Facts of the Crime:
Convicted and sentenced to death for the August 8, 2002 murder of Jedediah Harr.
Allen was sentenced to death on March 21, 2005 in Richland County.
Facts of the Crime:
Convicted and sentenced to death for the August 8, 2002 murder of Jedediah Harr.
Allen was sentenced to death on March 21, 2005 in Richland County.
November 16, 2009
Death sentence upheld for Mafia wannabe
The death sentence of a killer who wanted to be a Mafia hit man has been upheld for two 2002 murders he committed in Richland County by the S.C. Supreme Court.
The death sentence of Quincy Jovan Allen, 30, was "proper" and supported by ample aggravating circumstances that made him eligible for the death penalty, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a unanimous decision.
The court’s seven-page decision contained the details of Allen’s grisly death odyssey -- in which he also killed two men in North Carolina -- over two months in 2002.
That year, Allen shot and killed Dale Hale near I-77 in Columbia with a shotgun. He then doused her body with gasoline and set it on fire.
A month after that killing, also using a shotgun, Alllen shot and killed a man, Jedediah Harr, who was a bystander in an argument Allen had with others.
"Allen gave statements to police outlining the details of his crimes," the Supreme Court noted.
"He told police he began killing people because an inmate in federal prison, where Allen spent time for stealing a vehicle, had told him he could get him a job as a Mafia hit man."
Before starting his death spree, Allen used a homeless man, James White, 51, who was sitting on a bench in Finlay Park in downtown Columbia, for target practice.
Allen shot him twice to learn how to use his shotgun, the high court noted.
Allen has also pleaded guilty and been sentenced to death for killing the two North Carolina men in 2002.
Circuit Court Judge G. Gordon Cooper sentenced Allen to death in 2005. Fifth Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese prosecuted the case.
Allen is now on Death Row in the S.C. Department of Corrections.
December 17, 2009
Quincy Allen execution date set
Convicted murderer Quincy Allen, 30, is set to be executed January 8 after the S.C. Supreme Court issued an order Thursday directing the state to carry out his death sentence.
The order comes just weeks after Allen and another death-row inmate repeatedly stabbed a guard outside the state's death-row compound at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia on December 2.
That stabbing took place 2 weeks after the state high court rejected Allen's final appeal November 16, which cleared the way for his execution.
Allen plead guilty in 2005 to murdering Jedediah Harr, 22, at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Northeastern Richland County in 2002 as well as killing and burning the body of Dale Hall, 45, on Two Notch Road. Allen also shot James White, 51, in downtown Columbia's Finlay Park. White survived the shooting.
Allen then led police on a multi-state manhunt, including the killing of 2 more people at a N.C. convenience store, before being captured in Texas.
Corrections department spokesman Josh Gelinas said Thursday that Allen has selected electrocution as the method of execution.
(source: Midlands Connect)
January 3, 2010
SC killer chooses electrocution for execution
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A death row inmate has ended his appeals and asked South Carolina to execute him in the electric chair.
Prison officials Thursday scheduled Quincy Allen's death for Jan. 8, 2010. Allen killed four people across South Carolina and North Carolina in the summer of 2002.
Allen's decision to die came just two weeks after he tried to escape from death row with cop killer Mikal Deen Mahdi. Authorities say the pair stabbed a guard in a fenced-in recreation yard but were quickly caught.
South Carolina allows inmates to choose between lethal injection and electrocution. The state has executed two inmates in 2009.
It would be the second electrocution in the U.S. in two months. A Virginia killer chose to die in that state's electric chair in November.
Inmate appeals execution as date looms
A death row inmate whose execution date was set for next month has appealed his case in federal court.
Defense attorney Bob Dudek said Thursday he filed the request to stay Quincy Allen's execution.
The appeal was filed hours after state prison officials set a Jan. 8 execution date and said Allen chose to die in the electric chair. Dudek says that will likely be delayed because Allen also has the potential for a state appeal remaining.
The state Supreme Court refused Thursday to reconsider its decision to uphold Allen's death sentence.
Allen killed four people across South Carolina and North Carolina in the summer of 2002.
Authorities say he tried to escape from death row two weeks ago, stabbing a guard.
January 5, 2010
Stay of execution ordered in Quincy Allen case
Convicted killer Quincy Allen was scheduled to be put to death this Friday, but Tuesday afternoon, we learned the execution won't go on as scheduled.
In 2005, Allen was convicted of murdering 2 people in Richland County and 2 others in North Carolina.
JoAnne Harr has been waiting for more than 7 years to see her son's killer put to death.
"He was my only son with my husband, our only child," she said.
JoAnne looks at her sons ashes and says she hates the thought she'll never have grandkids.
"I can't look forward to seeing Jed in each of them," said JoAnne.
Jedediah Harr, know to his mother as "Jed," was only 22 when he was shot and killed by Quincy Allen.
Harr was out celebrating with a friend who just got engaged. An argument between Allen and the 2 turned deadly when Allen pulled out a gun.
JoAnne says not a day goes by she doesn't think about her son -- he would have turned 30 this year.
