Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:03 pm EDT
Earlier this year, US District Judge Michael Merz issued a stay of execution for three inmates involved a lawsuit regarding the drugs Ohio plans to use to execute them. Judge Merz wrote in his order that the stay would be vacated once the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case. In February 2017, a three-judge panel of 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that the case has been placed on the docket for June 14, meaning the execution scheduled before then will likely not be carried out.
April 20, 2017
Ronald Phillips is scheduled to be executed at 10 am EDT on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. His execution has been rescheduled from February 15, 2017. Forty-three-year-old Ronald is convicted of murdering 3-year-old Sheila Marie Evans on January 18, 1993. Ronald has spent the past 23 years on Ohio’s death row.
During his trial evidence was presented that Phillips had a difficult childhood, as his mother was an alcoholic. She would frequently leave her children, including Ronald, home alone for days at a time, forcing them to beg for food and eat paint chips and garbage. Ronald also spent time in several foster homes in which he was repeatedly raped and abused. He also alleges that his father sexually, physically, and verbally abused him during childhood.
Fae Evans, Sheila’s mother, was dating Ronald Phillips and occasionally living with him, along with her three children, Sheila, 29-month-old Sara, and Ronald Jr., Phillips’ infant son. On January 18, 1993, Fae took Ronald Jr., to a doctor’s appointment and left Sheila and Sara to be watched by Phillips. Fae returned to the apartment around 11:25, and found Phillips sitting in the kitchen. When Fae called for her daughters, they failed to respond. Phillips went into the girls’ bedroom, where he found Sheila laying cold, motionless, and pale. Phillips took Sheila downstairs to his grandmother’s apartment, where they called an emergency operator. Since Sheila was not breathing, the operator told Phillips how to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.
Once paramedics arrived, they immediately transferred Sheila to the Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Eugene Izsak, the first doctor to examine Sheila, noticed that she had multiple bruises on her torso, a distended stomach, apparent internal abdominal injuries, and a stretched anus with acute, recent changes. After obtaining a steady pulse, surgery was performed on Sheila, which showed the extent of her severe internal injuries. Sheila died from her injuries later that day.
An autopsy discovered that Sheila had over 125 bruises, many which occurred within hours of her death. Sheila had been severely beaten around her head, face, upper and lower torso, arms, legs, and genitalia. Blows to her abdomen resulted in severe internal injuries. Sheila died as a result of cardiovascular collapse which was the result of sever, blunt force trauma to her abdomen, and numerous complications. Furthermore, it was determined that Sheila had been raped.
April 21, 2017
Alva E. Campbell, Jr. was scheduled to be executed at 10 am EDT, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. Alva’s execution has been rescheduled for September 13, 2017. Sixty-nine-year-old Alva is convicted of murdering of 18-year-old Charles Dials, while attempting to flee from police custody, on April 2, 1997. Alva has a lengthly criminal record, including another murder. Alva has spent the last 17 years on Ohio’s death row.
In January of 2014, Ohio executed Dennis McGuire using a new two-drug execution process. The execution took longer than expected, with debate over whether Dennis was fully unconscious during the execution.
In January of 2015, Ohio announced that it would not carry out any executions during 2015, in order to allow the state to obtain execution drugs and implement a new execution protocol. Read more information here. Along with this announcement, Ohio also rescheduled all 2015 executions. Alva’s execution was then scheduled for March 23, 2016.
Ongoing appeals to Ohio’s execution protocol pushed his execution back to May 10, 2017. Failure to resolve those appeals have again delayed his execution until September 13, 2017.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Charles Dials and any others who may have been harmed by Alva’s crimes. Please pray for strength for the family of Alva. Please pray that if Alva is innocent of the crime or lacks the mental competency to be executed, evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Alva may come to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.
April 21, 2017
Tilon Lashon Carter is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the Walls Unit in the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-seven-year-old Tilon is convicted of the robbery and murder of 89-year-old James Eldon Tomlin in Tarrant County, Texas. Tilon has spent the last 10 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Tilon did not graduate from high school, dropping out after the 11th grade. He worked as an auto mechanic and a roofer. Tilon was previously arrested for robbing a couple at gunpoint and using the stolen money to pay off a drug debt. While in prison, he led a riot. Tilon was also convicted of indecent exposure and assault against his girlfriend.
