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Thread: David Anthony Runyon - Federal Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    David Anthony Runyon - Federal Death Row


    Cory Allen Voss, left, and Catherina Voss


    Michael Draven


    David Anthony Runyon


    Summary of Offense:

    On August 27, 2009, a jury in Norfolk, Virginia unanimously recommended a death sentence for Runyon for the murder of Cory Allen Voss, a naval officer, in Newport News in 2007. Runyon, a former soldier, was convicted of shooting Voss in a murder-for-hire plot organized by Voss's wife, Catherina Voss, and her boyfriend, Michael Draven. The federal government did not seek the death penalty against the other two defendants. Catherina Voss pled guilty and received a life sentence. Draven was found guilty and faces a life sentence. Catherina hired Runyon to kill her husband in the hope of being the beneficiary of a $500,000 life insurance policy.

  2. #2
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    On December 5, 2012, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Runyon's direct appeal of his conviction and death sentence.

    http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/calendar/12042012.htm

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    UNITED STATES of AMERICA v DAVID ANTHONY RUNYON

    In today's Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, the court AFFIRMED Runyon's conviction and sentence of death.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  4. #4
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    Taped interrogation at issue in appeal of 2009 death penalty case in Newport News

    The hired hit man in the 2007 contract killing of a U.S. Navy officer is asking a federal appeals court to hear his argument that a videotaped police interrogation should not have been shown to the jury before it decided that he should die.

    In February, a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit unanimously rejected the appeal by David A. Runyon. But now, Runyon's attorneys are asking the entire 15-member court to hear the case.

    Runyon, 42, formerly of Morgantown, W.Va., was found guilty in 2009 in the murder-for-hire killing of Cory Allen Voss outside a Langley Federal Credit Union on Jefferson Avenue in the Oyster Point section of Newport News.

    Voss, 30, a father of two, was a well-liked officer aboard the USS Elrod, a Norfolk-based frigate, when he was shot dead in what was designed to look like a robbery gone bad.

    The jury found that Runyon was hired by Voss' wife, Catherina Voss, and her boyfriend, Michael Draven, to kill her husband for insurance money. The federal death sentence against Runyon was the first handed down in Hampton Roads in 11 years.

    Runyon's appeal contends, in part, that the jury should not have been shown a taped interrogation in which a Newport News Police detective refers to Runyon's Asian heritage and Christian faith in trying to get him to "man up" and admit to entering Voss' pickup truck and pumping five bullets into him at close range.

    The interrogation was shown to the jury in U.S. District Court in Norfolk after Runyon's conviction, but before he was sentenced. Prosecutors played the tape in an attempt to prove that Runyon lacked any remorse for his crime.

    The videotape


    During the 43-minute tape — which includes about 12 minutes in which Runyon was in the room alone — the detectives did not appear to greatly rattle Runyon, a former Army soldier who once was a police officer. He sat mostly expressionless as investigators confronted him with evidence, and talked about Voss, his two now-fatherless children and Runyon's own son.

    One detective, Larry Rilee, invoked Runyon's Asian heritage, as well as his Christian faith, in an aggressive but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get him to confess. The veteran detective spent a large part of the interview imploring Runyon to "do the right thing" and admit to killing Voss, who "didn't deserve to die like a dog."

    At one point, Rilee brought up Runyon's race. (He has an Asian mother and a white father).

    Rilee: "You're Asian, right, Asian-American? You're an honorable Asian man, aren't you?"

    Runyon: "Yes, sir."

    Rilee: "If you're an honorable Asian man and your integrity is intact and if you have respect for anybody at all, then you'll do the right thing today, OK?"

    Later, Rilee asked Runyon whether he had any "religious beliefs," and Runyon said he was a Christian.

    Rilee: "You believe in forgiveness then. You can be forgiven for whatever the sin might be. Obviously in the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not kill" would be one of the more prominent ones. But do you believe that you can be forgiven for that? If you asked God for forgiveness, do you believe that he'll forgive you for that? You can repent your sins, can't you?"

    Runyon: "Yes, yes, anybody can repent their sins."

    Rilee: "Having that in mind, you know, don't you think it's time to repent, to say that you're sorry for what happened?"

    Runyon: "It sounds like to me that I need a lawyer."

    Runyon's lawyers cited other passages in the interrogation they say were unduly "inflammatory," such as this statement by Rilee: "If you don't have enough integrity, enough honor about yourself to tell the truth at this point, then I won't have any respect for you. And as a matter of fact, when they make a choice as to whether they charge you with capital murder and seek the death penalty, I'll remember exactly how honorable you were, or not."

