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    Jose Sandoval - Nebraska Death Row






    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted for his role in the 2002 Norfolk bank murders that left five people dead. On the morning of September 26, 2002, Sandoval, Erick Vela and Jorge Galindo entered a bank located in Norfolk, Nebraska. In less than a minute, they shot and fatally wounded four bank employees and one customer: Lola Elwood, Samuel Sun, Lisa Bryant, Jo Mausbach and Evonne Tuttle.

    For more on Vela, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...aska-Death-Row

    For more on Galindo, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...=jorge+galindo

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    July 30, 2010

    Death Penalty Upheld in Bank Robbery Murders

    The ringleader of killers who gunned down five people at a Norfolk bank eight years ago will remain on death row. In an opinion released Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Jose Sandoval. His legal team argued the trial court made 17 errors in Sandoval's case.

    The high court agreed one error was made - that a jury was instructed it could consider victims' mental anguish when deciding whether Sandoval should be sentenced to death.

    But the high court said the error was harmless.

    Prosecutors said Sandoval personally killed three people, including a bank customer, while partners fanned out and killed two employees at the bank.

    The botched heist was one of the deadliest in U.S. history.

    http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/99627584.html

    Opinion is here:

    http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/opini...30/s05-142.pdf

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    Inmate Personal Information

    Race: Hispanic
    Gender: Male

    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Madison
    * Number of counts: Five
    * Race of Victims: All White
    * Gender of Victims: 4 Female/1 Male
    * Date of crime: 09/26/2002
    * Date of Sentencing: 01/14/2005

    Legal Status

    Current Proceedings:
    Post‐conviction

    Attorney

    Ronald Temple

    Court Opinions

    State v. Sandoval, 280 Neb. 309 (2010) (affirming conviction and
    sentence).

    Legal Issues

    On direct appeal:
    1. whether the District Court abused its discretion in impaneling a
    numbers jury and withholding jurors' names from defendant;
    2. whether the defendant was prejudiced by State's endorsement of
    over 500 witnesses;
    3. whether the prosecutor's positive statements regarding witnesses'
    character constituted a substantial miscarriage of justice;
    4. whether trial counsel's acquaintance with two victims rendered him
    incompetent to represent defendant;
    5. whether evidence warranted a limiting instruction clarifying that
    “murder” referred to the five murders with which defendant was

  4. #4
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Sandoval's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

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    US Supreme Court rejects convicted Nebraska bank killer's appeal without comment

    The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected without comment an appeal by a man who helped carry out one of the deadliest botched bank heists in U.S. history.

    The high court's decision Monday means Jose Sandoval will remain on Nebraska's death row.

    The decision backs one last year by the Nebraska Supreme Court, which upheld Sandoval's death sentence.

    Sandoval and two other men were each sentenced to death for killing five people at a U.S. Bank branch in Norfolk on Sept. 26, 2002. A fourth man who served as a lookout was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.

    Neither Sandoval's attorney, Ron Temple of Norfolk, nor Madison County Attorney Joe Smith immediately responded to messages left Tuesday by The Associated Press seeking comment.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...alty-Sandoval/

  6. #6
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    Decade after bank killings, some healing

    A late-night TV bulletin flashed the horrifying news: Heavily armed gunman shoots dozens in a Colorado theater. At least 12 dead.

    The anger welled up in Dave Mausbach, just as it has before.

    Innocent victims, just going about their lives. A gunman seeking notoriety. Senseless deaths.

    When he sees such news, the 56-year-old farmer envisions himself chasing after the shooter. Doing something.

    "I know what those people are going through. For nothing," Mausbach said. "I didn't sleep that night."

    The July 20 shooting in Aurora had sparked in Mausbach a horrible memory of one of the darkest chapters in Nebraska history. Ten years ago, three gunmen in dark clothing strode into a Norfolk bank and quickly opened fire.

    In less than 50 seconds, five people lay dead, including Mausbach's wife, Jo, a bank teller.

    No money was taken by the three, who now sit on death row.

    It was the deadliest bank robbery in state history.

    The date -- Sept. 26, 2002 -- remains seared in the minds of those who lost loved ones that day and others in a community where almost everyone knows everyone

    else. The panicked search for the suspects. The painful phone calls. The shock that such horror could visit their small city.

    Family members link bouts of depression, nightmares, ulcers and possibly one case of early onset of dementia with the lingering memories.

    Some said they're more appreciative of friends and loved ones.

