Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017 11:35 pm EDT
Alabama has carried out the execution of Robert Melson. Read more here.
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017 10:20 pm EDT
The Supreme Court of the United States has lifted their temporary stay of execution, denying Robert Melson's request to halt his execution.
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017 7:15 pm EDT
The Supreme Court of the United States has issued a temporary stay of execution while they consider an appeal by Robert.
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017 6:24 pm EDT
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Robert's second request to stay his execution.
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017 5:20 pm EDT
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request to stay the execution of Robert Melson. There is another stay of execution request pending before the 11th Circuit regarding the constitutionality of Alabama's lethal injection protocol.
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017 12:11 pm EDT
The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to stay the execution of Robert Melson. Robert has other appeals pending.
Updated: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 7:44 pm EDT
The stay of execution for Robert Melson has been lifted by the Supreme Court of the United States. Robert was previously granted a stay of execution by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals due to an ongoing appeal regarding the execution drugs used by Alabama. The Alabama attorney general's office appealed the decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States, which vacated the stay of execution. Three of the nine justices voted against lifting the stay of execution. Attorneys for Robert have filed additional requests for a stay of execution, arguing that federal court have not yet determined if Alabama's lethal injection protocol is constitutional.
Updated: Monday, June 5, 2017 11:19 am EDT
Robert Bryant Melson was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. His execution has been stayed. Forty-five-year-old Robert is convicted of the murder of 18-year-old Tamika Collins, 17-year-old James Nathaniel Baker, and 23-year-old Darryl Collier on April 16, 1994, in Gadsden, Alabama. Robert has spent the last 23 years on Alabama’s death row.
Robert's execution was stayed by a three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The stay was granted to allow time for the court to consider another appeal regarding the execution drugs used by the state of Alabama. Robert, along with four other inmates, have filed an appeal arguing that the execution drugs have failed toward properly in past executions. Alabama successfully carried out the execution of Thomas Arthur at the end of May. Alabama plans to appeal the decision.
Around 12:00 am on April 16, 1994, four employees - 18-year-old Tamika Collins, 17-year-old James Nathaniel Baker, 23-year-old Darryl Collier, and 17-year-old Bryant Archer - were closing Popeye’s, the restaurant at which they worked. Bryant and James were taking out the trash, while Darryl waited to unlock the door and let them back in. Upon opening the door, a black man and a hispanic man entered the restaurant and ordered the four employees, at gunpoint, into the office of the restaurant. The employees were then ordered to open the safe, from which the two men took all the cash. The employees were then ordered to get inside the restaurant’s freezer, where they were locked in.
A short time later, the black man opened the door to the freezer and began shooting. Tamika, James, and Darryl all received fatal, close-range gunshot wounds to the head. Bryant was shot four times, but was able to crawl from the freezer, to the office, where he called the police. Bryant survived his injures. He was able to identify the hispanic male as Cuhuatemoc Peraita, a former employee. He did not recognize the black male. Bryant also told police that it was the black male that locked the employees in the freezer and shot them. Although Bryant did not see the car the two men were driving, he was able to tell police why type of car Peraita had - an older model black Monte Carlo.
Police were able to put out a notice that evening and Police Officer Terry Graham recognized the car and the description of the two men. Officer Graham was able to apprehend Peraita and Robert Melson, a black man who was with Peraita and matched the description of the second suspect. During police questioning, both men initially claimed that they were together, driving around and smoking marijuana that night. They admitted to driving by Popeye’s, but claimed they never went inside. A few days later, Melson gave another statement, alleging that Peraita committed the crime alone.
Police found clothing at Peraita’s house matching the description of the clothing worn by the robbers. Police also found money in a bag, and shell casings in the front yard that matched the murder weapon. The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences were also able to compare shoe prints found at the scene to determine that they matched the shoes Melson was wearing when he was arrested.
Melson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Peraita was also convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is currently on death row for murdering another inmate while in prison.
Robert Nelson had previously been given two separate execution dates. Both executions were stayed due to appeals.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Tamika Collins, James Nathaniel Baker, and Darryl Collier. Please pray for Bryant Archer. Please pray that if Robert Melson is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed fro any other reason that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Robert may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.