Did You Know?

Four men and no women have been

executed in the United States in 2017.

Scheduled Executions

Updated: February 10, 2017 

Please pray for these men and women. Pray for salvation if unsaved, peace if saved, and that the innocent shall be revealed before they are executed. "The Lord is slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 ESV).

February 2017

  • 02 - John Ramirez, Texas - Stayed
  • 07 - Tilon Carter, Texas - Stayed
  • 15 - Raymond Tibbetts, Ohio - Rescheduled to April, 12, 2017
  • 15 - Ronald Phillips, Ohio - Rescheduled from January 12, 2017, Stayed, Rescheduled to May 10, 2017

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Updated: Monday, February 13, 2017  12:18 pm EST

 

Rolando Ruiz, Jr., is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Forty-four-year-old Rolando is convicted of murdering 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez on July 14, 1992, in San Antonio, Texas.  Rolando has spent the last 21 years of his life on Texas’ death row.

 

As a child, Rolando was allegedly abused, which led him to be addicted to drugs and alcohol.  Rolando also claims that because of his excessive use of drugs and alcohol, he has difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality.  Rolando dropped out of school following the 10th grade.  He worked as a laborer prior to his arrest.  Rolando has previously been arrested and served time for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and stealing her vehicle.  While in prison, he assaulted a jailer.

 

In 1992, Rolando Ruiz was hired by Michael and Mark Rodriguez to kill Michael’s wife, Theresa.  Michael agreed to pay Ruiz $1,000 up front, with an additional $1,000 being paid once the job was completed.  Prior to the hiring of Ruiz, Michael took out a $150,000 life insurance policy on his wife and himself, in addition to the $250,000 policy he already had.

 

Michael planned for Ruiz to rob and murder Theresa on July 10, 1992, when she arrived for work at a restaurant.  Ruiz called off the attack when he spotted a security guard.  Michael then asked Ruiz to kill Theresa when they were leaving the movies later that night.  Michael and Theresa never showed up at the movies.

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February 14, 2017

 

James Eugene Bigby is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Sixty-one-year-old James is convicted of the murder of 26-year-old Michael Trekell, Michael’s 4-month-old son Jayson Kehler, Calvin Wesley Crane, and Frank “Bubba” Johnson, on December 23-24, 1987, in Tarrant County, Texas.  James has spent the last 25 years of his life on Texas’ death row

 

James had a difficult upbringing.  His mother allegedly drank while pregnant with him and breastfed him until the age of seven.  James’ mother also gave away his siblings to be raised by other relatives.  He grew up fearing that his mother would abandon him, as his father had.  Additionally, his mother and siblings all suffer from mental health issues and have struggled to live successful lives.  James had previously been hospitalized multiple times for schizo-affective disorder and depression.  He had also received electroshock therapy during one of his stays.  James had previously been arrested and served time for various robberies and a sexual assault charge.  James dropped out of school following the ninth grade and worked at Frito-Lay prior to his arrest as an auto mechanic.

 

In late December 1987, James Bigby had a pending worker’s compensation claim against his employer, Frito-Lay.  Bigby was paranoid that several of his friends were conspiring against him to thwart his claim.  On December 23, 1987, Bigby bought two steaks and took them to the home of his friend, Michael Trekell, who also had a four-month-old son, Jayson, in Fort Worth, Texas.  While Michael prepared the steaks, Bigby shot and killed him.  Bigby then drowned Jayson in the sink.

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February 15, 2017

 

Gary Otte was scheduled to be executed at 10 am on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio.  Gary’s execution has been rescheduled to June 13, 2017.  Forty-five-year-old Gary is convicted of the murder of 61-year-old Robert Wasilkowski on February 12, 1992, and for the murder of 45-year-old Sharon Kostura on February 21, 1992, both in Parma, Ohio.  Gary has spent the last 24 years of his life on Ohio’s death row.

 

Gary allegedly had a troubled childhood.  He was depressed and began using drugs at an early age.  Gary had difficulty fitting in with other children, as noted by his grade school teachers.  As an adult, he frequently drank alcohol and used cannabis and cocaine.

 

 On February 11, 1992, Gary Otte stole a 1962 Chevrolet Impala and a .22 revolver from his grandfather in Terre Haute, Indiana.  He also stole two credit cards from his aunt and uncle.  The following day, Otte arrived in Parma, Ohio, where he attempted to use the credit cards, only to have them confiscated at the stores when they were identified as having been stolen.

 

Otte then went to visit his friend Mike Carroll, who lived with his fiancee Jerry Cline, in Parma.  Jerry was not at the apartment, but Otte found him at a local bar.  Otte asked if Jerry was “still robbing people.”  Jerry told Otte about two people he planned to rob near his apartment: an old man that lived diagonally across from Mike and Jerry, and a woman who lived one building over.

 

Otte later returned to the apartment complex alone.  Otte knocked on Mike’s door, however the couple was not home.  Otte then knocked on their neighbor’s door, Mary Ann Campangna.  When Mary answered, Otte told her that he was looking for Mike because his car had overheated and he needed oil.  When Mary said she did not have any oil, Otte left.  

 

While outside, Otte observed a man pulling into the parking lot and thought he matched the description of Robert Wasikowski, the man who lived diagonally across from Mike.  Otte approached Robert, telling him the same story he told Mary.  Robert, who had been drinking, agreed to drive Otte to the store and back.  When they returned to the apartment complex, Otte asked to use Robert’s phone. 

 

Mary observed Otte entering Robert’s apartment and continued watching the door.  Several minutes later, she heard “a very loud crack, cracking sound.”  After entering the apartment, Otte pretended to make a phone call and “tried to stall for time.”  When Robert finally asked Otte to leave, Otte pulled out a gun.  Robert offered Otte $10 from his pocket, but Otte pulled the trigger.  The gun did not go off, prompting Robert to ask if the gun was loaded.  Otte pointed the gun at Robert’s head and again pulled the trigger.  This time the gun went off, and Robert collapsed to the floor, gasping and begging for help.

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