    Many still question why.

    "They just wanted to see how many people they could kill. That's my feeling," Mausbach said. "I hate that the (shooters) are still alive."

    But a decade later, along with the hurt, there appears to be some healing.

    Children have grown up. Some are in college now. Husbands of three victims have moved, and one has remarried.

    The memories flood back, especially as the anniversary arrives. But at least, for some, the bitterness has subsided.

    "I can't stay mad. I've suffered enough. I don't want to suffer for an eternity," said 28-year-old Christine Tuttle of Norfolk.

    Her mother, Evonne, died as she was cashing a $64 check at the bank counter.

    "You have to (forgive) if you want to keep on living. If not, bad things dwell on your mind," said Mike Tichy of Springfield, S.D., a retired Vietnam War veteran and brother of Jo Mausbach.

    In Norfolk, a northeast Nebraska community of 24,000, the sad anniversary will pass quietly Wednesday. There were no plans for memorial services, private or public. Local news media expected subdued coverage.

    Some victims' families say they'll visit gravesites or place flowers at a star-shaped memorial park built on the site where the bank once stood. Others say they have no special plans to mark the day.

    Not that they can forget.

    "I don't think I could ever make peace or understand why that tragedy had to happen," said Coni Johnson of rural O'Neill, whose daughter, personal banker Lisa Bryant, was among those killed.

    The bank was razed after the slayings, which helped erase the painful memories, townspeople say. The park's shrubs and trees are tall enough to nearly screen off the well-manicured area from busy U.S. Highway 81. An entrance sign asks for God's help in redeeming "the great evil" that took five lives, but it doesn't mention a bank or a robbery.

    On a warm afternoon last week, two teenage girls skipped across the park, consumed in chatter, oblivious to the sad significance of the corner.

    "The thing you always worry about is that the community forgets the victims (and their families)," said Madison County Attorney Joe Smith. "A lot of these kids are in college or graduated. I've never seen a group of people bond together so tightly. They all needed that support."

    Smith prosecuted the gunmen -- Jose Sandoval, Jorge Galindo and Erick Vela -- and a fourth man, Gabriel Rodriguez, who signaled the others to enter the bank. Rodriguez was sentenced to life in prison. All four are housed at the state prison in Tecumseh. Legal appeals continue by the three on death row.

    It's been five years since the last trial ended. But while the headlines have dropped off, widespread connections to the crime remain.

    It was hard to find someone who didn't know one of those involved: the victims, the dozens of jurors and witnesses in the four criminal cases, or the nearly 150 law enforcement officials who worked on them. At one trial, 56 family members of victims sat in the gallery.

    "This was Madison County's 9/11," said Joanie Brugger, who heads the county's victim-witness office.

    Steve Hecker, a former Norfolk police captain who worked the case, said four more people could easily have been killed that day, but the gunmen either ran out of bullets or a gun malfunctioned.

    "It was an example of pure evil," said State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, who was working as a radio news reporter that day and was one of the first to arrive at the gunsmoke-filled bank.

    And there were more victims than those in the bank.

    A state trooper, Mark Zach, committed suicide a day after the bank invasion. The father of six was distraught that he had mistakenly submitted the wrong serial number of a stolen gun found on Vela during a traffic stop in the days before the murders, allowing Vela to go free.

    Months after the slayings, investigators found shallow graves holding the bodies of Travis Lundell and Robert Pearson, whose murders were also linked to the bank gunmen.

    Former Norfolk Mayor Gordon Adams said his town lost some innocence that day in September.

    "We learned that bad things can happen anywhere," Adams said.

    Norfolk residents say the slayings didn't prompt an ethnic backlash.

    Abe Montalbo Jr., a local used car dealer, said that in the hours after the slaying, as police were searching for suspects

    described as Hispanic, his father, a local preacher, was treated rudely at a fast-food restaurant. The response: a healing service at their Hispanic church, where whites and Hispanics grieved together.

    It helped, several Norfolk officials said.

    "There was no excuse" for the slayings, Montalbo said.

    Several children of the victims have moved on with their lives.

    Rebecca Mausbach, 22, is studying for a master's degree in business while on a full-ride scholarship for volleyball at Southwestern Oklahoma State. Her brother, Jake, a talented artist, just started his studies at Wayne State College.

    "I'm proud of how they've turned out," their father said, crediting family and friends in the small farm town of Humphrey, population 760.

