert S. Moncier is expected to testify that he advised Diana McCoy, a defense psychologist who interviewed Pike but never testified at the 1996 trial, that a previous relationship she had with lead prosecutor Bill Crabtree wasn't a conflict of interest.

McCoy testified today that she believes she could have helped convince jurors to spare Pike the death penalty had the defense allowed her to speak to her conclusions regarding Pike.

McCoy put together a three-volume report on Pike's background, including a history of childhood rejection and physical, sexual and drug abuse.

She discussed those findings at length today.

She said her interviews with Pike and those who knew her painted a portrait of a troubled, scared girl of above-average intelligence who would do anything to hang on to a relationship.

Pike reported sometimes she would suffer blackouts just before an angry or violent outburst, McCoy said.

"Once Christa gets mad, it's all over," a friend of Pike's told her.

Pike's current lawyers say that evidence might have saved her life, but Assistant District Attorney General Leland Price says none of McCoy's testimony - or anyone else's - could have overcome Pike's detailed confessions to Knoxville police.

"I read that transcript (of the 1996 sentencing hearing)," McCoy testified Wednesday. "It was so puny I could hardly describe it. After the hearing, I was in shock. Here's this woman sentenced to death, and I had done all this work for her."

Her former lawyers, Bill Talman and Julie Ann Martin Rice, testified earlier this week they didn't call McCoy to testify because her findings might shock the jury and didn't match another expert's diagnosis.

Slemmer's mother, May Martinez, appeared in court Wednesday seeking to take her daughter's skull and the piece of it that Pike kept as a souvenir home to Florida for burial.

Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz says she can't allow that because the skull and its shards remain evidence in the case while it's on appeal.

"It really hurts," Martinez said afterward. "I know my daughter's not going home with me. The only thing I really wanted was to get my daughter's body back."

The scene brought on an outburst of tears and apology from Pike, who's making a last bid to overturn her death sentence for the torture killing of Slemmer, 19.

"She kept saying, 'May, I'm sorry,' " Martinez said. "The skull was right there on the table in front of her, so she couldn't get away from it. I guess she couldn't take that. I feel sorry for her."

Regarding the psychologist's testimony, Pike's attorneys also said Wednesday they found out in the middle of the trial that she'd dated lead prosecutor Bill Crabtree.

McCoy said none of that's true. She said she dated Crabtree briefly about two years before the trial and told the defense team early in the case. She said Talman told her not to worry and that Rice joked at the thought of the couple's sex life.

"The day the guilty verdict came back, Bill Talman called me," McCoy testified. "He was in a total meltdown. He said Bill Crabtree was very upset because (the report) was all hearsay. He said, 'I can't have you testify.' "

The jury sentenced Pike to death the next day. She asked at one point to be executed but later revived her appeals.


Female death row inmate lashes out during appeal

A death row inmate lashed out in court, shouting and sobbing during an appeal on her death sentence for killing an 18-year-old Knoxville Job Corps student.

Christa Gail Pike was 18 when she was sentenced to death for the murder of Colleen Slemmer. She has been in a Knoxville criminal court for the past week on appeal for the 1995 slaying.

She got tired of listening during the 5th day of testimony on Friday and shouted that she was sick of people saying she was a bad person.

But half an hour later, she calmed down and the appeal hearing concluded Friday.


She got tired of listening during the 5th day of testimony on Friday and shouted that she was sick of people saying she was a bad person.

Itīs hard to hear the truth...

Iīm not sure if thereīs a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.


Really don't think that Christa should be granted the privilege of breathing Gods air for much longer.

Maybe, as a last ditch attempt, 'The Poisonous Penguin' could help her pathetic plea?

Charged... Convicted... Sentenced...

Cummon USA - DO IT!!!!!!!!

