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News Scan

Oklahoma Set to Execute Two Murderers:   Rachel Petersen of the McAlester News-Capital reports that two convicted murderers will be executed by lethal injection in early January.  Billy Don Alverson's sentence will be carried on January 6, for the robbery and murder of a 30-year-old convenience store clerk in 1995.  David Matthews will be put to death on January 11, for the 1994 robbery and murder of his great uncle.  While Alverson has admitted his crime, Matthews still claims to be innocent.  Both murderers will receive a lethal injection cocktail which utilizes the readily-available sedative pentobarbital, a drug usually given in animal euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands, instead of sodium thiopental, the sedative used by most other death penalty states.   

Parole Revoked for Dangerous Sex Offender:  Rachanee Srisavasdi of The Orange County Register (CA) reports parole has been revoked for California sex offender Lawrence Brown.  (Read previous post here.)  Brown was released from prison last month after serving roughly half of his 49 year sentence for sexual assaulting two girls in the 1980s.  State officials opposed his early release, and Brown was rearrested an hour after he left prison for violating conditions of his parole.  Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced yesterday that his office will ask a court to designate Brown a sexually violent predator, adding:  "Brown is a convicted repeat child rapist who should never be allowed to walk the streets and hurt innocent victims."

Oregon Bank Bombers Sentenced to Death:  A father-son duo who planted a bomb in an Oregon bank that killed two police officers have been sentenced to death.  Helen Jung of The Oregonian reports that Bruce Turnidge and his son Joshua had planed to rob the bank after setting off the bomb by remote control, but the plan went awry when the bomb exploded as State Trooper William Hakim and Police Captain Tim Tennant were trying to dismantle it.  The blast also critically injured Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell, who lost a leg, and bank employee Laurie Perkett.   At trial both Trunidge and his son blamed the other for placing bomb and and argued that the police were partially to blame for recklessly attempting to dismantle it.  They also floated the idea that a transmission from an unknown source set off the bomb.

Convicted Murderer Laughs While During Sentencing:  Laura Italiano of the New York Post reports Jeromie Cancel, a drifter convicted of strangling New York City college student Kevin Pravia with an electrical cord, laughed while receiving a sentence of 25 years to life.  Cancel's lack of remorse during the sentencing, which mirrored his attitude throughout the trial, prompted emotional responses from the victim's family.  Since the proceedings began, Cancel has bragged to the media and law enforcement that he killed Pravia "because he wanted to" and to "add spice" to the robbery of the victim's cell phone and computer.  Even Presiding Judge Daniel FitzGerald addressed Cancel's callousness when imposing the maximum possible sentence: "You showed no hint of mercy or human decency toward Mr. Pravia.  I don't think you even understand the basic notion of mercy.  So you'll get none from me."

Sex Offender Impersonates Police Officer to Rape Woman:  A convicted sex offender pretending to be a police officer "arrested" a woman in a Walmart parking lot and raped her, reports Matt Campbell of The Kansas City Star.  55-year-old Wesley Earl Watson was convicted of attempted rape in 1977 and rape/aggravated sodomy in 1984.  He was released on parole in January and required to wear a GPS monitoring device, which allowed police to locate and arrest him earlier this week.  He now faces several felony charges, including rape, kidnapping, and intimidation of a witness.

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