    Bill Sun, a son of Sam Sun, a bank teller who was killed, was recently sworn in to the Nebraska State Bar Association after graduating from the Creighton University School of Law. His brother, Ben, has become fluent in Chinese and has used his skills overseas.

    Cody Elwood just started college and his older sister, Lovay, is now married. They are the children of Lola Elwood, the assistant manager slain in the bank.

    Christine Tuttle is studying for her master's degree in social work, taking night classes at Wayne State College.

    She was 18 and had just enrolled at Nebraska Wesleyan University when the murders happened. She dropped out so she wouldn't miss any court hearings.

    "Mom would have done that for me. In the front row," she said.

    She gave birth to two children during the five years of trials. She cried when the bank's security camera videotape of her mother's slaying was played in court, and she cried again when her mother's killer was sentenced to death.

    But she has picked up the pieces after losing her mother. She struggled through community college courses, then finished her studies in criminal justice.

    She works full time for the state as a caseworker, helping troubled families and juveniles, after completing an internship with the victim-witness unit at the Madison County Attorney's Office.

    "I feel like I've been there," Tuttle said.

    She's married now but kept her mother's name as a tribute, and she wears a ring that her mother was wearing when she died.

    She has three children of her own and helps at least one weekend a month to care for her two half sisters, Virginia, now 15, and Sarah, 13, who live with their father in Iowa.

    Tuttle has dealt with her pain by speaking openly about her feelings, even to groups. "But everyone grieves differently," she said.

    She also chose to go ahead with the cesarean-section birth of her second child, Lane, on Sept. 26, the anniversary of her mother's death.

    She wanted her family to have something to celebrate on that day.

    Lane Evander -- the closest male name they could find to Evonne, her mother's name -- will turn 7 this Wednesday.

    The birthday party will begin after a visit to her mother's memorial at the old bank site.

    "Those four men were monsters. I've looked up the definition in the dictionary, and it fits," Tuttle said. "I really don't care if they're executed or not. It's not going to make me feel better.

    "I've forgiven them. It doesn't mean I have to like them."

    http://lexch.com/news/regional/decad...a4bcf887a.html
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    Not all on board with growing push to end death penalty in Nebraska

    Christine Tuttle was a teenager when her mother, Evonne, was fatally shot inside a Norfolk bank in 2002.

    No money was taken. But 5 people died in a botched robbery that was over in less than 50 seconds.

    Tuttle, now a 30-year-old mother of 3, said she used to think it didn't matter if the 3 gunmen sentenced to death were eventually executed.

    Not any more.

    She said that paying the ultimate price for a horrific crime is a "traditional value" that shouldn't go away.

    "They talk about the high cost of the death penalty, but what if we factor the cost of me living without a mom? Or me paying for college by myself? Or for these (other) families carrying on without a parent?" Tuttle said.

    "I don't want them to not fear that they might die. I want them to be put to death," she added.

    Tuttle's support for the death penalty took on a new urgency recently when a legislative committee advanced a bill that would replace capital punishment with life imprisonment. The vote was 8-0, the 1st time a repeal bill advanced unanimously from the Judiciary Committee.

    Among those supporting repeal was Miriam Thimm Kelle of Beatrice, whose brother, James Thimm, was murdered by religious cult leader Michael Ryan.

    11 senators have joined a longtime death penalty foe, State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, as co-sponsors of the repeal measure, Legislative Bill 268. The sponsors include not just traditional death penalty opponents who believe it's a barbaric and random punishment but also conservative Republicans who believe it's a broken, expensive policy that doesn't deter crime.

    "It's not much of a deterrent right now if you can sit on death row for 18 or 19 years," said State Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward, one of the co-sponsors. "I've struggled with it - is it the right thing or not? If we're not using it, why have it."

    With Kolterman and 17 other new senators in the Legislature, it's hard to tell whether Chambers and others against the death penalty will be successful when the full body takes up the issue. That's not expected to happen until next month.

    The bill will need more than a simple majority of lawmakers to pass. Omaha Sen. Beau McCoy has already signaled a filibuster against the bill, meaning it will take 33 votes in the 49-member Legislature to advance the measure, rather than the normal 25.

    Gov. Pete Ricketts, a proponent of capital punishment, has been talking with senators and is working with Attorney General Doug Peterson to restore the state's ability to carry out the death penalty.

    Nebraska is one of 32 states that has a death penalty (Iowa does not), but there hasn't been an execution in the Cornhusker State since 1997. Carey Dean Moore, 1 of 11 men on death row in the state, has been there for 35 years.

