Trinity murders

Last updated
Trinity murders
DateSeptember 29, 1984
LocationLouisville, Kentucky, United States
Cause Homicide by firearm
OutcomeSolved
Deaths2
ConvictedVictor Taylor
George Wade
VerdictGuilty
ConvictionsDeath (Taylor) Life imprisonment (Wade)

The "Trinity murders" (so named for the high school attended by the victims) occurred in Louisville, Kentucky on September 29, 1984, when Victor Dewayne Taylor and George Ellis Wade kidnapped and murdered two 17-year-old Trinity High School students, Scott Christopher Nelson and Richard David Stephenson. Taylor was sentenced to death and Wade was sentenced to life imprisonment. [1]

Contents

Murders

On September 29, 1984, Scott Nelson and Richard David Stephenson were headed to a Trinity High School soccer game at Louisville Male High School football stadium on East Burnett Avenue in the Schnitzelburg neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky when they became lost. [2] The pair stopped at a Moby Dick restaurant located at the intersection of Logan & Oak Street to get directions, where Victor Taylor and his cousin George Wade said they would lead them to the stadium in exchange for a ride. [2] Nelson and Stephenson were instead taken to a vacant lot in the 300 block of Ardella Ct. near the football stadium of Louisville Male High School where they were forced to take off their clothes, hand over their personal property, and were bound and gagged. After Victor Taylor sexually assaulted one of them, Nelson and Stephenson were shot in the back of the head to avoid the identification of Taylor and Wade.

The widely publicized murders led to the suspects when a relative who had been given a Trinity High school jacket reported George Wade to the police. Wade implicated Victor Taylor in the crime and the personal belongings of the two murdered students were found in the home of Taylor's mother.

Trial

After a change of venue motion due to publicity, the trials of Taylor and Wade were moved to Lexington, Kentucky where Taylor was convicted in 1986 of kidnapping, robbery, sodomy, and murder. Wade had previously testified against Taylor but recanted his testimony, which led to Taylor unsuccessfully appealing his conviction. George Wade was convicted of kidnapping, robbery, and murder. Taylor is on death row at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky and George Wade is serving a life sentence at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange Kentucky.

Wade recanted his statement to the police that Taylor was with him when he kidnapped, sodomized and killed the boys. Wade made this statement more than eleven years after Taylor's conviction.

In 2000, the clothier Benetton ran a controversial advertising campaign titled "We, On Death Row" which featured Victor Taylor and 24 other death row inmates from around the United States. [3]

Related Research Articles

Clinton Correctional Facility Maximum-security state prison for men in New York, US

Clinton Correctional Facility is a New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision maximum security state prison for men located in the Village of Dannemora, New York. The prison is sometimes colloquially referred to as Dannemora, although its name is derived from its location in Clinton County, New York. The southern perimeter wall of the prison borders New York State Route 374. Church of St. Dismas, the Good Thief, a church built by inmates, is located within the walls. The prison is sometimes referred to as New York's Little Siberia, due to the cold winters in Dannemora and the isolation of the upstate area. It is the largest maximum security prison and the third oldest prison in New York. The staff includes about a thousand officers and supervisors.

Federal Kidnapping Act United States federal criminal law prohibitting kidnapping

Following the historic Lindbergh kidnapping, the United States Congress passed a federal kidnapping statute—known as the Federal Kidnapping Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1) —which was intended to let federal authorities step in and pursue kidnappers once they had crossed state lines with their victim. The act became law in 1932. In 1934, the act was amended to provides exception for parents who abduct their own minor children and made a death sentence possible in cases where the victim was not released unharmed.

Anthony Porter was a Chicago resident known for having been exonerated in 1999 of the murder in 1982 of two teenagers on the South Side of the city. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1983, and served 17 years on death row. He was exonerated following introduction of new evidence by Northwestern University professors and students from the Medill School of Journalism as part of their investigation for the school's Innocence Project. Porter's appeals had been repeatedly rejected, including by the US Supreme Court, and he was once 50 hours away from execution.

Emily Harris American murderer

Emily Harris was, along with her husband William Harris (1945–), a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), an American left-wing terrorist group involved in bank robberies, kidnapping and murder. In the 1970s, she was convicted of kidnapping Patty Hearst. In 2003, she was convicted of murder in the second degree for being the shooter in a 1975 slaying that occurred while she and other SLA members were robbing a bank in California. She was sentenced to eight years in prison for the murder.

Jesse Tafero American executed for a murder he may not have committed

Jesse Joseph Tafero was convicted of murder and executed via electric chair in the U.S. state of Florida for the murders of 39-year-old Florida Highway Patrol officer Phillip A. Black and 39-year-old Ontario Provincial Police Corporal Donald Irwin, a visiting Canadian constable and friend of Black. The officers were killed during a traffic stop where Tafero, his wife Sunny Jacobs and their children were passengers. Tafero's execution was botched; his head burst into flames during the execution by electric chair. After Tafero's execution, the driver, Walter Rhodes, confessed to shooting the officers.

Mark Goudeau American serial killer and rapist on death row

Mark Goudeau is an American serial killer, kidnapper, thief and rapist. Goudeau terrorized victims in the Phoenix metro area between August 2005 and June 2006. Coincidentally, Goudeau was active at the same time as two other Phoenix serial killers, jointly known as the "Serial Shooter.”

