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  1. #1

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    Gary Melke - 12/3/1985 - Hanahan, SC
    Christopher Zerr - 12/3/1985 - Hanahan, SC
    John Steven Harrigan - 12/10/1985 - Glendale, CA

    Attachment 46


    Summary of Offense:

    On December 10, 1985, Sims ordered a Domino's pizza delivered to the motel room he was sharing with girlfriend Ruby Padgett. Upon arrival, deliveryman John Harrington was stripped, gagged with a washcloth, and drowned in the bathtub. Sims wore the dead man's uniform when he returned to the restaurant, looted its safe, and left two employees locked in the freezer, bound in such a way that they were forced to stand on tip-toe to avoid hanging themselves. This time, both victims managed to escape, and they identified a photograph of Sims as their assailant. Domino's offered a $100,000 reward for his arrest, but once again, the bird had flown.

    By December 11, Sims and Padgett were hiding in Las Vegas, where he registered as "Jeff Richardson" at a cheap motel. Harrington's stolen pickup was recovered from the parking lot of a casino on December 21, and mass publicity resulted in the arrest of both suspects on Christmas morning. An unemployed iron worker had taken the couple home for drinks before seeing their published photographs, after which he promptly turned them in for the reward. Sims and Padgett waived extradition to California, there pleading innocent to all counts in the Glendale robbery and murder. Fearful of execution in South Carolina, they resisted extradition to their home state, and California's governor agreed in February 1986, asserting Glendale's priority in placing the killers on trial. Mitchell Sims was convicted of Harrington's murder on May 20, 1987, and a month later his jury recommended the death penalty.

    On September 11, 1987, in Los Angeles County, he was formally sentenced to die in the gas chamber at San Quentin.

    Sims is also on the South Carolina death row roster for a similar offense. See http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...lina-Death-Row

  2. #2

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    September 13, 2010


    Family Planning Trip To See Execution

    25 years after Gary Melke died a family expects to have justice against the man who killed him. They're planning a trip to California for the execution.

    Gary Melke went to high school in Morehead City. His mother and many brothers and sisters still live in the area. In 1985 he was in the Navy and living in South Carolina. He also worked at Domino's Pizza.

    One night Mitchell Sims came into the store and shot Melke and another employee execution style. Melke lived long enough to tell police it was Sims who shot him. Sims later escaped to California and murdered another Domino's Pizza employee there.

    Sims got the death penalty in both California and South Carolina for the murders. After 25 years the Melkes believe Sims will be executed by the end of the year. They're planning to be there when it happens.


    http://www.wcti12.com/news/24995881/detail.html

  3. #3
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    DA Asks Court to Order Execution of Two Death Row Inmates

    District Attorney Steve Cooley asked the Los Angeles Superior Court today to order the execution of two long-time Death Row inmates with a court-approved single-drug protocol currently used in other parts of the country.

    In motions filed by Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, the court was asked to order the executions of Mitchell Carleton Sims, 52, and Tiequon Aundray Cox, 46, each of whom have been on San Quentin’s Death Row for a quarter of a century.


    Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox were tried and convicted of first-degree murder by juries. The jurors in each case also found the special circumstances alleged against each defendant to be true. The same juries recommended that each die for their crimes. Judges reviewed the jury recommendations and agreed, formally sentencing each man to death. Each killer appealed the conviction and sentence. Every appellate court turned them down,” the District Attorney said in a written statement.

    It is time Sims and Cox pay for their crimes,” he added.

    “I am joining with the California District Attorneys Association and other District Attorneys throughout California in asking the Superior Courts throughout the state to hold these killers responsible for the innocent lives they took so many years ago.”

    In the motions filed with the court, Hanisee asked that the executions be ordered using a single-drug method or that the warden at San Quentin show cause why the death penalty by lethal injection should not be imposed.

    Executions in California have been on hold for years.

    The most recent stay was granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after the Riverside County District Attorney obtained an execution date for condemned inmate Albert Greenwood Brown.

    The stay was based on allegations that a three-drug protocol that California used for executions put the condemned at risk of pain and suffering.

    Sims was sentenced to death on May 7, 1986, after being convicted of murdering a Domino's pizza deliveryman in Glendale on Dec. 8, 1985.

    Sims was found guilty in the strangulation and drowning of 21-yaer old John Steven Harrigan.

    Police found Harrigan's hog-tied body submerged in the motel-room bathtub.

    A washcloth had been stuffed in his mouth and a pillowcase tied over his head.

    Sims was also is charged with two counts of robbery and attempted murder in an assault against two of Harrigan's co-workers at the Brand Boulevard pizza establishment later that night.

    Sims, a disgruntled pizza delivery driver, had fled the restaurant where he worked in Hanahan, S.C., after murdering two co-workers.

    He fled to California with his girlfriend, who also was convicted and is serving a life sentence.

    Sims was also sentenced to death in the South Carolina murders.

    Cox, a Rollin 60s gang member, slaughtered a grandmother, her daughter and two grandchildren – one 8 and the other 13 – on Aug. 31, 1984.

    Armed with a .30 caliber military rifle, Cox shot the grandmother three times in the head and went on to execute her grandsons as they slept in their beds. The 24-year-old mother of the two boys woke up and screamed before Cox shot her dead.

    A 14-year-old male cousin hid in a closet, which saved his life.

    Hanisee noted in her motions filed today with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has acknowledged at various court hearings – one as recent as Feb. 14 of this year – that it is fully capable of performing a single-drug execution.

