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Mark A. Christeson - Missouri Execution - January 31, 2017
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Thread: Mark A. Christeson - Missouri Execution - January 31, 2017

  1. #1
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    Mark A. Christeson - Missouri Execution - January 31, 2017


    Susan Jo Brouk (left) and her children, Adrian and Kyle.


    Kyle Brouck






    Summary of Offense:

    On Saturday, January 31, 1998, Christeson, 18, and his cousin Jesse Carter, 17, who were living in the home of a relative, David Bolin, concocted a plan to run away. The Bolin home was located in a rural area near Vichy, Missouri. Susan Brouk, along with her children, twelve year old Adrian and nine year old Kyle, lived about a half mile away. On Sunday morning, February 1, 1998, after Mr. Bolin left for work, Christeson and Carter each took shotguns and went to Ms. Brouk's home. After hiding outside for a few minutes, they entered the home and found Adrian and Kyle sitting on the living room floor. Ms. Brouk came in from the kitchen and encountered Carter binding her children's hands with shoelaces that he had brought for that purpose. Christeson forced Ms. Brouk into her daughter Adrian's bedroom at gunpoint, where he then raped her on Adrian's bed.

    When Christeson brought her back out to the living room, Carter bound her hands behind her back with a piece of yellow rope. Ms. Brouk said "you had your fun, now get out." At some point during the confrontation, Ms. Brouk and Kyle were both struck in the head with a blunt object. About that time, Adrian recognized Carter and said "J.R.," Carter's nickname, and "Jesse Carter," which prompted Christeson to tell Carter "we got to get rid of 'em." They forced Ms. Brouk and her children into the back seat of Ms. Brouk's Bronco and also loaded her television, VCR, car stereo, video game player, checkbook, and a few other small items. Christeson drove down the highway, down a gravel road, and then across a neighbor's field to a pond at the edge of a wooded area. They forced Ms. Brouk and her children to the bank of the pond.

    Christeson kicked Ms. Brouk just below her ribs with enough force that she was knocked to the ground. Christeson then placed his foot on her mid-section, and reached down and cut her throat with a bone knife. She bled profusely, but she did not die immediately, and as she lay on the bank of the pond, she told Adrian and Kyle that she loved them. Then Christeson cut Kyle's throat twice and held him under the pond water until he drowned. Carter pushed Kyle's body farther out into the pond so the body would sink. At Christeson's direction, Carter retrieved cinder blocks from a nearby barn, and while there, heard Christeson fire a shot from one of the shotguns. When Carter returned to the pond, Adrian was struggling to free herself from Christeson. Carter held Adrian's feet while Christeson pressed down on her throat until she suffocated, and Carter then pushed Adrian's body into the pond. While Ms. Brouk was still alive, but barely breathing, Christeson grabbed her arms and Carter grabbed her legs, and they threw her into the pond on top of her children's bodies. As she drowned, Carter went into the woods to get a long stick, which he used to push the Brouks' bodies further out into the pond.

    Christeson and Carter returned to Mr. Bolin's property in the Bronco and parked it near a garbage pile. They took one of the shotguns back into Mr. Bolin's house, loaded their personal belongings into an Oldsmobile, and then drove the Oldsmobile back to the garbage pile and transferred their belongings to the Bronco. At that point, they drove off in the Bronco, eventually heading west on Interstate 44. Ms. Brouk's sister, Kay Hayes, thought it was unusual that Ms. Brouk and her children did not come to Sunday dinner, as planned, but she was not concerned until Tuesday evening, when she called Ms. Brouk's home and there was no answer. That evening Ms. Hayes called another sister, Joy Lemoine, to inquire if she had heard from Ms. Brouk, but she had had no contact either. When family members went to Ms. Brouk's house the next evening, they discovered that Ms. Brouk's prescription glasses and the children's and Ms. Brouk's coats were still in the house and that the television, VCR, and Bronco were missing. They called the police, and that night officers from the Maries County Sheriff's Department secured the home and searched the premises.

