Update: Thursday, October 1, 2015  9:43 pm EDT

 

Alfredo Prieto has been executed by the state of Virginia.  Read the whole story here.

 

Update: Thursday, October 1, 2015  9:08 pm EDT

 

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request for a stay of execution for Alfredo Prieto.  Alfredo was requesting a stay to appeal the decision of US District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, who ruled that the drugs purchased by Virginia from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice did not create a substantial risk of pain and suffering during Alfredo's execution.

 

Update: Thursday, October 1, 2015  6:24 pm EDT

 

US District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson has ruled that the execution of Alfredo Prieto can proceed tonight as scheduled.  Alfredo was arguing that the drugs Virginia purchased from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice created a substantial risk of pain and suffering during his execution.  Judge Hudson disagreed with Alfredo's arguments and ruled that the execution could proceed tonight as scheduled. Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States has rejected two requests by Alfredo for a stay of execution.

 

Update: Wednesday, September 30, 2015  5:54 pm EDT

 

Alfredo Rolando Prieto's execution was scheduled to occur at 9 pm EDT, on  Thursday, October 1, 2015, at the Greenville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.  He has been granted a stay of execution.  Forty-nine-year-old Alfredo has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 22-year-old Rachel A. Raver and the murder of 22-year-old Warren H. Fulton, III, last seen alive on December 4, 1988.  Their bodies were discovered two days later in Fairfax, Virginia.  Alfredo has spent the last seven years on Virginia’s death row.

 

Alfredo was born and spent part of his childhood in El Salvador, which was in the midst of a civil war.  By the time Alfredo was a teenager, he and his family were living in California, where Alfredo became a member of the Pomona Northside gang.

 

On December 4, 1988, two Georgetown University students, Rachel Raver and Warren Fulton were seen leaving a local restaurant in Washington, DC.  Two days later, their bodies were discovered in a deserted area near Reston, Virginia.  Investigators determined that Warren had been shot in the back of head and Rachel was shot while trying to escape.  As she lay bleeding to death, Prieto raped her.  Prieto escaped to California.

 

In 1990, 15-year-old Yvette Woodruff was raped and murdered in Ontario, California.  Prieto was charged and convicted with her murder, receiving a death sentence in 1992.  While in prison in California, Prieto’s DNA was entered into a national database and, in 2005, matched a cold case in Virginia: the rape and murder of Rachel and the murder of Warren.  Prieto was extradited to Virginia to stand trial, where he was given two death sentences, along with various prison terms for charges related to the murders.

 

Through DNA evidence, Prieto has also been linked to the rape and murder of 24-year-old Veronica “Tina” Jefferson in Arlington, Virginia in May of 1988; the murder of 27-year-old Manuel F. Sermeno in Prince William County, Virginia in September of 1989; the rape and murder of 19-year-old Stacey Siegrist and the murder of 21-year-old Tony Gianuzzi in Riverside County, California in the spring of 1990; and the murder of 71-year-old Lula Farley and 65-year-old Herbert Farley, which also occurred in the spring of 1990, in Riverside County, California.  Ballistic evidence also linked several of the crimes.

 

Attorneys for Prieto attempted to argue that he was mentally retarded and ineligible for the death penalty.  They blamed Prieto’s upbringing war-torn El Salvador for his retardation.  Neither the courts nor juries have found the claims to have merit.

 

Prieto also has a claim in consideration before the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the constitutionality of extended stays in solitary.  Prieto, like many other death row inmates in various states, live in near isolation.  Nearly every state that has capital punishment automatically places death row inmates in solitary confinement.  Inmates are typically in their cells for 23 hours a day, with one hour allowed for outdoor exercise, however that is also done alone.  It is yet unclear if the Supreme Court will consider Prieto's claim, or even it would be enough to halt his execution.

 

Virginia has obtained one of the needed execution drugs from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Jason Clark, has confirmed that Texas received the execution drug from a compounding pharmacy.  He also confirmed that Texas gave the drugs to Virginia.  According to  Clark, Virginia had once provided Texas with execution drugs and Texas reciprocated when Virginia requested help.

 

A US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia has stayed the execution of Alfredo Prieto too "further examine the state's acquisition of the [execution] drug."  A hearing is scheduled for 2 pm EDT, on Thursday, October 1, 2015.  Alfredo's attorneys are asking for more information about the drug, including the name of the supplier, documents showing that the drug was properly transported from Texas to Virginia, and test results confirming the sterility and potency of the drug.  Texas laws shields the name of the drug supplier from public information.  Alfredo's attorneys are arguing that not having this information puts Alfredo at risk of a cruel and painful execution, which violates his 8th Amendment rights.

  

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Rachel Raver, Warren Fulton, Tina Jefferson, Manuel Sermeno, Stacey Siegrist, Tony Gianuzzi, and Herbert and Lula Farley.  Please pray for strength for the family of Alfredo.  Please pray that if Alfredo is innocent or lacks the competency to be executed, evidence will be revealed prior to his execution.  Please pray that Alfredo may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.

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