    Since at least December 2013, Nebraska has been unable to carry out an execution. That's when its supply of a key lethal-injection drug, sodium thiopental, expired.

    A spokeswoman for Peterson said the attorney general has been seeking alternatives since he took office in January. Ricketts, a conservative Republican, said the state needs to keep capital punishment.

    "I support the appropriate use of the death penalty and will work with members of the Unicameral to uphold it," he said in a prepared statement.

    Nebraska and dozens of other states have struggled to obtain drugs needed to carry out executions by lethal injection.

    Major U.S. manufacturers have quit making sodium thiopental, a sedative commonly used in executions, and foreign sources have dried up amid opposition to capital punishment overseas and questions over the purity of such imported drugs.

    Alternative drugs that have been tried were part of botched executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona last year. Florida and Georgia just recently put executions on hold because of questions about the drugs used in those states.

    Frustrated, Tennessee last year re-instituted the electric chair as a possible method if execution drugs are not available. Oklahoma is now exploring the use of nitrogen gas. In Utah, a bill to bring back the firing squad awaits a signature by the governor.

    One result of the uncertainty: 2014 saw the fewest number of executions nationwide in 2 decades, 35.

    A national authority on the death penalty said that the options available for death-penalty states are growing slimmer. Even if they are found, it would take months to develop and pass new rules and regulations, and any new protocol would likely face a new round of court challenges.

    "It's becoming a crisis, or a decision point," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. "Maybe a drug company will come forward (with a new drug supply) or compounding pharmacy. But there's not a lot happening."

    Executions are still occurring. Missouri and Texas have executions scheduled this week, though the Lone Star State will use its final dose of sodium thiopental, forcing it to seek alternatives.

    Kolterman said the problem of finding the necessary lethal injection drugs factored into his decision to support repeal of the death penalty, as did his "pro-life" views and conversations with several religious groups.

    The cost was also a consideration, he said.

    A 2014 report in Kansas concluded it costs 4 times more to defend someone facing the death penalty than someone facing life in prison.

    In Nebraska there have been conflicting reports. The Attorney General's Office in 2007, 2008 and 2010 estimated that repealing the death penalty would not reduce its office's expenses - estimates that opponents of the death penalty disputed.

    In 2013 a report by the ACLU, which opposes the death penalty, said capital punishment cases take twice as long to litigate and involve 5 times as many appeals, and thus are much more expensive - a report disputed by capital punishment proponents.

    Tuttle, who works with troubled juveniles in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said cost is immaterial to her.

    People, she said, seem to have forgotten about the slayings in Norfolk and a later discovery that the ringleader, Jose Sandoval, was involved in 2 other murders.

    The death penalty, she said, may not be a deterrent to such crimes, but it needs to remain.

    "It's there to be a consequence for murder," Tuttle said.

    (Source: The Omaha World-Herald)
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  8. #8
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Vivian Tuttle, whose daughter Evonne was murdered in a 2002 bank robbery in Norfolk, speaks during a news conference in support of governor's veto of a bill passed by the legislature that would repeal the death penalty in Nebraska on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in the Governor's Hearing Room at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb.


    Mother of murder victim gathers signatures to get death penalty refendum on the ballot

    By Maunette Loeks
    The Scottsbluff Star-Herald

    As Vivian Tuttle gathers signatures for a referendum to reinstate the death penalty, a photo is held onto her clipboard.

    The photo seems like any family photo. It’s of her daughter, Evonne Tuttle and two young children, at a fair. Then, Tuttle explains that the photo was taken just five days before her daughter died, one of five victims in the 2002 Norfolk bank shooting.

    “My daughter went into the bank in Norfolk, Nebraska, on Sept. 26, 2002. She got down on her knees, bowed her head, put her hands behind her head and (Jose) Sandoval shot her in the back of the head. He shot three people that day. There were five people shot in 40 seconds.”

    Tuttle says she watched the film of her daughter, a bank customer, being shot at the trial and sentencing hearings of Jose Sandoval and two other gunmen — Jorge Galindo and Erick Vela — convicted and sentenced to death row in the bank robbery.

    She’s invested in repealing the Nebraska Legislature’s striking down of the death penalty, she said.

    Some petition circulators are receiving pay. She’s simply volunteering her time, explaining the petition from county to county, event to event.