    The next morning, officers in a Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter conducting an aerial search spotted a body floating in a pond located slightly southeast of the Brouk's residence. After landing the helicopter in a field just south of the pond, they found the bodies of Ms. Brouk, Adrian, and Kyle partially submerged. The officers then investigated the area around the pond and found a sixteen-gauge shotgun shell on the south bank, some leaves and soil splattered with blood, shoe impressions, and two cinder blocks on the west bank near the area where the bodies were recovered. There were also tire impressions leading from the pond to the garbage pile on Mr. Bolin's property where Christeson and Carter had parked the Bronco.

    In the meantime, Christeson and Carter were driving from Missouri to California. On the way, they sold several items of Ms. Brouk's property to pay for gas and food. Christeson also pawned the sixteen-gauge shotgun at a pawnshop in Amarillo, Texas. On February 9, 1998, a detective with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, stationed in Blythe, California, recognized Christeson and Carter from their photographs on a flyer that had been circulated by law enforcement officials, and later that day the fugitives were arrested.

    Missouri officials continued to investigate the crimes. A medical examiner's autopsy report showed that the cuts to Ms. Brouk's neck were not severe enough to cause her death immediately and that the actual cause of death was drowning. Autopsies also revealed that Ms. Brouk and Kyle had hemorrhaging or bleeding under the scalp, indicating a blunt impact injury or blow to the head, and that there were two superficial cuts across Kyle's neck, but that he, too, died from drowning. Adrian died from suffocation, but there also was a small, shallow puncture wound in Adrian's left arm that could have been caused by a pellet from a shotgun shell, although no pellet was present. DNA testing performed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory established that genetic material from semen recovered from Ms. Brouk's body and from Adrian's sheets matched Christeson's genetic profile. Firearms-identification testing established conclusively that the sixteen-gauge shotgun that Christeson pawned in Texas was the one that fired the shell found on the bank of the pond.

  2. #2
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    Inmate Personal Information

    DOB: 02/20/79
    Race: White
    Gender: Male

    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Vernon
    * Number of counts: Three
    * Race of Victims: White/white/white
    * Gender of Victims: 2 Female/1 Male
    * Date of crime: 02/01/1998
    * Date of Sentencing: 10/14/1999

    Legal Status

    Current Proceedings:
    Post certiorari

    Attorney

    Eric Butts

    Court Opinions

    State v. Christeson, 50 S.W.3d 251 (Mo. banc), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 978 (2001); Christeson v. State, 131 S.W.3d 796 (Mo. banc 2005) (affirming denial of post‐conviction relief).

    Legal Issues

    On appeal from denial of post‐conviction relief:
    1. whether trial counsel was ineffective for failing to raise objections to prosecutor's examinations of
    witnesses, to several statements prosecutor made to venire panel during death penalty qualification, or to
    statements prosecutor made during closing argument;
    2. whether judge inappropriately presided over petitioner's postconviction relief proceeding
    3. whether trial counsel's failure to request optional “no adverse inference” instruction during penalty
    phase of murder trial was reasonable strategy;
    4. whether giving jury instruction, that the jury was not required to fix death as punishment, at the end of
    all three murder counts, instead of at the end of each of the three murder counts, prejudiced outcome of
    trial;

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    February 4, 2013

    OPINION: Maries County Sheriff frustrated that Mo. Supreme Court has not set execution date in 15-year-old triple-murder case

    By Chris Heitman
    Maries County Sheriff

    Fifteen years ago, in Vichy, Missouri, members of the Maries County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated a triple murder. Mark Christeson raped Susan Brouk and, with his cousin Jessie Carter, forced Susan and her two children, nine-year-old Kyle and twelve-year-old Adrian, into her Bronco and drove them to a neighbor’s pond. Christeson cut Susan’s throat with a knife. Before Susan died, Christeson cut Kyle’s throat and held him in the pond until he drowned. Christeson also pressed down on Adrian’s throat until she suffocated and pushed her body into the pond. Christeson and Carter then threw Susan into the pond on top of her children’s bodies, and she drowned.

