Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 11:41 am EST
Doyle Lee Hamm's execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. His stay of execution was overturned. Sixty-year-old Doyle is convicted of murdering Patrick Cunningham on January 24, 1987, in Cullman, Alabama. Doyle has spent the last 30 years of his life on death row in Alabama.
Doyle was granted a stay of execution by US District Judge Karon Bowdre. The stay was granted after Doyles lawyers successfully argued that he is too sick to be executed. Doyle perviously had cancer before going into remission. He has recently complained of having lumps and the current state of his health is uncertain. Doyle's lawyers also argue that in addition to being sick, his previous drug use will make it difficult, if not impossible, to locate a suitable vein to be used for lethal injection. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the stay the execution, however, they also ordered that a medical examine be performed on Doyle by no later than Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
As a child, Doyle had to repeat first grade. He ended up dropping out of school in the ninth grade. He began drinking at an early age and also sniffed glue and took drugs. According to his sister, his father encouraged the children to steal and Doyle was arrested throughout the years on charges of burglary, assault, and grand larceny. He was also involved in a shooting in Mississippi.
On January 24, 1987, Kathy Flannagan approached Patrick Cunningham, who was working as a desk clerk at Anderson’s Motel in Cullman, Alabama, to check into her room. During that time, she observed a male enter the motel and ask about a room for three. He was informed that he needed a reservation. He left. As Kathy was leaving, she observed the same man re-enter the motel, with a second male. Patrick noted that it looked like there was going to be trouble and hurriedly pointed Kathy to her room.
Kathy exited the hotel and re-entered her vehicle. When she again looked into the motel lobby, she saw the second man pointing a gun at Patrick. The first man appeared to be standing watch by the doorway. Additionally, a car was left with its engine running just outside the door. Kathy thought their could be a third person in the vehicle. She pretended as if she had not seen anything and left the motel, driving to a phone to call the police.
When police arrived at the hotel, they discovered Patrick on the floor behind the reception desk. He had been shot once in the temple, from a short distance. His wallet contained no money and the cash drawer was missing its money. Upon investigation, police discovered that the two men described by Kathy matched the description of two men wanted in a robbery-murder in Mississippi. The same type of gun had also been used in both cases.
After discovering the car used in the robbery, police were able to trace it to a trailer and arrested Doyle Hamm, Jimmy Wardlow, and Paula Cook. Inside the trailer, clothing matching the description given by Kathy was found, along with the same caliber pistol and ammunition.
Hamm denied his participation in the motel murder and Kathy was unable to identify in a line-up. The next day, Hamm retracted his statement from the previous day and confessed to the crime, including murdering Patrick. It was later determined that Jimmy and Paula did not participate in the murder, however the coconspirators were caught by the police and both agreed to testify against Hamm. Hamm was convicted and sentenced to death on January 24, 1987.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Patrick Cunningham. Please pray for strength for the family of Doyle Hamm. Please pray that if Doyle 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 Doyle will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.