"I miss his shenanigans, sense of humor, which was kind of dry, but he would get me every now and then and it was always okay little mama just calm down," said JoAnne.
Allen's execution was originally scheduled for this Friday, but just today the attorney general's office received a stay order from the South Carolina Supreme Court. All this means more court time for Allen and more waiting for JoAnne.
"It's like the victim continues to be the victim until they day he's dead, and it's just not right," said JoAnne. "I don't have to pay for his room and board anymore, I'd rather pay my sons room and board, not his, not Quincy Allen's."
We got the word from the attorney general's office about the stay order from the Supreme Court just after 4.
A date for Allen to meet with a judge has not yet been set.
(source: WIS News)
SC corrections officer assaulted, loses job
A chill, damp mist clung to the grounds of Lieber state prison as Corrections Officer Nathan Sasser led two death-row inmates down a cement staircase to an outdoor basketball court for their recreation hour.
Sasser had his back turned to the pair, opening a lock to the court, when the first blow landed on his neck. It felt like a forearm slammed into the base of his skull.
Sasser didn t realize he had been stabbed until he wheeled around and saw one of the inmates lunge at him again with a crude, but effective, homemade knife.
In a matter of seconds, both men were on him, slashing, stabbing, cutting as Sasser fell to the ground, his feet skittering out from under him on pavement slick with his blood. By the time the attack ended, he had been stabbed 14 times on his face, scalp, neck, chest and arms.
Nearly four years have passed since that bloody morning in December 2009, and Sasser s physical wounds have mostly healed, the jagged tears to his flesh transformed by time into knotted scars and faded squiggles along his skin. But the wounds inside his head remain raw and tough to remedy.
Post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety steal his sleep and have kept him from working. He is quick to startle, and he has swung on family members and friends who made the mistake of trying to rouse him from feverish dreams. Feeling exposed and worried about being caught defenseless, he carries a half-dozen lock-blade knives on him at all times.
The 39-year-old Summerville man credits his Christian faith with keeping him strong, but he is bitter about the way he s been treated by the state Department of Corrections and the criminal justice system.
The corrections agency terminated him a year after the stabbing because he was unable to return to duty from his disability. Then the state dropped felony assault charges against the two inmates accused of stabbing him.
Sasser said prosecutors saw little to be gained by taking the pair to trial, since they already are facing death sentences for their previous crimes.
They were like What s the point? There s nothing we can do to them, he said. But what about the principle? It says to those guys you can beat the hell out of an officer and do whatever you want, and nothing is going to happen to you.
Corrections officials said they have done all they can do to help Sasser, and they needed to fill his job to maintain staffing at the maximum-security prison in Ridgeville. He has been offered the possibility of other jobs at Lieber or another prison when his doctor clears him to return to work, but that hasn t happened, Corrections spokesman Clark Newsom said.
His termination was not punitive, but rather a necessary step after he had exceeded the 180-day extended disability leave provided for under state law, Newsom said.
All I can say is we sympathize with Mr. Sasser, he said. We hope once he has been cleared by his physician to come back to work, if he has an interest in returning, he would certainly be welcome to re-apply.
The chief prosecutor for the area, 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, said he understands Sasser s frustration and hasn t given up on prosecuting the two inmates, despite the dismissal of the earlier charges. Part of the problem, he said, is that one of the inmates is considered so dangerous that a court order is needed just to remove him from a super-max facility in Columbia to attend trial.
Sasser said he feels discarded and forgotten after giving his all to a job he had hoped would become a stable career a job he insists he was never properly trained to do. Now, he s struggling to support his wife and four children.
He s been pushed to the side, like he s worthless, said Sasser s wife, Kim. They just don t care.
A new career
A burly, barrel-chested man with a bald pate and a salt-and-pepper goatee as thick as a wire brush, Sasser worked as a long-haul trucker for 15 years, carting freight everywhere from Texas to Connecticut and many points in between. But tired of being away from his family, he looked for work closer to home, and landed a job at Lieber Correctional Facility in June 2009.
He had been on the job less than six months when he applied for an opening on death row, hoping the move would lead to a promotion and better pay. He said he became one of just five officers on his shift charged with keeping watch over some 52 men awaiting execution. His first day on The Rock, as they called it, an inmate told Sasser he would shoot him if he could get his hands on a gun.
Officers on death row were supposed to have a working knowledge of some 15 binders full of policies, procedures and regulations, Sasser said. Instead, he was quickly put to work on the floor and given rudimentary instructions on performing duties that he later learned contradicted official policies, he said.
For one, the rule book called for all death-row inmates to be strip-searched and shackled for escort before leaving or returning to their cells, Sasser said. In practice, however, he was told to simply walk them to their destination for recreation, with a pat-down at most, he said.
That practice would soon come back to haunt Sasser.
On the morning of Dec. 2, 2009, death row was short-staffed and an officer who had never worked there or been trained in its procedures was assigned to search inmates after they were released from their cells for recreation. He patted down their clothes, but did not do more extensive searches, according to an internal report on the incident.