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-nw...,4102228.story
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  5. #5
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    Man convicted in Newport News murder gets more time for appeal

    The U.S. Supreme Court has extended the time for the hired hit man in the slaying of a Naval officer in Newport News to appeal his death sentence to the nation's highest court.

    David A. Runyon now has until Aug. 22 to file the appeal, after an extension was granted by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. That's 60 days beyond the normal 90-day deadline for petitioning the high court to take up a case.

    In 2009, a federal jury in Norfolk sentenced Runyon to death in the contract slaying of Navy officer Cory Allen Voss, 30, a well-liked father of two who was living in Newport News while stationed on a Norfolk-based frigate.

    One day in April 2007, according to trial evidence, Runyon entered Voss' pickup truck at a Langley Federal Credit Union in the Oyster Point section of Newport News, and fired five bullets into him at close range.

    It turned out that the murder plot designed to look like a robbery gone bad was organized by Voss' wife, Catherina Rose Voss, who sent her unwitting husband to the ATM, and her then-boyfriend, Michael Draven.

    The motive: To gain $500,000 in insurance proceeds and get Cory Voss out of the way so they could be together.

    Catherina Voss and Draven are each serving life terms in federal prison, while the death sentence against Runyon, 42, formerly of Morgantown, W.Va., was the first federal death sentence handed down in Hampton Roads in 11 years.

    No date has yet been set for Runyon's execution.

    Runyon is being housed at a prison in Terre Haute, Ind., and is one of 60 prisoners on federal death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Since the reinstitution of the federal death penalty 25 years ago, the organization says, 70 people have been sent to federal death row with three executed and seven removed from death row for various reasons.

    Earlier this year, a three-judge panel on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Richmond-based appellate court for the region that includes Virginia, unanimously rejected Runyon's appeal. A month later, the full 15-member court in a one-sentence decision denied his request for a re-hearing.

    Though the three-judge panel found some errors by the trial judge and prosecution in the case, it said those errors aren't enough to spare Runyon.

    Among the errors: the trial judge's admission into evidence at sentencing a videotaped police interrogation; statements by the prosecution during closing arguments asking the jury to "do their duty" and "send a message to the community" by imposing death; and an issue surrounding the seating of a new juror after deliberations had begun.

    The Appeals Court spent a large portion of the 69-page opinion on the issue over the videotape.

    In the interrogation by two experienced Newport News police detectives, the officers made "references to Runyon's Asian race and Christian religion in trying to get him to "man up" and "repent his sins."

    At one point, for example, a detective said: "If you're an honorable Asian man and your integrity is intact and if you have respect for anybody at all, then you'll do the right thing today, OK?"

    The appeals court ruling said comments on Runyon's race contained "stereotyping and insulting notions about how 'an honorable Asian man' is supposed to act," while the comments that Runyon should "repent his sins" were not germane to the jury's task. "It was ... error for the jury to hear these remarks," the judges said.

    But though the panel decided 2-1 that showing the tape was a mistake, they called it a "harmless error" in other words, that the jury still would have sentenced Runyon to death even if they had not seen it.

    "What ultimately drove the jury's decision was not some video but the overpowering evidence of Runyon's guilt, his pivotal role in the crime, and the exceptionally callous nature of his conduct -- robbing an innocent man of his life and two small children of his father," the decision said. "And for what? Money."

    In asking for more time to file to the U.S. Supreme Court, Runyon's lawyers Seth Farber, of New York City, and Teresa L. Norris, of Columbia, S.C. pointed to the complex nature of the case and the length of the 69-page opinion from the Fourth Circuit.

    "Mr. Runyon's trial and sentencing proceedings were lengthy," the request for an extension said. "The record on appeal is voluminous, including approximately 3000 transcript pages and more than 100 exhibits of documents, audio and video recordings."

    Runyon raised 10 separate issues on appeal, "many with sub-parts," the request said.

    According to the request for more time, the potential issues to be raised at the Supreme Court level include examining the "proper standard for harmless error review," applying that "to the introduction of improperly prejudicial evidence," and considering errors on the seating of jurors.

    "In order to determine which of these issues is appropriate for presentation ... counsel is conducting extensive research and analysis of the decisions of the United States Courts of Appeals and of state courts of last resort."

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/crime...,4892283.story
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  6. #6
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Why on earth is it taking the feds so long to respond to Runyon's certiorari petition?