    A jury found Christeson guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death on each count and then filed an appeal. Carter, who testified against Christenson, was sentenced to three life terms in prison.

    In 2001 the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, and Christeson made a motion for a new trial. In 2004 the courts affirmed denial for the new trial. In 2005 they challenged the legality of lethal injections. In 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the use of lethal injection as a method of execution was constitutional. On April 17, 2008, then, Attorney General Jay Nixon filed a motion with the Missouri Supreme Court, requesting the court to set an execution date for Christeson. On February 1, 2013 I contacted the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to find out the status of this case. I was advised that they had yet to receive an execution date from the Missouri Supreme Court that was requested in 2008.

    I realize the court systems are backed up, and that appeals take a lot of time. However, it’s been 15 years since this heinous crime has been committed, and 5 years since the Attorney General requested an execution date. It is frustrating when the state talks about needing to cut funds and they lay off employees, yet we have spent over $600,000 housing both of these inmates. Additionally, the state has spent over $100,000 housing Christeson, since the Attorney General requested his execution, which the state could have saved if this court case was handled in a timely manner. Most people don’t realize it cost approximately $55 per day to house an inmate in prison, and that’s approximately $20,000 per year.

    I have spoken with the family members of this case and they are frustrated as well.

    This was a tragic crime and 15 years, on a crime that has overwhelming evidence, is enough time for justice to be served. I am hoping that justice is served in this case in the near future.

    NOTE: I have spoken with the family members and they approved the listing of the graphic details of this case.

    http://gasconade.countynewslive.com/...set-execution-

  4. #4
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On August 12, 2014, Christeson filed an appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit over the apparent denial of his habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir...ts/ca8/14-2896

  5. #5
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    Oct. 29 execution date set for Missouri inmate

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — An execution date has been set for next month for a man who killed a south-central Missouri mother and her two children.

    The Missouri Supreme Court on Friday set an Oct. 29 execution date for 35-year-old Mark Christeson. It would be the ninth execution in Missouri this year and the 11th since November.

    Christeson was sentenced to death for killing 36-year-old Susan Brouk and her children, ages 12 and 9, in February 1998. The bodies of the victims were found in a pond near their rural Vichey home.

    Christenson's cousin, Jesse Carter, was sentenced to life in prison after agreeing to testify against Christeson.

    http://www.news-leader.com/story/new...mate/15883861/

  6. #6
    Senior Member CnCP Legend FFM's Avatar
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    This can't be a serious execution date if he has a habeas petition pending before the 8th Circuit, unless this is somehow a subsequent one with the same arguments.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CnCP Addict Stro07's Avatar
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    His date had been requested in April 2008. I believe it is a serious one.

    http://www.kmzu.com/ag-calls-on-supreme-court/

  8. #8
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    Religious leaders ask Governor to stop execution

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Religious leaders from around Missouri are calling on Gov. Jay Nixon to call off the scheduled execution of Missouri death row inmate Mark Christeson.

    Christeson is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Wednesday. He was convicted of killing a mother and her two children near Vichy in February 1998. A jury in Nevada convicted Mark Christeson in 1999 of three counts of first-degree murder and recommended a death penalty.

    The letter, signed by several religious leaders including Bishop James Johnston of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, asks the governor to grant Christeson clemency based on allegations of attorney incompetence and questions about Christeson’s mental competence. The letter calls out the federally appointed defense counsel for “egregious actions” in missing deadlines for federal review of the case.

    The letter also points out that Christeson was enrolled in special education classes when he was in school, was 18 at the time of the murders, had low performance in school and suffered several head injuries that resulted in him losing consciousness. It also notes Christeson’s family had a history of mental illness, chaos, violence and pedophilia.

    The signers also argue that the death penalty does not protect or heal communities, but promotes vengeance and the perpetuation of violence.

    http://www.kspr.com/news/local/relig...51620_29316926

  9. #9
    Senior Member Member ProDP's Avatar
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    Given Nixon's history, I don't think he'll grant clemency. But you never know...

  10. #10
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    No chance! He has only granted clemency ONCE and there was some actual doubt there.

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