Vote No on Prop 34Victims | Vote No on Prop 34 Protect California | Preserve California's Death Penalty Fri, 24 Aug 2012 22:02:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vote No on Prop 34 Pittsburg P.O. Larry Lasater Wed, 25 Jul 2012 18:22:45 +0000 Waiting for Justice






Pittsburg Police Officer Larry Lasater was shot and killed by Alexander Rashad Hamilton while investigating an armed bank robbery.  Officer Lasater’s wife was 7 months pregnant at the time of his murder.  In addition to being a police officer, Lasater was a Marine Corps veteran.  Officer Lasater was also an organ donor, his organs helped save the lives of 5 people.  Alexander Rashad Hamilton was sentenced to death after being convicted of murder.

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Kermit Alexander’s story Thu, 05 Jul 2012 16:12:27 +0000 Waiting for Justice Kermit Alexander’s family members were brutally murdered by a Los Angeles gang member.  The gang member, Tiquan Cox, was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty.   Watch the whole story by clicking the link below.

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Christopher Zerr, Gary Melke and John Harrigan Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:20:04 +0000 admin

Gary Melke

On Tuesday December 3, 1985, Mitchell Sims, a disgruntled pizza delivery driver, went to the Domino’s Pizza in Hanahan, South Carolina where he worked.  He robbed and shot his two-coworkers, Christopher Zerr and Gary Melke .  Although Melke was shot four times in the head and neck, he was able to flee to the nearby police station.  As blood was gushing from his face, Melke described to police that he had been shot by coworker, Mitch Sims.  Melke was rushed into surgery but died without regaining consciousness.  When police went to the Domino’s they found Zerr lying on the floor near the open safe.  Zerr’s hands were tied behind his back with phone cord and he had been shot in the head.  Zerr died at the scene before he could be transported to the hospital.  After the murder, Sims, and his girlfriend, Ruby Padgett fled to Glendale, California.

Christopher Zerr

When police in Hanahan interviewed Sims’ mother, she said that she had received a phone call from her son who said he was sorry for what he had done but that it was too late, he was going to have to take out everyone, including his family.  Detectives also spoke to Sims wife who told detectives that Sims had recently became obsessed with a movie about notorious murderer Gary Gilmore, and that Sims told her that he was, “going to go out just like Gary Gilmore in a blaze of glory and not tied to a chair.”

On December 8, 1985, Sims and Padgett arrived in Glendale, California where they rented a room at a motel.  They went to a Sears store where they bought a knife and some rope.  The next day, Sims called the nearby Domino’s pizza and ordered a pizza to be delivered to the motel room.  Twenty-one-year-old John Harrigan delivered the pizza.  When Harrigan arrived at the hotel room, Sims held him at gunpoint, hog-tied Harrigan, stuffed a washcloth in his mouth then tied a sock around Harrigan’s mouth and neck.  Sims tied a piece of rope around Harrigan’s neck tight enough to choke him to death.  Sims then put a pillowcase over Harrigan’s head, and carried his body into the bathroom.  Sims had left the bathtub running.  Sims lifted Harrigan into the tub full of water and held Harrigan underwater until Harrigan was dead.

John Harrigan

Sims then put on Harrigan’s Domino’s shirt and cap which he had made Harrigan removed.  Sims and Padget drove in Harrigan’s truck back to the Domino’s pizza where Harrigan worked.  Once at the Domino’s they robbed employees Kory Spiroff and Ed Sicam at gunpoint.  Spiroff told Sims that a delivery driver was expected back shortly. Sims said, “No, I don’t think so” and laughed as he removed his sweater, revealing that he was wearing John Harrigan’s Domino’s shirt and name badge.  During the robbery an off-duty employee entered the store but became suspicious and left to call police.  Sims then announced that he was going to lock Spiroff and Sicam in the store’s cooler.  The cooler temperature was between 32 and 40 degrees.  Inside the cooler was a three-tiered shelf.  Sims tied Spiroff’s hands so tightly behind his back that Spiroff was losing feeling in his hands. Sims ordered Spiroff to stand with his back against the three-tiered shelf. Sims looped the rope over the top shelf and pulled the rope down which pulled Spiroff’s arms up behind his back in a manner so painful that Spiroff had to stand on his toes to alleviate the pain in his arms and shoulders.  Sims tied the rope to the top shelf, leaving no slack for Spiroff to come down off his toes.  Sims looped the other end of the rope twice around Spiroff’s neck and tied it so tight that the rope was pressing into Spiroff’s flesh.  When Spiroff tried to alleviate the pain in his legs by coming down off his toes, the rope around his neck would start to asphyxiate him.  Sims brought Sicam into the cooler and tied him in the same manner.  Sims walked out of the cooler and turned off the light.