Joseph Carl Shaw was an American convicted murderer from Kentucky who was the first person to be executed by the state of South Carolina after the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the use of capital punishment by the states in 1976. Shaw was executed for the 1977 murders of three people in Richland County, South Carolina. One of his accomplices, James Terry Roach, was also sentenced to death, and was executed in 1986.

Gary Tyler

Gary Tyler, from St. Rose, Louisiana, is an African-American man who is a former prisoner at the Louisiana State Prison in Angola, Louisiana. He was convicted of the October 7, 1974 shooting death of a white 13-year-old boy and the wounding of another, on a day of violent protests by whites against black students at Destrehan High School in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. He was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder at age 17 by an all-white jury; he received the mandatory death sentence for that crime, according to state law. When he entered Louisiana State Prison (Angola), he was the youngest person on death row.

The Wichita Massacre, also known as the Wichita Horror, was a week-long series of random brutal crimes perpetrated by brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr in the city of Wichita, Kansas between December 8 and 15, 2000. Five people were shot and killed and a woman was severely wounded. The brothers were arrested and convicted of multiple counts of murder, kidnapping, robbery, and rape. They were both sentenced to death in October 2002. Their vicious crimes created panic in the Wichita area resulting in an increase in the sales of guns, locks, and home security systems.

This is a list of notable overturned convictions in the United States.

Murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom 2007 carjacking, rape, and murder of a couple in Knoxville, Tennessee

Channon Gail Christian, aged 21, and Hugh Christopher Newsom Jr., aged 23, were from Knoxville, Tennessee. They were kidnapped on the evening of January 6, 2007, when Christian's vehicle was carjacked. The couple was taken to a rental house. Both of them were raped, tortured, and murdered. Four males and one female were arrested, charged, and convicted in the case. In 2007, a grand jury indicted Letalvis Darnell Cobbins, Lemaricus Devall Davidson, George Geovonni Thomas, and Vanessa Lynn Coleman on counts of kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murder. Also in 2007, Eric DeWayne Boyd was indicted by a federal grand jury of being an accessory to a carjacking, resulting in serious bodily injury to another person, and misprision of a felony. In 2018, Boyd was indicted on state level charges of kidnapping, robbery, rape, and murder.

The Jeanine Nicarico murder case was a complex and influential homicide investigation and prosecution in which two men, Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez, both Latinos, were wrongfully convicted of abduction, rape and murder in 1985 in DuPage County, Illinois. They were both sentenced to death. The case was scrutinized during appeals for being weak in evidence.

Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW) is a prison located in unincorporated Shelby County, Kentucky, near Pewee Valley, Kentucky, operated by the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Male and female inmates prior to 1937 had been housed at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort

Tiffany Cole American convicted murderer on death row

Tiffany Ann Cole is an American convicted murderer who was found guilty of the kidnapping and first-degree murder of a Duval County, Florida, husband and wife and sentenced to death. Also found guilty in the case were three men: Alan Wade; Bruce Nixon; and Cole's boyfriend, Michael Jackson. Prosecutors said Cole and the three men developed a plan to kidnap and kill the couple to steal their money, and dug a grave for them in Charlton County, Georgia, two days before knocking on their door and asking to use the phone. As of February 2015, Cole is the third youngest woman on death row in the United States; she was 26 at the time of her conviction.

Tyrone Delano Gilliam Jr. was an American convicted murderer executed by the state of Maryland in 1998. Gilliam was convicted and sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Christine J. Doerfler on December 2, 1988.

California Innocence Project American legal non-profit founded 1999

The California Innocence Project is a non-profit based at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, United States, which provides pro bono legal services to individuals who maintain their factual innocence of crime(s) for which they have been convicted. It is an independent chapter of the Innocence Project. Its mission is to exonerate wrongly convicted inmates through the use of DNA and other evidences.

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the U.S. state of Kentucky.

The Ford Heights Four were formerly imprisoned convicts, who were falsely accused and convicted of the double murder of Lawrence Lionberg and Carol Schmal in Ford Heights, Illinois, and later exonerated. Jimerson and Williams were sentenced to death, Adams to 75 years in jail and Rainge to life. Following the murder in 1978, the four spent almost two decades in prison before being released in 1996. This miscarriage of justice was due to false forensic testimony, coercion of a prosecution witness, perjury by another witness who had an incentive to lie, and prosecution and police misconduct. The DNA evidence uncovered in the investigation to clear their names eventually lead to the arrest and conviction of the real killers.

Beoria Simmons Convicted American serial killer

Beoria Abraham Simmons II is an American serial killer who kidnapped, raped, and murdered two women and a teenage girl in Jefferson County, Kentucky between 1981 and 1983. He also attempted to abduct another woman and a teenage girl. One other man was wrongfully jailed for one of Simmons' crimes. Simmons was sentenced to death in 1985, but his sentence was reduced to life in prison in 2010.

References

  1. WKYT. "Court rejects new trial in double murder case" . Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  2. 1 2 "Louisville Magazine - MAR 2012". loumag.epubxp.com. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  3. "Sears Pulls Benetton Line" . Retrieved 2018-03-24.