Peter M.


she was sick of people saying she was a bad person.

when you make the wilful choice to prove that you are not worthy of being deemed a human being, people will take note


I just watched Women on Death Row on TV and this Christa Pike was one of the women on there, my god she is a piece of work isn't she, she said she knows she should be in prison for life without parole but she shouldn't be put to death for what she did, well I think she should be, she even freaked me out, how someone could have a mind like hers is beyond me, she is the devil here on earth damn, why is she still breathing... >:(

When do you think she will be up for executions since there hasn't been one where she is in over 150 years, I am not sure how many years the show is that I just watched but they said if she is executed she will be one of the first people executed in 150 years, why have the death penalty if they don't use it, pointless if you ask me, like her mother said in the show I just watched, her daughter is on death row but she won't be executed because even though she got the death penalty, they hardly execute people there, not theres a point they should think about and maybe start carrying out these executions...



This Christa Pike is one of the worst murderers I have ever read about and seeing her on Women on Death Row today really shocked me, she is so evil and shouldn't be breathing the same air as us, she is sitting on death row and probably will be for the rest of her life as her mother said, because they don't execute people very often where she is, so she might be right about that but I hope they change that and make her the first one to be executed there in 150 years, she deserves to be executed as soon as possible...

Good riddens to bad rubbish I say, so hurry up and execute her so her victims family can have some closure...


Henrik - Sweden

Your information isn't correct. There has been executions in Tennessee since the DP was reinstated in the U.S, albeit only four (4). The last one was Daryl Holton, september 12th 2007.


Thanks for that information Henrik - Sweden, but as I said I am not sure how old this show is before putting in on the TV, also I think they said the last women executed was 150 years ago, its going to be on TV again so I will watch it again and tell you what it says, am sure they said the last women was executed in Tennessee was 150 years ago...



Thanks for that information Henrik - Sweden, but as I said I am not sure how old this show is before putting in on the TV, also I think they said the last women executed was 150 years ago, its going to be on TV again so I will watch it again and tell you what it says, am sure they said the last women was executed in Tennessee was 150 years ago...



"Until 1913, all individuals convicted of a capital offense were hanged.  There are no official records of the number or names of those executed.  From 1913 to 1915, there was no capital punishment in Tennessee.  C. Rye was Governor during the first execution by electrocution.  From 1916 until 1960, 125 persons were executed by electrocution in Tennessee.  In 2000, lethal injection replaced electrocution as the primary method of execution.  In September, 2007 the first electrocution in 47 years was carried out."

Of the 125 persons executed by the state since 1916 none were female.  So it is documented that no woman has been executed by Tennesse since at least 1916.

Hope this helps you some.

"How come life in prison doesn't mean life? Until it does, we're not ready to do away with the death penalty. Stop thinking in terms of "punishment" for a minute and think in terms of safeguarding innocent people from incorrigible murderers."

JESSE VENTURA, I Ain't Got Time to Bleed


Thanks Hutchsmash but I watched Women on Death Row so I could hear again what they said about executions in Tennessee and they said that its been a 150 years since a women has been executed in Tennessee, so when Christa Gail Pike is executed she will be the first women to be executed in 150 years...

I am only telling what I heard on this Women On Death Row Documentary, not saying I am right, only telling you what they said about her and how long its been since a women was executed in Tennessee, thats all...



The youngest woman on Tennessee's death row remains on the road to execution.

Christa Pike was in court Wednesday asking for a new trial.

Defense attorneys say the jury that convicted Pike should have heard testimony about her troubled childhood. They also claimed prosecutorial misconduct in multiple stages of Pike's original trial and ineffective counsel for Pike.

Attorneys also argued the death penalty violates both the Constitution and international law.

In her ruling, Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz found Pike was not entitled to relief.

Pike is on death row for the 1995 torture and murder of fellow Job Corps student Colleen Slemmer.
Another step closer.


Why is it they always say they are retarded, or they had a bad childhood, so F**king what, it doesn't give anyone the right to go out and kill a innocent person  >:(

I watched a documentary about women on death row and she was one of the women they were talking about, she is so guilty and is sitting where she belongs, on death row for what she did to that poor innocent girl...

Not everyone has the perfect childhood, I know I didn't and you don't see me going out and murdering anyone, come on its times for this woman to be strapped to the gaudy and take her punishment, so what if she is the youngest woman on death row, she murdered a innocent person and for what, because she got off on it the sick biatch...

Can't wait until your burning in hell  >:(


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