Updated: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 11:00 am EST
Sheldon Anthony Hannibal was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at the State Correctional Institute Rockview, in Rockview, Pennsylvania. Sheldon’s execution has been stayed. Forty-five-year-old Sheldon is convicted of the rape and murder of 69-year-old Peter LaCourt on October 25, 1992, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sheldon has spent the last 23 years of his life on Pennsylvania’s death row.
Sheldon’s execution has been stayed by the US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania.
On October 25, 1992, Sheldon Hannibal and Tanesha Robinson encountered Peter LaCourt and Barbara Halley in the stairway of the Cambridge Mall housing project. Peter attempted to sell a gold chain to Hannibal, which resulted in an argument over the authenticity of the chain. When Hannibal refused to give the chain back to Peter, Hannibal pulled out a gun and began beating Peter with it. Hannibal knocked on the door of Larry Gregory, who joined in the beating of Peter.
As Peter pled for the men to stop their beating, Barbara ran to the guard station or obtain help and Tanesha ran up the stairs. Shortly after leaving, Tanesha reported that she heard approximately ten gunshots. Before she could testify at Hannibal’s trial, she, along with two other women were shot and killed at her apartment. She was killed to stop her from testifying.
Peter was found by the police lying in the stairway, dead. Pieces of the gold chain were found around him. An autopsy revealed that he had been severely beaten, and shot six times, one of which killed him by severing his brain stem.
Sheldon was convicted and sentenced to death on October 25, 1994.
Sheldon Hannibal’s notice of execution was issued by Department of Corrections Secretary John Wentzel, as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has refused to sign any execution warrants. If the Governor does not sign an execution notice within a specified time frame, state law requires the corrections secretary to issue the execution notice.
On Friday, February 13, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a moratorium on executions in the state, until he receives and reviews a report on capital punishment in the state, a report which was ordered in 2011. In his announcement, he called the death penalty in Pennsylvania a "flawed system," "ineffective," "unjust," and "expensive." Read more about the announcement here.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Greta. Please pray for strength for the family of Sheldon. Please pray that if Sheldon is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Sheldon may come to find peace through a personal relationship with the Lord, if he has not already.