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.
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:34 pm CDT
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has requested a request by Thomas Douglas Arthur to retest DNA evidence in the cast. Thomas is requesting that the wig worn by the killer be retested. The state has argued that the wig was previously tested and found to contain no traces of DNA.
April 24, 2017
Thomas Douglas Arthur is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT on Thursday, May 25, 2017, at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Attmore, Alabama. Seventy-five-year-old Thomas has been convicted of the murder 35-year-old Troy Wicker on February 1, 1982, in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Thomas has spent the last 33 years on Alabama’s death row.
In 1977, Thomas was convicted of murdering Eloise Bray West, the sister of his common-law wife, after she refused to reveal the location of his wife. Thomas received a life sentence for the this murder.
While serving time for the murder of Eloise West, Thomas Arthur joined a work release program. Arthur, while on work release, began an affair with Judy Wicker, wife of Troy Wicker. In 1982, Judy offered Arthur $10,000 to kill her husband, to which Arthur agreed. Arthur acquired the ammunition for the murder from an acquaintance, whom he told he was going to use the supplies to kill someone.
On February 1, 1982, Arthur entered the Wicker resident wearing an “afro” wig and in dark makeup to disguise himself as a black man. Troy was shot through the right eye at close range with a pistol, which killed him instantly.
Judy told police that after dropping the kids off at school and arriving back at the house, she discovered a black man in their home. According to Judy, the man raped her and knocked her unconscious before killing her husband.
April 28, 2017
Kenneth Dewayne Williams was executed by the state of Arkansas on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Kenneth was pronounced dead at 11:05 pm CDT, inside the Cummins Unit execution chamber near Varner, Arkansas. His execution was delayed several hours due to appeals. Kenneth was 38 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 57-year-old Cecil Boren on October 3, 1999, in Varner, Arkansas. Kenneth spent the last 17 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.
Kenneth was exposed to drugs and alcohol from a young age. He also grew up in a violent home. Growing up, Kenneth suffered from developmental disabilities, making it difficult for him in school.
On December 13, 1998, Peter Robertson and his friend Dominique Herd, both students at the University of Arkansas, were kidnapped at gunpoint upon leaving a restaurant in Pine Bluff, where they were eating dinner. They were forced to drive around their kidnapper, later identified as Kenneth Williams, until he eventually forced them out of the vehicle. During their drive, Williams continuously told the couple that they would be fine. After forcing them to exit the vehicle, Williams asked where they were from. Peter said, “New Jersey,” while Dominique answered “Dallas.” Williams said, “I don’t like the [expletive deleted] from Dallas anyway,” before shooting at both Peter and Dominique. Peter survived his injuries and was able to call the police. Dominique died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Williams was convicted and sentenced by a jury to life in prison, without the possibility of parole on September 15, 1999.
On October 3, 1999, less than one month after beginning his sentence, Williams escaped from the Cummins Unit, where he was serving his sentence. Williams escaped by hiding in a vat of pig slop being taken away on a garbage truck. Williams made his way to the home of Cecil Boren, who was at home tending to his garden. Cecil was shot and killed by Williams, who then dragged Cecil’s body to a bayou.
Williams stole several firearms from Cecil’s home, along with his truck. Williams managed to evade the police for several days. Williams was recaptured following a high-speed chase, which resulted in Williams crashing into a water truck and killing the driver. Williams was sentenced to death for Cecil’s death in 2000.
In 2005, Williams also confessed to the murder of a third man, 36-year-old Jerrell Jenkins on December 13, 1998. Williams received another life term, without the possibility of parole.
Jason McGhee was also scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Arkansas. Jason was granted a stay of execution.
Please pray for peace and healing for Peter Robertson and his family. Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Dominique Hurd, Cecil Boren, and Jerrell Jenkins. Please pray for strength for the family of Kenneth.