Albert Perez, Pennsylvania

 

Update: Monday, April 13, 2015 3:53 pm EDT

Albert Perez was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EDT, on Friday, April 17, 2015, at the State Correctional Institute Rockview in Rockview, Pennsylvania. Albert's execution has been stayed. Thirty-three-year-old Albert is convicted of murdering 22-year-old Duceliz Diaz-Santiago and her five-year-old daughter Kayla, on January 15, 2007, in Bernville, Pennsylvania. Albert has spent the last five years on Pennsylvania’s death row. It is unlikely that Albert will be executed.

Albert had previously been married, and had four children. Albert and his ex-wife constantly fought over his child support. Albert dated Duceliz for a while and had filled out the paperwork to obtain custody of Kayla. At the time of the murder, he was attempting to no longer pay child support for Kayla, which Duceliz was allegedly helping achieve.

On January 15, 2007, Liz Ruiz went to check on her sister, Duceliz Diaz-Santiago, after receiving a disturbing and concerning e-mail. Liz discovered their mother already at the apartment, but was unable to enter. Liz called her husband, who broke down the door. They discovered the body of 5-year-old Kayla hanging from a railing in bathroom. Duceliz was found lying on the floor of the closet, with a cord around her neck. The other end of the cord was wrapped around the closet’s clothes bar, which had collapsed.

Although it initially appeared to be a murder-suicide, evidence began to suggest that both mother and daughter were murdered. Police questioned Duceliz’s ex-boyfriend, Albert Perez, several times. Perez gave police several different statements, changing his story and alibi several times. Perez eventually confessed to being in the apartment the day of the murders, and to the murder of Duceliz. He insisted that Duceliz murdered Kayla, although, according to an inmate, Perez confessed to killing Kayla while in prison.

 

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." The governor will continue to issue stay of executions until all problems in the report are satisfactorily addressed. Read more about the announcement here.

 

Due to Governor’s Wolf’s decision, he has refused to sign any execution warrants. Albert Perez’s notice of execution was issued by Department of Corrections Secretary John Wentzel, which is in accordance with state law. State law requires the corrections secretary to issue an execution notice if the governor does not sign a warrant within a specific time frame. Albert's execution was stayed on March 24, 2015.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Duceliz and Kayla. Please pray for strength for the family of Albert. Please pray that if Albert is innocent or lacks the competency for execution, evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Albert will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

 

 

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