Van Roosevelt Solomon

Summary of Offense: Was sentenced to death in October 1979 in Cobb County. On June 17, 1979, he and Brandon Astor Jones were arrested at a service station after an officer who just happened to drive up heard gunshots. In the storeroom, the officer found 29-year-old Roger Tackett, the station manager, who had been shot in the legs and arms and beaten before the fatal contact shot was fired behind his left ear.

Co-defendant Brandon Astor Jones was executed on February 3, 2016.

Victim: Roger Dennis Tackett

Time of Death: 12:27 a.m.

Manner of execution: Electric Chair

Final Statement: In his cell: "Yes, sir. I wish to make the following statements prior to my death. First, to the family of Roger Tackett, I send to you my remorse for the death of your loved one from the bottom of my heart. I did not kill Roger Tackett, and I remorse deeply for his death. To my supporters I send my—all my deepest respect. Thank you. It was—it has been due to your effort that I have received the degree of justice in my case. To the world, I suggest that people need to reach out more and help the needy and the homeless. To my family and children, I send you all my love, and I want you to know that I love you very much. And do not be bitter. Work hard, be honest in all life, and you will be successful in America."

A moment later: "This is Van Solomon again, and I’d like to say to America: how long will America limp between two opinions? How can you counsel someone and don’t even keep your own counsel about killing people. Thank you."

In the death chamber: "Yes, I’d like to say I’d like to give my blessing to all the people that seeked to save my life, and I’d like to curse everyone that seeked to take my life. Farewell."

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February 21, 1985


Van Roosevelt Solomon thanked ''all the people who tried to save my life,'' then died today in Georgia's electric chair for the murder of a college honors graduate. Mr. Solomon, 41 years old, a former assistant Baptist pastor in his home town of Lawton, Okla., was pronounced dead at 12:27 A.M. by Ralph Kemp, warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center near here. Mr. Solomon was executed for the murder of Roger Tackett, an honors graduate of Georgetown University who managed a convenience store because he could not support his family as a teacher. The murder occurred in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta, in 1979.