    “I am doing this because I want justice,” she said. “For justice, the families need it (the death penalty) to be carried out.”

    In May, the Nebraska Legislature repealed the death penalty in a vote on LB 268. Opponents launched a referendum effort in the wake of the Legislature’s 30-19 override of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto of the death penalty repeal law.

    “Thirty legislators pushed the wrong button that day,” she said. She insists that legislators didn’t listen to their constituents when they repealed the law. She has been comforted by Gov. Pete Ricketts, who she believes will use the death penalty. She’s spoken before Nebraska sheriffs at the invitation of Pierce County Sheriff Rick Eberhardt, a sheriff being vocal about his opposition of the death penalty repeal.

    The availability of the death penalty isn’t important to just families of murder victims, Tuttle said. As she has circulated the petition, she said, she has talked to people in communities with death penalty cases. Cases affect family members, friends and others who knew victims, she said. She claims that law enforcement have told her that they are concerned for their own lives because of the repeal of the death penalty, saying that law enforcement believe that suspects will be more likely to kill cops than ever before.

    “We have to keep the death penalty,” she said. “We have to keep the rest of the people safe. Keep Nebraska safe.”

    As Tuttle stood in front of the Scotts Bluff County Courthouse and Scotts Bluff County Administration buildings in Gering, she had a steady flow of people signing the petition. She explained the petition to signers and many talked to her about the issue.

    “I had a lady who works at a nursing home who signed this,” she says in one exchange with a signer. “She says that nursing home residents don’t get as good of care and facilities as death row inmates.”

    She and the signer express that they believe that prison inmates get better food, medical care and even television and computers, all on the taxpayer’s dollar, than a normal citizen.

    In other exchanges, petition signers talk about the probability of an innocent person being on death row — one man says that its possible, “but not as likely because of forensics today.” Others have worked in law enforcement or government and tell her they support her efforts. Some talk about the two Scotts Bluff County men — Raymond Mata and Jeffrey Hessler — on death row for their crimes. She answers questions and explains the referendum process to people.

    As of Thursday, Tuttle estimated she had gathered 900 signatures on her own. She’s been working since the middle of June, traveling across Nebraska, She has visited 12 of Nebraska’s counties, gathering petitions in front of stores and at events like farm and ranch expos and rodeos.

    For the issue to be on the ballot, petition circulators need to gather signatures from at least 10 percent of the voters in 38 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. For Scotts Bluff County to be among those counties, 2,327 people must sign Tuttle’s or other petitions on the issue. Tuttle said that petition gathers have set their sights on gathering 120,000 to 150,000 signatures, knowing that some of the signatures will be struck because a signer is not registered, may have incorrect information or can’t otherwise be verified. The effort needs 113,459 signatures to be on the ballot in the 2016 general election.

    “It will be there. It will be on the ballot,” Tuttle tells signers as they walk away from signing the petition.

    http://www.starherald.com/news/local...tml?mode=story
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  9. #9
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    AG: 3 inmates likely first in line for death penalty

    Sandoval, 37, was convicted of seven murders and sentenced to death 13 years ago for killing five people at a Norfolk bank.

    Peterson would not speculate on when an execution might take place. Some other attorneys have said it could take years to schedule one.

    A public hearing on the new death penalty protocol proposal, which was unveiled three weeks after voters overwhelmingly reversed the Legislature's repeal of the death penalty, is set for Dec. 30.

    "This is just a process," Peterson said. "Whenever regulations are adopted, they have to go through the administrative process of having a hearing."

    Once the steps are complied with, it becomes the protocol of the Corrections Department, he said.

    http://journalstar.com/news/state-an...74d2a7e55.html
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    Nebraska moving forward with execution plans for Jose Sandoval in Norfolk bank killings

    Nebraska prison officials are seeking to execute convicted Norfolk bank robber Jose Sandoval in the near future.

    Corrections Director Scott Frakes notified Jose Sandoval on Thursday of the drugs to be used to put him to death via lethal injection, said Dawn-Renee Smith, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, in a news release.

    An execution date hasn't been set, but state regulations require the prisons chief to notify condemned inmates 60 days prior to the attorney general requesting an execution warrant from the Nebraska Supreme Court.

    Corrections officials would seek to inject diazepam, fetanyl citrate, cisatracuriam besylate and potassium chloride.

    The department has the drugs and has tested them, according to the release.

    http://journalstar.com/news/local/91...7ee5fffcf.html
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