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  1. #1

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    Oct 2010

    Jesse Caleb Compton - Oregon Death Row

    Summary of Offense:

    Sentenced to death in the murder of two-year-old Tesslyn O'Cull. On June 14, 1997, Tesslynn O'Cull was beaten, burned, bound, sexually assaulted, starved, tortured and brutalized by her mother’s boyfriend, Jesse Compton, and her own mother, Stella Kiser, in the days leading to her death. Her back was broken two to three weeks prior to her death and rubbing alcohol had been poured into open wounds on her body.

  2. #2
    Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    From an article at the beginning of his trial: In Eugene Oregon, a man accused in the child-abuse death of a 3-year-old girl was portrayed as a brutal torturer by a prosecutor, but a defense attorney said the girl's death was a result of "inappropriate, misguided medical care." The lawyer for Jesse Caleb Compton, 21, said Monday that the death of Tesslynn O'Cull should not constitute aggravated murder. Compton could face the death penalty for the June 14, 1997 killing. Tesslynn's battered body was found in a shallow grave in some woods near Sweet Home. It was 5 days after her 3rd birthday. Compton is charged with aggravated murder, murder by abuse, 2 counts of 1st-degree penetration and abuse of a corpse. The girl's mother, Stella Kiser, 22, goes on trial next month. Prosecutors say Compton inflicted most of the injuries, and that Kiser knew about the abuse and occasionally tied up the child.

    Compton sat motionless in Lane County Circuit Court as Assistant District Attorney Robert Gorham accused him of a series of horrific acts in the girl's death. In his opening statements, Gorham apologized to the 6-man, 6-woman jury for the grisly facts he said the testimony and exhibits will show. "I'm sorry that I have to tell you about these things," he said. "You must face the reality of this case." Gorham said Compton and Kiser met and quickly moved in to a Springfield apartment, where they used methamphetamine daily. Compton assumed therole of disciplinarian for Tesslynn and abused the child for months, Gorham said.

    Gorham then described some of the injuries the child suffered, including a broken back, ruptured liver, rope burns around her wrists and ankles, sexual abuse, stab wounds and bruises. "There are 64 different talking points I have written down on the autopsy report," he said. "There are more injuries than that. She has an injury on every part of her body." Compton reportedly identified round burns on the child's lower back and buttocks, as well as her vagina and rectum, as chemical burns. He said that an overzealous spanking he had given Tesslyn had broken her skin, and that when he and Kiser determined that the sores had become infected, they poured a large amount of rubbing alcohol on the area, Gorham said. Gorham told jurors he would prove that the burns came instead from a hand-held propane torch that Compton kept in the apartment to smoke methamphetamine.

    Mullen, the defense attorney, argued in his opening statements that Compton should have been charged only with murder by abuse instead of aggravated murder. A murder by abuse conviction carries a minimum prison sentence of 25 years without parole. Both defendants acknowledged in statements to police that they sought no medical help for the child, even though Compton's mother is a nurse and the couple's apartment was near a fire station that has medics on duty around-the-clock. Mullen said Compton and Kiser "were not equipped emotionally or otherwise to care for a child."

    Gorham said the child likely died from septic shock, internal bleeding from a ruptured kidney, or a combination of effects from trauma. But Mullen said medical examiners had not been able to determine a cause of death.

    From an article at the end of his trial, read how a juror broke down and had to be excused from the horror:

    In Eugene, convicted child killer Jesse Caleb Compton has been sentenced to death for the torture slaying of 3-year-old Tesslynn O'Cull. Compton did not react as Lane County Circuit Judge Lyle Velure read the ruling by a jury that deliberated just 4 hours Thursday in the penalty phase of Compton's aggravated murder trial. Compton, 21, shook hands with defense lawyer Rich Mullen before being handcuffed by deputies and led from the courtroom. "This is exactly what we came to Oregon for," said Ken O'Cull, a Californian and the little girl's grandfather.

    Tesslynn died in June 1997 in a Springfield apartment where she lived with her mother, Stella Ann Kiser, and Compton. Kiser, 23, is scheduled for trial Nov. 17 on charges including aggravated murder. The murder was described by Springfield police investigators as the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen. Tesslynn suffered scores of injuries from head to foot over a period of up to 8 weeks before she died. Trial testimony indicated she died of shock caused by a combination of injuries, including fluid loss from 3rd-degree burns and from internal bleeding.

    Evidence indicated burns were caused by a propane torch Compton used to smoke methamphetamine. The internal bleeding came from a heavy blow or from being stomped within a day of her death. Deputy District Attorney Bob Gorham called Compton "merciless." After the verdict, Gorham acknowledged the extreme brutality of the crime and the impact the testimony and graphic photographs of the child's injuries had on jurors. "The injuries to this child were never completely described in the media. I'm happy the community was not subjected to what was done to her," Gorham said. One of the women on the jury was excused from service during the final argument when she began to weep uncontrollably and to say repeatedly, "God, that poor baby." A man who was one of four alternates selected for the trial took her place. Ken O'Cull thanked the 7-man, 5-woman jury, saying, "They had the hardest job in the world. They just took somebody's life. But he deserved it."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    JLR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Words fail me...

  4. #4
    Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    On February 7, 2002, Compton's death sentence was affirmed by the Oregon Supreme Court on direct appeal.

    On October 7, 2002, the US Supreme Court denied his certiorari petition.

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