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Thread: William Harry Meece - Kentucky Death Row

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    William Harry Meece - Kentucky Death Row




    Facts of the Crime:

    Was convicted of three counts of murder, burglary in the first degree and robbery in the first degree. He was sentenced to death on November 9, 2006 in Warren County. On February 26, 2003 he shot Joseph and Elizabeth Wellnitz and their son, Dennis Wellnitz, in their home in Columbia, Kentucky. Meece was orignally indicted in Adair County, case 03-CR-00020. However, on June 30, 2006, a change of venue was entered and the case was moved to Warren County, case 06-CR-00656.

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    Death sentence upheld in 1993 triple slaying in south-central Ky.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. A Kentucky man on death row received a fair trial on charges he killed three people in the southern part of the state in 1993, despite his objections to evidence used during the proceedings, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

    The high court, in a 177-page decision, upheld the conviction and death sentence of 39-year-old William Harry Meece, who was convicted in 2006 of killing veterinarian Joseph Wellnitz, 50; his wife, Beth, 40; and their son, Dennis, 20, in Adair County.

    Prosecutors said Meece and the Wellnitz's daughter, Meg Wellnitz Appleton, contrived the murder plot to collect a $550,000 inheritance after the slayings. The case lingered for a decade without suspects before police received a tip that Meece and Appleton had talked about being involved in the killings.

    Appleton pleaded guilty in January 2005 to three counts of complicity to murder and testified against Meece.

    Meece initially pleaded guilty to the slayings, but withdrew the plea in May 2005.

    On appeal, Meece challenged multiple aspects of the trial, including contending that a judge should have excluded two videotaped statements he made after pleading guilty. The statements included details about the slayings, how and where the Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol was purchased and who was attacked where and when.

    Meece claimed that, because the jurors heard on tape that he pleaded guilty, it influenced their decision regardless of the evidence.

    Justice Will T. Scott, writing for the court, said even without the videotaped statements, there was overwhelming testimony and evidence implicating Meece in the slayings.

    Scott noted that there was no pressure on Meece to plead guilty and give the statements, only the standard warning that failure to comply with the agreement could subject him to a trial and possible death sentence.

    "Once a cooperation plea agreement is negotiated, a defendant's cooperation thereafter is not solicitation, discussion or negotiation of a plea, but rather, compliance," Scott wrote.

    Meece also contested the admissibility of multiple statements he made in 1994 to an undercover police officer, including comments about shooting someone in the head.

    "The target is not a problem with a head shot with a 9mm, someone is left dying. Good night. See you wherever you are headed. Say hi for me, I've got friends there," Meece told the undercover officer.

    Scott found that Meece's comments to the undercover officer were admissible and the judge did not err by allowing jurors to hear them.

    http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/sto...riple-Slaying/

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Meece's petition for writ of certiorari was DENIED.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    US Supreme Court declines Ky. death row case

    The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of a Kentucky death row inmate awaiting execution for the slaying of three people in the southern part of the state in 1993.

    The high court on Monday issued its decision without comment on the appeal brought by 39-year-old William Harry Meece.

    A jury condemned Meece to death for the 2006 of killing veterinarian 50-year-old Joseph Wellnitz; his 40-year-old wife, Beth; and their 20-year-old son, Dennis, in Adair County.

    Prosecutors said Meece and the Wellnitz's daughter, Meg Wellnitz Appleton, contrived the murder plot to collect a $550,000 inheritance. Police charged Meece after more than a decade after receiving a tip.

    Appleton pleaded guilty in January 2005 to complicity to murder. Meece denies taking part in the attack.

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/stat...bdad16652.html
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    Kentucky Death Row Inmate Loses Suit Over Sabbath Rituals

    Kentucky's only Jewish inmate on death row has lost his bid to gain access to religious facilities at the state penitentiary after a state appeals court found he could pray in his cell.

    The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that 40-year-old William Harry Meece is allowed to pray in his cell, but security reasons prevent officials at the Kentucky State Penitentiary from moving him alone or with other inmates to a religious facility.

    Meece sued the state and alleged that prison officials violated his legal right to observe the Sabbath.

    Appeals Judge Laurence Van Meter ruled that prison officials were correct in determining that Meece cannot be mixed with general population inmates.

    Meece is awaiting execution for the deaths of three people in Adair County in 1993.

    http://www.lex18.com/news/kentucky-d...abbath-rituals
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    Woman Convicted In Family Murder Plot Found Dead In Prison

    A woman who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for plotting the murder of her family nearly 20 years ago, was found dead in her cell Wednesday morning.

    Meg Wellnitz Appleton was found dead by prison guards in her cell at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women in Pee Wee Valley, Wednesday shortly before 7 a.m.

    A cause of death is still pending. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

    The former UK student pleaded guilty in 2005 to plotting the murders of her stepfather Joseph Wellnitz, her mother Beth and her brother Dennis, in their Adair County home in 1993.

    In a 2008 interview with LEX 18, Appleton said she was forced into a confession.

    "I felt like I had no choice. I was getting sent letters everyday about how I was gonna get the death penalty," she said.

    For years, 39-year-old William Harry Meece, Appleton's co-defendant and the Lexington man currently on death row for carrying out the murders, has been in contact with LEX 18 through a series of letters and court documents.

    In 2005, he sent LEX 18 Meg Appleton's full interview with police, where she discusses why her mother despised Meece, and their plans to inherit her family's farm and collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance money.

    Also during the interview, Appleton admits she knew about Meece's plan to kill her family, though she never tried to stop him, never called the police, or told her parents.

    In 2003, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

    Bill Meece's ex-wife, Regina Meade, said Thursday morning the news of Appleton's death is a bit of a relief that she'll never be released. Meade asked her prayers be passed along for Meg's family, and adds that she hopes Meg found peace in prison.

    Meg's stepfather, mother and brother at their Adair County farm for a half million dollars in insurance money.

    Meece is awaiting execution for carrying out the crimes.

    http://www.lex18.com/news/woman-conv...dead-in-prison
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    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Kentucky death row inmate files lawsuit to get back on prisons kosher meal program

    A Kentucky death row inmate is suing for his kosher meals.

    After eating a rotisserie chicken from Sams Club that wasnt labeled as kosher, William Harry Meece was kicked out of the prisons food program, the Courier Journal reported.

    Meece, who was sentenced to death for a triple murder in 2006, slaughtering an Adair County family, filed a federal lawsuit, claiming there were many ways to remain kosher that didn't requiring adhering to labels.

    He claimed the strict labeled requirement only applied to Orthodox Jews, and that Reform Jews were able to keep kosher just by avoiding pork and shellfish.

    But the state penitentiary stood by its strict standard of proof for its kosher program, pointing out that the specially prepared meals cost 72% more, with the state serving $46,736 worth of kosher meals already this year.

    At least 20,000 U.S. inmates pretend to be Jews for kosher meals, like Norman Lee Toler, a white supremacist who supports Adolf Hitler, the newspaper reported.

    Meece is demanding he be reinstated into the kosher food program in his lawsuit, arguing that he is not faking his religious obligations.

    If they want to crack down on folks who are not really Jewish, we have no argument with that, his attorney, Aaron Bentley, told the Courier-Journal. But Bill Meece is not the gun they should crack down.

    Meece has been forced to eat non-kosher meals after prison officials believed he was conducting a hunger strike.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.2725569

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    Because kosher meals cost 72 percent more than standard meals

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