Description of Cases for those Sentenced to Death in U.S. Military
|Name||Race||Year of Sentence||Crime Facts|
|Ronald Gray||Black||1988||Former Army specialist at Fort Bragg, N.C., was charged with abducting, raping, sodomizing, and murdering Private Laura Lee Vickery-Clay, age 18. He was also charged with attempting to rape and murder Private Mary Ann Lang Nameth, age 20, and with the rape and murder of a civilian, Kimberly Ann Ruggles, age 23. Gray was convicted by general court-martial of 14 charges, including the premeditated murders, the attempted murder, and the three rapes.|
|Hasan Akbar||Black||2005||Former Army Sergeant, was convicted of two counts of premeditated murder and three counts of attempted premeditated murder of 16 U.S. soldiers. Akbar was charged in a hand grenade and shooting attack that killed Army Captain Christopher Seifert and Air Force Major Gregory Stone, while wounding 14 other soldiers on March 23, 2003. The attack took place at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, during the invasion of Iraq. The commander of the 18th Airborne Corps affirmed the death sentence; an appeal to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals is pending.|
|[Andrew Witt]||White||2005||Former Air Force senior airman from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was convicted of two counts of premeditated murder and one count of attempted premeditated murder. Witt stabbed Senior Airman Andy Schliepsiek and his wife to death at Robins Air Force Base (GA). He also seriously injured Staff Sergeant Jason King. On August 9, 2013, Witt's death sentence was overturned by the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals—an intermediate appellate court—on grounds of ineffectiveness of counsel. The military appealed that decision, and Witt's death sentence was reinstated by the Air Force Court of Appeals in July 2014. (Stars & Stripes, July 3, 2014). However, on July 19, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces—the nation's highest military court—again reversed Witt's death sentence and remanded the case for a new sentencing hearing. (McClatchyDC, July 20, 2016).|
|Timothy Hennis||White||2010||Master Sgt., was convicted in 1986 of murdering three people in North Carolina. He was tried in state court. However, his conviction was overturned because of weak evidence and improper statements by the prosecution. He was re-tried, and the jury voted unanimously for his acquittal in 1989. The evidence from the crime scene was preserved and, when DNA testing became available, a re-evaluation of the evidence pointed to the possibility that Hennis was indeed guilty of the murders. Although the constitutional protection against double jeopardy prevented his being re-tried in North Carolina's court, military courts have separate jurisdiction and can try cases under military laws, allowing a retrial even after an acquittal in state court. Hennis, who had left the service, was recalled to active duty in the military and then recently tried for the third time for the triple murder--of a woman and two children. A military jury convicted Hennis of murder on April 8, 2010 and sentenced him to death on April 15. Hennis was previously included on DPIC's list of exonerated individuals. (See J. Schwartz, "In 3rd Trial, Conviction in Murders From 1985," N.Y. Times, April 8, 2010).|
|Nidal Hasan||Middle Eastern||2013||Major Hasan was an Army psychiatrist stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. He killed 13 people on the base in 2009 and wounded many others because he believed it would aid Islamic insurgents in other countries where the U.S. had a presence. He was found guilty on all counts, and the jury unanimously voted for a death sentence on August 28, 2013. Hasan defended himself, though standby counsel attempted to intervene during the proceedings. (Associated Press, Aug. 28, 2013).|
[Brackets indicate that the conviction or death sentence has been overturned, but that appeals are still in progress or the defendant still faces retrial or resentencing proceedings.]
No Longer on Death Row
-Dwight Loving (B), Former Army private first class at Fort Hood, Texas, was convicted of two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of robbery and other felonies, and sentenced to death in 1989. Loving was charged with murdering two taxicab drivers. One of the taxi drivers was Private Christopher Fay, an active duty Army solider stationed at Fort Hood. The other victim was retired Army Sergeant Bobby Sharbino. Loving gave an undisputed videotaped confession. Loving applied for clemency in 2003. His death sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama fourteen years later on January 17, 2017.
-Kenneth Parker (B), a former Marine lance corporal at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was convicted of two counts of premeditated murder, one count each of armed robbery and kidnapping. Sentenced to death in 1995 for the murders of two Lance Corporals in nearby Jacksonville, N.C., as Wade Walker’s codefendant. UPDATE: Death sentence reversed by U.S. Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals, Aug. 22, 2012. One count of murder was also reversed. He was resentenced to life. (NBC News, Aug. 23, 2012).
-James T. Murphy (B), a former Army Sergeant, was stationed in Germany. On August 20, 1987 before leaving Germany, appellant went to his wife’s (Petra Murphy, a German National) apartment. There, according to his confession, he killed her by smashing in her head with a hammer. He also admitted that he killed Tim and James, Jr., the two children. He was convicted of three specifications of premeditated murder, and single specifications of larceny, bigamy, and false swearing. Now sentenced to life. (CAAFlog, 5/14/2010)
-William Kreutzer (W), a former Army Sergeant stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., was convicted of one specification of premeditated murder and 18 specifications of attempted murder, as well as one specification of violating a general order by transporting weapons on post. Kreutzer opened fire on a formation at Fort Bragg on October 27, 1995, killing one other Sergeant and wounding 18 soldiers, and killing Major Stephen Mark Badger. Now sentenced to life.
-Wade Walker (B), a former Marine lance corporal at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was convicted of two counts of premeditated murder, one count each of adultery and kidnapping, and other felonies. Sentenced to death for the murders of two Lance Corporals in nearby Jacksonville, N.C. He was sentenced to life at a resentencing in Feb. 2010. He had been convicted and sentenced to death in 1993, along with Kenneth Parker, for the murder of 2 other Marines. (Marine Corps Times, Feb. 22, 2010).
-Jessie Quintanilla (Asian/Pacific Islander), former Marine corporal at Camp Pendleton, Calif., was convicted of one count of premeditated murder, two counts of attempted murder, and other felonies and sentenced to death in 1998. Quintanilla was charged with the murder of Lieut. Colonel Daniel Wayne Kidd. Sergeant Quintanilla claimed he was an alcoholic disturbed by family and financial problems and that he only wanted to speak with Colonel Kidd. He was resentenced to life without parole in 2010. (L.A. Times, Sept. 22, 2010).
-Dock, Todd A. (W), A robbery murder of a cab driver killed with multiple stab wounds. Death sentence: 1984
-Turner, Melvin, A murder of the accused's 11-month-old daughter with a razor blade. Death sentence: 1985
-Curtis, Ronnie A. (B), Two victims. Burglary, robbery and murder of the accused's commanding officer and the officer's wife with multiple stab wonds in retaliation for racial slights by the officer. Death sentence:1987
-Thomas, Joseph L., murder of accused's wife with a tire iron to collect insurance proceeds. Death sentence: 1988
-Gibbs, Curtis A., A killing of a female drinking companion who was nearly decapitated with a sword. Death sentence: 1990
-Simoy, Jose F. (Asian/Pacific Islander), The accused and four coperpetrators robbed individuals delivering proceeds to a bank on an airbase and in the process killed a police officer 1992 with pipe blows to the head and nearly killed another person. The accused was not the triggerperson. Death sentence: 1992