On April 28, 2004, Tilon Carter and his 31-year-old girlfriend Leketha Allen were discussing how they needed money. Allen’s mother overhear them and suggested that they rob James Tomlin, and elderly man who lived nearby and was known to keep large quantities of cash in his house. Allen’s mother then drove them by the house, pointing it out.
Carter and Allen returned to James’ home the next day, forcing their way inside after James opened the door. Cater bound James’ hands and feet tightly with duct tape. Duct tape was also placed over his mouth. Carter and Allen then searched home, discovering approximately $6,000 in cash.
April 27, 2017
JW Ledford, Jr., is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 7 pm CDT, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Forty-five-year-old Ledford is convicted of the murder of 73-year-old Dr. Harry Johnston, Jr., on January 31, 1992, in Murray County, Georgia. Ledford has spent the last 24 years on death row in Georgia.
According to psychologist who examined JW Ledford, JW had a history substance abuse that included the regular consumption of marijuana, whisky, and beer. JW was also known to experiment with consuming acid, cocaine, and Quaaludes. JW began using alcohol and drinking heavily at the age of eight. Two years later, he began using marijuana. He also used other drugs, such as speed and acid at a young age, according to testimony from his childhood friends. JW’s father was also a drug dealer and dealt out of the house.
On January 31, 1992, JW Ledford, by his own confession, drank a six-pack of beer, smoked ten joints, and possibly took some pills. Ledford further admitted that he was really “messed up” and could not remember the drugs he took that day. Ledford had lived next door to Dr. Harry Johnston, Jr., and his wife Antoinette for most of his life.
Ledford confessed that he had asked Dr. Johnston to give him a ride to the grocery store. They left the doctor’s house around 2 pm. During the drive, Dr. Johnston accused Ledford of stealing and turned the vehicle around. Once back in the garage and out of the truck, Ledford alleges that Dr. Johnston smacked Ledford, causing him to fall to the ground. Ledford then alleges that Dr. Johnston pulled a knife from his belt and cut Ledford’s hand. In response, Ledford pulled out his own knife and “stuck” Dr. Johnston in the neck. Ledford then continued to stab the doctor repeatedly. Ledford then dragged the body away and covered it with tree branches.
Around mid-afternoon, Antoinette saw her husband drive off in his pick-up truck with an unidentified person in the passenger seat. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, Ledford knocked on the Johnston’s front door. Antoinette answered. Ledford asked if her husband was home. When Antoinette said he was not, Ledford left. Ledford returned about ten minutes later, asking that Dr. Johnston come over to his house when he returned. Antoinette promised to give her husband the message and Ledford left again.
April 27, 2017
Juan Edward Castillo is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-six-year-old Juan is convicted of the murder of 19-year-old Tommy Garcia, Jr., on December 3, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas. Juan has spent the last 11 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Juan had previously worked as a cook and a laborer. He was previously convicted of deadly conduct with a firearm. During the trial, witnesses also testified that Juan was a violent man, threatening and beating the mother of his child. Additionally, he had previously shot a man during a road rage incident, boasted about similar crimes, and bragged about committing home invasions and robberies.
In December 2003, Juan Castillo was dating Debra Espinosa. Late on December 2, and during the early morning hours of December 3, 2003, the couple was with Francisco Gonzales, a friend with Castillo, and Gonzales’ girlfriend Teresa Quintero. The four of them created a plan to rob Tommy Garcia, Jr., with who Espinosa had previously been intimate.
Espinosa was to take Tommy to secluded spot in a residential neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas. Castillo and Gonzales, in masks and armed with guns, would storm the car and rob Tommy. Espinosa would play along, as if she were a victim too. Quintero would serve as the get away driver from Castillo and Gonzales. During the ensuing robbery, Tommy was shot and killed by Castillo, according to the others.
Gonzales was arrested by the police as he fled from the scene, with Espinosa arrested a short time later. Both agreed to testify against Castillo in exchange for a reduced charge and a sentence of forty years in prison. Gonzales and Espinosa testified that Castillo took the lead in planning the robbery. They also testified that he was the person who shot and killed Tommy.