Spiroff stood on the toes of one foot and used his other foot to try to knock over some nearby cases of Coke to stand on to alleviate the pressure on his neck.  Eventually Spiroff was able to knock a box of cheese off of the lowest shelf behind him. The box of cheese “crushed” when they stood on it, but it was enough support to relieve some of the pressure, although they were still in pain from the ropes around their necks. Spiroff and Sicam positioned themselves back to back and tried to untie each other but couldn’t because their hands were too numb. Spiroff eventually blacked out.  Due to the phone call made by the off-duty employee, police responded to the Domino’s and saved Spiroff and Sicam.  The officers then went to the motel where Harrigan had last been sent and found Harrigan dead in the bathtub.

On Christmas day, 1985, Sims and Padgett were arrested at a motel in Las Vegas.  Inside the room police found: a loaded pistol; ammunition; the bank deposit bag from the Glendale Domino’s; and a page from the Las Vegas phone book listing local Domino’s pizza establishments.

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Rickie Blake’s Story Tue, 24 Apr 2012 07:52:42 +0000 admin In 1986, 14 year old Rickie Blake was taken out of her home and not found for 24 hours. She was at home watching the Padres on T.V. Her parents went to bed, her sister went bed and she was there watching the Padres. When the parents got up the next morning, she was gone. The only thing behind were her shoes. She was found later that night beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted on a freeway off-ramp.

A week after he assaulted and killed Rickie Blake, he raped a mother and her six year old child in the same area. He pled guilty to that, received a 17 year sentence and went off on his way.

Dusek told the jurors they could consider past criminal conduct by Williams, including the 1981 rape of a 15-year-old girl which the defendant got away with; the 1984 molestation of his 6-year-old daughter to which he pleaded guilty; the 1985 rape of a 20-year-old woman in Oakland that he got away with; the rape of a 24-year-old woman and the rape of her 6-year-old daughter one week after he killed Blake; and the sodomizing of a 13-year-old male family member after the defendant got out of prison in 1998.

George Williams Jr. was convicted in September 2004 of kidnapping, raping and murdering 14-year-old Rickieann Blake of Chula Vista in 1986. Her body was found near Interstate 5 in Barrio Logan on April 11, 1986, the day after she was taken from her home. Williams was sentenced to the death penalty. He remains on death row.

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Lamar and Ernestine Matthews’ Story Tue, 24 Apr 2012 06:54:18 +0000 admin Lamar and Ernestine Matthews were both 75 years of age and were planning to celebrate their 50th Anniversary in September of 2004. Lamar Matthews was a retired probation officer and Ernestine Matthews was a retired teacher. Both victims were active in their community as well as their college alumni association. After their murders, the City of Cerritos honored them with the planting of a magnolia tree and a plaque at the Cerritos Senior Citizens Center.

On February 11, 2004, Dr. Versie Burns and others came to the victims’ house in the early morning to embark on a fundraising trip to a casino in San Diego. Dr. Burns called the police to do a welfare check when she noticed that the front security door was locked but the inner door was ajar. Police discovered Lamar Matthews in the kitchen/den area with his face covered with a towel. He had suffered 26 stab wounds and had ligatures around his wrists and neck. Ernestine Matthews was discovered in the upstairs master bedroom with her face covered with a bath mat. She had suffered 9 stab wounds and she also had ligatures around their wrists and neck.