In the group that was released was Mikal Mahdi, a 26-year-old inmate who had been sentenced to death in 2006 after pleading guilty to fatally shooting an off-duty Orangeburg police officer nine times and setting his body on fire while on the run from a killing a gas station worker in North Carolina.
Mahdi was placed in a recreation cage with Quincy Allen, 30, who was sent to death row in 2005 after he admitted to killing four people in the Carolinas in a delusional plan to become a Mafia hit man.
A short time later, Allen and Mahdi stopped Sasser as he walked by and asked to go to the basketball court. They then jumped him when his back was turned, setting upon him with shanks fashioned from metal they had stripped from air ducts, Sasser said. Each knife had a blade 5 to 6 inches long.
Come on guys. I have a family, Sasser pleaded as blows rained down on him.
They didn t stop.
Sasser said he grabbed Allen s knife, bending the blade, and tried to use Allen s body to block Mahdi s line of attack. But Sasser slipped on his blood and fell to the ground, quickly covering his head and neck with his hands for protection. His fellow officers couldn t reach him to help because Sasser was outside alone, the only one with keys to the exterior doors and gates.
The two inmates then jumped on the fence, trying to make a run for it, Sasser and witnesses said. That gave him enough time to scramble to the door, bleeding from his wounds. He got inside, where a fellow officer pulled him to safety inside a sally port.
Unable to escape, Mahdi and Allen ducked back inside and started tearing up the common area, destroying two televisions and a microwave, authorities said. They used the plastic backs of the TV sets as makeshift body armor to protect themselves from the prison tactical team racing their way, an internal report stated.
After tear gas failed to roust the duo, officers used non-lethal rounds to subdue the pair, the report said. Sasser said he was told they were shot with rubber bullets.
Allen and Mahdi were transferred to the Kirkland super-max facility in Columbia and stripped of their privileges outside recreation, visitation, phone use and canteen items, Newsom said.
The pair declined to speak with investigators, but another inmate told prison officials the pair had been plotting an attack on a white officer for weeks because prisoners were upset about a new rule requiring that a door to the recreation area remain closed, according to the internal report.
The report does not mention that Allen and Mahdi had any specific beef with Sasser in particular, and he said he d had no prior problems with the men.
Huge security risk
State investigators charged the pair with assault and battery with intent to kill, but prosecutors in May decided against taking the case to trial, noting in a letter to Sasser that they have reserved the right to restore the cases to be prosecuted in the future in the event that is warranted.
Pascoe, who prosecuted Allen s and Mahdi s murder cases, said he hasn t closed the door on the Sasser case and sees value in holding the inmates accountable. But both men, and Mahdi in particular, are considered so dangerous that it s difficult and risky to bring them to court, he said.
Mahdi is deviously crafty, and during his murder trial he was caught with a handcuff key he had fashioned from phone-jack wire, Pascoe said.
This guy is a huge security risk, he said.
Sasser spent two days in Medical University Hospital after the stabbing, then went home on medical leave. Later that year the state sent him and his wife to a corrections conference in Buffalo, N.Y., where he received an engraved clock in recognition of his bravery. It still sits by his bedside, though he can t remember when it last kept time.
The Corrections Department cut him loose in November 2010, saying it could no longer hold his job open for him. Agency officials also have refused his requests for information about the investigation into the incident, citing an ongoing probe by the State Law Enforcement Division, Sasser said.
Basically for the past three and a half years, it s been one slap in the face after another, getting kicked while you are down and getting nothing on the back end, he said. It s like they are saying it s my fault that it happened.
Newsom said that s not the case; the agency was just following state law and its rules. It s just an unfortunate situation all the way around, he said.
Sasser said he wants to go back to the working world, but his psychiatrist hasn t cleared him to do so because of lingering anxiety and PTSD issues. So he s getting by on $600 in monthly retirement funds and workman s compensation checks that are soon due to run dry.
He and his wife said they have leaned on their faith to get them through this time.
We know this all happened for a reason, but what that is, I don t know, his wife said. But God will bring us through it all. That s all I can say.
His pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Summerville, Peppy DuTart, was at Sasser s bedside after the stabbing, and has seen the psychological effects of the attack.
You ll see him at church sometimes, and he doesn t want anybody to be behind him, DuTart said. He will stand against the back wall, even during services.
DuTart has seen other changes as well. Sasser has become more active in church, more solid in his faith. He volunteers running the church sound board, working with and mentoring teens, and leading a youth group that mows lawns and performs other chores for the elderly and needy.
I think all of (Sasser s family) have found strength in the Lord, he said. And Nate has been used in mighty ways, ways that he might not have otherwise.
His ordeal already has prompted changes at the Corrections Department, Newsom said. Death-row inmates were denied outside recreation for two years until new reinforced cages could be built to improve security, holding only one inmate per cage.
The agency also has tightened up its practices for moving these inmates to and from the recreation area, requiring restraints and body searches each time they leave their cells, he said.
Sasser said he hopes that is the case. I don't want anyone else down the road having to go through what I went through.
A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.
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