    “It is time to enforce the law of the state and carry out the death sentences that have been returned by juries, imposed by trial judges and affirmed by our appellate court system,” Cooley added.


    http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktl...0,499569.story
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  4. #4
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    Two prosecutors try to jump-start California executions

    With California voters readying to consider whether to retain the death penalty, two prominent district attorneys, including San Mateo County's, are mounting a rebel legal campaign to kick-start executions in San Quentin's long-dormant death chamber.

    Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley has been heading the charge, moving in recent months to sidestep legal obstacles that have put executions on hold for nearly seven years and secure execution dates for condemned killers Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox.

    But San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has quietly joined in, asking a local judge to set an execution date for Robert Green Fairbank, sent to death row for the 1985 murder of a San Francisco woman.

    The legal gambit is spurred by some prosecutors' mounting frustration with Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, who instead of rushing to resume executions have focused on fighting state and federal court orders that froze executions because of flaws in the prison system's three-drug execution procedures. The state, in fact, assured a federal judge two years ago that there would be no attempts to execute inmates until those legal battles were resolved.

    "Prosecutors and victims' advocates throughout the state are indeed frustrated with the failure of the (state) to get this process moving," said Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

    In court papers, Wagstaffe and
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    Cooley argue that California can execute inmates with a single drug, avoiding the legal stalemate over the state's botched attempts to retain its three-drug method. Other states such as Washington, Arizona and Ohio have adopted that approach.

    A Los Angeles judge on Monday is expected to hear the latest round of arguments in Cooley's maneuver, and a San Mateo judge will consider the Fairbank case in October, not long before voters decide the fate of Proposition 34 -- the first time Californians have been asked to abolish the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1978.

    Wagstaffe was out of town last week and could not be reached. But Los Angeles prosecutors insist their demand for swift execution dates is unrelated to the ballot measure, saying both Cox and Sims have exhausted their legal appeals and should pay for crimes committed decades ago.

    "We're not trying to rush and get an execution before Nov. 6," said Deputy District Attorney Michelle Hanisee, who noted that it's too late for Cox or Sims to be executed before the election. "This is about getting our system back on track."

    Death penalty foes say the move to execute the inmates flouts a number of court rulings requiring California to fix its lethal injection procedures, which have been challenged because of concerns they expose the condemned to a cruel and unusual death.

    "I can't imagine what they are thinking," said Natasha Minsker, Proposition 34's campaign manager. "They're trying to do an end run around the law."

    With more than 720 murderers on death row, Fairbank, Cox and Sims are in a select group of about a dozen inmates who have run out of legal options to avoid execution. All that stands in the way of lethal injections for them are several court orders that have blocked executions -- and legal experts say the two prosecutors' arguments will not get them past those orders.

    A federal judge was the first to halt executions in the case of death row inmate Michael Morales, who challenged the lethal injection method on the eve of his February 2006 execution. More recently, a Marin County judge put executions on hold, concluding that the state did not follow proper administrative procedures when prison officials crafted new lethal injection guidelines.

    The Brown administration has appealed that decision, but in court papers says prison officials are working on the single drug option. Cooley and Wagstaffe argue that San Quentin can use that method right now, saying in their court filings that individual trial judges have the legal authority to order prison officials to carry out executions on a case-by-case basis.

    Mark Drodzdowski, Fairbank's lawyer, said "there are a number of roadblocks to what the DAs are seeking." And Sara Eisenberg, lawyer for death row inmates in the Marin case, added that the courts have barred California from carrying out executions until it devises a legal, court-approved method.

    "That should be the end of the story," she said. "In my view, that's just how it's got to be."

    Harris' office declined to comment, referring questions to state prison officials. But in court papers, the attorney general and prison officials appear to agree with Eisenberg, telling the judge in the Los Angeles case that ordering them to carry out an execution would conflict with existing injunctions.

    "Any such order would place (the state) in an untenable position because it would not be able to simultaneously comply with one order directing it to carry out executions and another order barring it from doing so," state lawyers wrote.

    San Mateo prosecutors, however, say the time has come for Fairbank to be executed with a single, fatal dose of a sedative for the rape and murder of Wendy Cheek, whose naked, partially burned body was found in a tree grove along Highway 280 in San Mateo County 27 years ago.

    "We feel the court can set a date," Deputy District Attorney Joe Cannon said. "The law mandates that the death penalty be imposed in this particular situation."

    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-cou...nia-executions

  5. #5
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    LA judge refuses to order one-drug executions


    A judge on Monday turned down a bid by the Los Angeles County district attorney to order the immediate execution of two death row prisoners by a new single-drug injection method.

    Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said he did not have jurisdiction to order the procedure that has never been used in California.

    Executions in the state have been on hold for years while appellate courts consider the legality of the three-drug protocol now in place.

    Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley had suggested a virtual end-run around the current logjam in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the way executions are done.

    Deputy District Attorney Michelle Hanisee said the three drugs used previously are no longer available, and a pharmaceutical company plans to stop making one of them.

    The decision came as a Northern California prosecutor joined the fight to resume executions.

    San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe asked a judge to set an execution date for Robert Fairbank, who was sent to death row for the murder of a San Francisco woman in 1985, the San Jose Mercury News reported ( http://bit.ly/Sy2EMB ).

    A judge is expected to consider Wagstaffe's request in October.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...executions/?ap
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  6. #6
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    This needs to be appealed all the way to the California Supreme Court, who usually uphold death sentences these days.

  7. #7
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    Here's the episode of "Wicked Attraction: A Slice of Murder", featuring the Mitchell Sims/Ruby Padgett murders:


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