Police later discovered that the Defendant, whose step-father was Lamar Matthew’s cousin, had cashed a $6000 check at the Bank of America in Cerritos at 2:13 p.m. on February 10, 2004. After extensive questioning for over 14 hours over five days, the Defendant ultimately admitted that he stabbed Lamar Matthews one time under duress, and that his former state prison dorm-mate, Daviyon Tart, essentially did everything else. The Defendant also claimed that Tart threatened him at gunpoint and made threats against his immediate family.

Anthony Cain was convicted of murdering and robbing Lamar and Ernestine Matthews and committing residential burglary. The special circumstances of multiple murder and murder during the commission of a robbery were found true, in addition to the allegation that the Defendant personally used scissors during the commission of the murder of Lamar Matthews, the robberies and burglary. The Defendant was sentenced to death on January 15, 2010.

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Eva Chu’s Story Tue, 24 Apr 2012 06:39:03 +0000 admin On April 17, 1979, 29-year-old Eva Chu left work to go to a doctor’s appointment. She was 7 months pregnant. She was kidnapped, raped and strangled by Joseph Aguayo. Her body was found 4 days later on the banks of a creek in Sacramento County.

Joseph Aguayo had 6 felony convictions before Eva’s kidnapping, rape and murder. He was on parole when he murdered her. Aguayo’s prior crimes included another kidnapping of a woman, this time with her two young children in the car at the time.

After Eva’s murder, Aguayo didn’t stop his criminality. He went on to commit many more violent crimes, including a home invasion robbery and a kidnapping and attempted murder of yet another woman. In that case, he viciously beat his girlfriend, drove her to a remote area in Sacramento and left her in the trunk of her car to die.

In 2002, Joseph Aguayo was identified as Eva’s killer through a DNA match.

In 2006, a Sacramento jury found Aguayo guilty of Eva’s murder, along with that of her unborn child Kelly Chu. The same jury recommended death.

At the time of her murder, Eva was married and the mother of a 2 year old daughter.

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Donna Hooker’s Story Mon, 16 Apr 2012 15:15:33 +0000 admin Donna Hooker

Donna Hooker

If the will of the People had been carried out, Donna Hooker would never have been a murder victim of Norman Whitehorn. On November 8, 1978, 21-year-old Donna Hooker was kidnapped from her job in Sacramento while she was on her break. Her body was found a few hours later in a remote field in Sacramento County. She had been raped, sodomized and strangled to death. In 2003, DNA identified Norman Whitehorn as her killer.

Whitehorn’s criminal history is atrocious. In 1957, Whitehorn kidnapped two women in San Bernardino. One woman escaped by jumping out of a moving car. The other woman was taken to a remote field, beaten and raped repeatedly by Whitehorn. He was convicted and sentenced to prison but paroled in 1961, serving less than three years for these crimes.

Four months later, Whitehorn kidnapped, raped and murdered 37-year-old Angela Gums in Los Angeles County. He, along with an accomplice, drove Ms. Gums to a remote area, repeatedly sexually assaulted her and strangled her. They then tossed her body in a ravine. During Whitehorn’s trial, several other girls and women testified that Whitehorn had also raped them. One of these attacks occurred the morning after Whitehorn raped and murdered Angela Gums.

In September 1962, a Los Angeles County jury convicted Norman Whitehorn for the murder of Angela Gums and he was sentenced to death.

Just a year after this death verdict, in December 1963, then Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown commuted Whitehorn’s death sentence 12 hours before his execution to Life without the Possibility of Parole. A later court case modified this sentence to allow for the possibility of parole.

On July 28, 1978, despite Whitehorn’s criminal history and previous death sentence, the California Parole Board found him “suitable” for parole and released him. Three months later, he kidnapped, raped and murdered Donna Hooker.

Whitehorn continued his life of crime after Donna’s murder. These include the following:

  • 1980 conviction for attempted forcible rape;
  • 1984 conviction for kidnapping;
  • 1995 conviction for possession of a firearm;
  • 1995 conviction for possession of a prohibited weapon.
  • 2003 conviction for possession of drugs in prison.

Norman Whitehorn deserved his death sentence in 1962. Had the jury’s verdict been carried out, and his sentence not been commuted, his life of violent crime and murder would have stopped; and Donna Hooker would not have been murdered. Instead, his reign of terror continued on for over 20 more years.

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