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Derek Gibson Sales - Arkansas Death Row
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Thread: Derek Gibson Sales - Arkansas Death Row

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    Derek Gibson Sales - Arkansas Death Row




    Facts of the Crime:

    Was sentenced to death on May 17, 2007 in the slaying of 56-year-old Willie York, a bootlegger who sold beer by the can in the dry county. Authorities said York was beaten and stabbed. Sales was arrested in York's home a day after the April 16, 2005 slaying. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, and also received a life sentence on an aggravated robbery charge after the court determined he was a habitual offender. At the time of the slaying, Sales had escaped from the Warren jail where he had been awaiting transfer to the state prison system to serve a 75-year term on a variety of convictions.

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    September 20, 2008

    Derek Sales And Steven Victor Wertz Death Sentences Affirmed

    LITTLE ROCK -- The state Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed the conviction of a state prison inmate facing the death penalty in the 2005 murder of a wheelchair-bound Warren man.

    The high court also upheld the death sentence of a Florida man convicted in Sharp County of murdering an Ash Flat couple on New Year's Eve 1986.

    In the Bradley County case, Derek Sales was sentenced to death in the slaying of 56-year-old Willie York, a bootlegger who sold beer by the can in the dry county. Authorities said York was beaten and stabbed.

    Sales was arrested in York's home a day after the April 16, 2005 slaying. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, and also received a life sentence on an aggravated robbery charge after the court determined he was a habitual offender.

    At the time of the slaying, Sales had escaped from the Warren jail where he had been awaiting transfer to the state prison system to serve a 75-year term on a variety of convictions.

    In his appeal, Sales argued he should have been granted a mistrial because potential jurors were present when police showed crime scene photographs to York's family.

    In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court said Sales offered no proof that being present when the photographs were shown prejudiced jurors.

    The court also said there was substantial evidence to support his conviction.

    "We reviewed this case on the issues enumerated ... and found no error," the court ruled.

    In the Sharp County case, Steven Victor Wertz was convicted in 2007 for the 1986 shooting deaths of Terry and Kathy Watts, who were found dead in their home. The couple's infant son was in the home at the time they were killed, according to the opinion.

    Authorities considered Wertz a suspect from the beginning but no arrests were made in the case until 20 years later.

    The murders occurred during an argument between the couple, Wertz and an accomplice, James Snyder Jr., according to the court record. The argument was over custody of Terry Watts' daughter from a previous relationship with a woman who was married to Wertz at the time the Watts and his wife were shot.

    Snyder, who also faced the death penalty, later testified against Wertz under an agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced to five years in prison.

    The Supreme Court rejected Wertz arguments on appeal that there was not enough evidence to support Snyder's testimony, and that the prosecution failed to present any evidence supporting the idea that he knew the couple's child was in the home at the time of the murders.

    "We hold that this evidence is substantial evidence that Wertz knowingly created a great risk of death to Joshua Watts, a person other than the victims," Justice Paul Danielson wrote in an unanimous opinion.

    The court noted that shotgun shells were found in the living room were the child was found, as well as near the infant's crib. Justices also cited testimony that Wertz told Snyder that children might be present and that those older than eight years old would need to be "eliminated" as possible witnesses.

    http://www.zimbio.com/member/Glutton...eath+Sentences

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Inmate Personal Information

    DOB: 01/08/1961
    Race: Black
    Gender: Male

    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Ashley
    * Number of counts: One
    * Race of Victim: Black
    * Gender of Victim: Male
    * Date of crime: 12/24/2005
    * Date of Sentencing: 05/17/2007

    Legal Status

    Current proceedings:
    Post‐conviction proceedings, Case number:
    CR 10‐53; filed on 01/15/2010

    Attorney

    Jeffrey Harrelson

    Court Opinions

    Sales v. State, 289 S.W.3d 423 (Ark. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S.Ct. 2000 (2009).

    Legal Issues

    On direct appeal:
    (1) whether there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict
    (2) whether defendant was prejudiced when law enforcement officer showed crime scene photographs to victim's family when potential jurors were present so as to warrant a mistrial

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    DEREK SALES v THE STATE OF ARKANSAS

    Opinion Date: May 23, 2013

    Court: Arkansas Supreme Court

    After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of capital murder and aggravated robbery and sentenced to death and life imprisonment, respectively. The Supreme Court affirmed. Appellant subsequently filed a petition for postconviction relief pursuant to Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.5, arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. The circuit court denied the petition after a hearing. Appellant appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred in finding Appellant's counsel provided effective assistance. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court failed to make specific written findings of fact and conclusions of law as required under Rule 37.5(i). Remanded for entry of a written order in compliance with Rule 37.5(i).
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    September 25, 2014

    Court upholds convictions of 2 on death row

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of two men sitting on death row in separate rulings.

    Justices on Thursday upheld the capital murder convictions of Derek Sales and Gregory Decay, both of whom were sentenced to death. Sales was convicted in the April 16, 2005, slaying of Willie York of Bradley County. Decay was convicted in the April 3, 2007, shooting deaths of Kevin Jones and Kendall Rice of Fayetteville.

    Sales had argued his counsel was ineffective for telling jurors that he might be pardoned by the governor if sentenced to life, and for referring during opening statements that Sales had escaped jail while awaiting trial.

    Decay had also argued that his counsel had been ineffective during his trial.

    http://littlerock.thv11.com/news/new...ns-2-death-row
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  7. #7
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On July 30, 2015, Sales filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/ar...cv00248/100828

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