Did You Know?

Three men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

3 Killed in Utrecht, Netherlands
Three individuals have been killed, and five others injured, after a shooting on a tram in the city of Utrecht, Netherlands. Police are calling the incident a terrorist attack and are have arrested a suspect. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured.
180 Killed in Africa
At least 180 individuals have been killed across southern Africa, including 84 in Mozambique, from Cyclone Idai. The official death toll is expected to rise drastically, with President Filipe Nyusi speculating that over 1,000 have been killed. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for those who are missing. Please pray for all affected.
5 Killed in Mumbai, India
At least five individuals have been killed, and over 30 others injured, when a footbridge to Mumbai’s main train station collapsed. The reason for the collapse is under investigation. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured.
8 Killed in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Eight individuals were killed at a school in Sao Paulo, Brazil after two former students opened fire inside the school. Five of those killed were students. The two gunman killed themselves as police arrived. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the community.
73 Killed in Papua
At least 73 individuals have died from a surprise flood in Papua, a province of Indonesia. The flash flooding was caused by torrential rain, which also caused mudslides and landslides. Over 60 others are missing. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the safety of the missing. Please pray for all those affected.
24 Killed in Democratic Republic of Congo
At least 24 individuals were killed, and over 30 others injured, when a train overturned in Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of those killed were children. The cause of the accident is believed to be unmaintained tracks. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured.
Protests Turn Violent in Paris, France
For the past four months, “yellow vests” protests have occurred in France, initially as an protest against the increase of fuel taxes. For the most part, the protests have been peaceful, however, they have now turned violent, with protestors smashing shops on the famed Champs-Élysées in Paris. Please pray for those affected. Please pray for peace.
2 Israelis Killed in West Bank
An Israeli soldier and a rabbi were killed by an unknown Palestinian attacker in the West Bank. The soldier was stabbed to death and then his rifle was used to kill the rabbi. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for peace.
3 Killed in Midwestern Flooding
At least three individuals have been killed due to severe flooding in the midwestern part of the United States. Rain, along with melting of snow has caused the flooding. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the safety of all affected.
49 Killed in Mosque Shootings
At least 49 individuals have been killed, and 20 others injured, in two shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Police also discovered explosive devices nearby. Officials has designated this incident as a terrorist attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.

December 9, 2016

 

Ronald Bert Smith, Jr., was executed by the state of Texas on Thursday, December 8, 2016.  Ronald was pronounced dead at 11:05 pm CST, inside the execution chamber at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Attmore, Alabama.  His execution was delayed several hours due to appeals.  Ronald was 44 years of age.  He was executed for the murder of Casey Wilson on November 8, 1994, in Madison County, Alabama.  Ronald spent the last 21 years of his life on Alabama’s death row.

 

Ronald grew up attending a Methodist Church, participating in youth activities.  He was also an accomplished Boy Scout and was described as a “quiet, polite, respectful…gentle young man”  at his trial.  Ronald graduated from high school as a member of the National Honor Society and was offered (but did not accept) a three-year Naval ROTC scholarship to Auburn University.  Ronald began drinking heavily in college and skipping classes, ultimately causing him to withdraw before the end of his first year.  Ronald did not have a prior criminal record, although he had, at least twice, been involved in a fight at a nude nightclub.

 

During the early morning hours of November 8, 1994, Ronald Smith, Jay Zuercher, and Chad Roundtree were driving around when they decided to rob a local convenience store, the Circle C, in Huntsville, Alabama.  After parking the vehicle, Zuercher and Roundtree remained in the vehicle, while Smith entered the store.  The only other person in the store was the clerk, Casey Wilson.

 

According to surveillance tapes, Smith pointed a gun at Casey, telling him to open the register.  When Casey was unable to open the register, Smith forced Casey into the restroom, pistol-whipping him and shooting him in the left arm.  Smith left Casey in the restroom and attempted to force the register open.  Smith was unsuccessful.

 

Smith then turned his attention to the safe, which was under the counter.  Smith was able to manipulate the combination lock on the safe and open it.  Smith returned to the restroom and shot Casey in the back of the head, killing him.  Smith then collected his spent shell casings.  

 

At some point, Zuercher also entered the store, stealing a pack of cigarettes.  Both men then left the store.  Before they drove away, someone remembered that the store contained video surveillance.  Smith returned to the store twice to attempt to destroy the videos, before taking the recorder and tape with him.

 

Smith was convicted on August 5, 1995.  A jury recommend by a vote of 7-5 that Smith be sentenced to life without parole.  A judge overrode the jury, sentencing Smith to death on October 6, 1995.  Zuercher received a sentence of life in prison, with parole possible after 10 years.  Roundtree, after accepting a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony, received a 20-year sentence with parole possible after 10 years.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Ronald Smith.  Please pray for strength for the family of Ronald. 

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