Idaho Stays Execution of Gerald Pizzuto, Jr., Ahead of June 2, 2021

Gerald Pizzuto, Jr., Idaho

Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Gerald Ross Pizzuto, Jr., was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at the Idaho Maximum Security Prison in Kuna, Idaho. His execution has been halted. Sixty-five-year-old Gerald is convicted of beating to death 58-year-old Berta Herndon and her nephew, 37-year-old Del Dean Herndon, at a mountain cabin near McCall, Idaho. Gerald has been on death row for the last 35 years. 

Gerald had a sad childhood, as he was frequently beaten, allegedly leaving him brain damaged. Gerald also allegedly had a violent personality, according to his ex-wife. During their marriage, he was physically and verbally abusive, including pushing her down the stairs while she was pregnant and killing their pets. Gerald was also addicted to drugs and had health issues relating to his prolonged and excessive drug use.

On July 25, 1985, Gerald Pizzuto was camping with friends at a campsite in Ruby Meadows, near McCall, Idaho. Pizzuto approached Berta Herndon, and her nephew Del Dean Herdon with a rifle and forced them into their cabin, where Pizzuto tied them up. Pizzuto robbed them and left, returning later to beat them both over the head with a hammer. He eventually shot Del because Del did not die quickly from the hammer blows. Pizzuto later joked and bragged about the murders to those with whom he was camping. The group helped Pizzuto bury the bodies and took some of the stolen money.

Nearly one year later, in May 1986, Pizzuto was convicted and sentenced to death for the double murder and robbery. Those who helped bury the bodies were given prison terms.

Pizzuto has reportedly been diagnosed with terminal cancer, along with battling various health problems, including a variety of heart and lung diseases. He has appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States for a stay of execution.

Pizzuto’s execution has been cancelled following the recommendation of the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Paroles, which recommends a commutation hearing for Gerald in November 2021.

Please pray for peace for the families of Berta and Del Dean Herdon. Pray for strength for the family of Gerald Pizzuto. Please pray that if Gerald 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. Pray that Gerald may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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