    No. 13-254 *** CAPITAL CASE ***
    Title:
    David Anthony Runyon, Petitioner
    v.
    United States
    Docketed: August 23, 2013
    Linked with 12A1111
    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    Case Nos.: (09-11)
    Decision Date: February 25, 2013
    Rehearing Denied: March 25, 2013

    ~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    May 17 2013 Application (12A1111) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from June 23, 2013 to August 22, 2013, submitted to The Chief Justice.
    May 21 2013 Application (12A1111) granted by The Chief Justice extending the time to file until August 22, 2013.
    Aug 21 2013 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due September 23, 2013)
    Sep 17 2013 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including October 23, 2013.
    Oct 23 2013 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including November 22, 2013.
    Nov 21 2013 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including December 23, 2013.
    Dec 18 2013 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including January 22, 2014.
    Jan 22 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including February 21, 2014.
    Feb 21 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including March 24, 2014.
    Mar 24 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including April 23, 2014.
    Apr 14 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including May 23, 2014.
    May 22 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including June 23, 2014.
    Jun 23 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including July 23, 2014.
    Jul 21 2014 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including August 1, 2014.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.a...les/13-254.htm

  7. #7
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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Runyon's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    Case Nos.: (09-11)
    Decision Date: February 25, 2013
    Rehearing Denied: March 25, 2013
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moh View Post
    Why on earth is it taking the feds so long to respond to Runyon's certiorari petition?
    Why did it takes so long for the Daily Press to publish this article?

    Supreme Court denies appeal of death sentence in Newport News murder-for-hire case

    The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal from a man on death row stemming from a Newport News capital murder case. Lawyers for David A. Runyon, 43, found guilty in the 2007 slaying of a young naval officer at a bank in Oyster Point, asked that the high court overturn the conviction and death sentence

    NEWPORT NEWS — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal from a man on death row in the murder-for-hire killing of a young naval officer in Newport News seven years ago.

    Lawyers for David A. Runyon, found guilty in the 2007 slaying of Cory Allen Voss at a bank in Oyster Point, had asked the high court to grant a hearing into whether his conviction and death sentence should be reversed.

    "PETITION DENIED," the Supreme Court's clerk wrote on the docket after a recent conference between the justices on what cases they should hear next year.

    In 2009, a federal jury in Norfolk sentenced Runyon to death in the contract killing of Voss, 30, an Ohio native and well-liked father of two who was living in Newport News while stationed on a Norfolk-based frigate.

    Late one night in April 2007, Runyon entered Voss' pickup truck at a Langley Federal Credit Union in the Oyster Point section of Newport News, and pumped five bullets into him at close range.

    It turned out that the murder plot — designed to look like a robbery gone bad — was organized by Voss' wife, Catherina Rose Voss, and her boyfriend, Michael Draven. She sent her unwitting husband to the deserted ATM, where the armed Runyon was lurking nearby.

    The motive: To get Cory Voss out of the way and gain $500,000 in insurance proceeds.

    Catherina Voss and Draven are each serving life terms, while the death sentence against Runyon, formerly of Morgantown, W.Va., was the first federal death sentence handed down in Hampton Roads in 11 years.

    Runyon, 43, is imprisoned in Terre Haute, Ind., and is one of 62 prisoners on federal death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington.

    No date has been set for Runyon's execution, with the most recent three federal executions taking place more than a decade ago. Though his direct appeal process is now complete, Runyon is now proceeding with a petition in U.S. District Court for a new trial.

    The Supreme Court's recent denial came after the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused Runyon's appeal last year.

    Though the three-judge appellate panel found some errors by the trial judge and prosecution in the case, it wasn't enough to overturn the conviction.

    The errors included statements by the prosecution during closing arguments asking the jury to "do their duty" and "send a message to the community" by imposing death, and the seating of a substitute juror after deliberations began.

    The appeals court was also bothered by how Newport News police detectives interrogating Runyon referenced his Asian race and Christian religion in trying to get him to "man up" and "repent his sins."

    A veteran investigator told him: "If you're an honorable Asian man and your integrity is intact and if you have respect for anybody at all, then you'll do the right thing today, OK?"

    The appeals court said the jury shouldn't have seen that taped interrogation: Comments about Runyon's race contained "stereotyping and insulting notions about how 'an honorable Asian man' is supposed to act," while the statement that Runyon should "repent his sins" wasn't germane to the jury's task.

    But those issues were "harmless error," the appeals court ruled. "What ultimately drove the jury's decision was … the overpowering evidence of Runyon's guilt … and the exceptionally callous nature of his conduct — robbing an innocent man of his life and two small children of [their] father," the appeals court decision said. "And for what? Money."

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/crime...101-story.html
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  9. #9
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    On October 5, 2015, Runyon filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/vi...cv00108/330524

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    On January 19, 2017, Senior United States District Court Judge Rebecca Beach Smith (G.H.W. Bush) DENIED Runyon's habeas petition.

    https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20170207732

    On September 10, 2020, oral argument will be heard in Runyon's appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

    https://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/oral-ar....-david-runyon

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