Sunday, August 12, 2012

Michael James Perry

Executed July 1, 2010 06:17 p.m. CDT by Lethal Injection in Texas
Summary:
According to Perry’s confession, he and his friend Jason Aaron Burkett decided to steal two cars from the parents of another friend, 17 year old Adam Stotler. Burkett knocked on the front door and asked to use the phone. Perry then went into the house through the back door in the garage with a shotgun and hid in the laundry room. Perry then knocked on the back door. When Sandra Stotler went to the back door, Perry came out of the laundry room and shot her in her side. Sandra Stotler fell, then tried to get up, and Perry shot her again. They loaded the body into the back of a truck and rolled her body into a nearby lake. Burkett and Perry then drove to pick up another friend, Kristin Willis, from work and returned to the Stotler house. When Adam Stotler arrived with his friend Jeremy Richardson, Burkett and Perry convinced them that a friend had been shot in the woods and needed their help. Adam and Jeremy followed Willis’s truck into a nearby wooded area and according to Perry, Burkett then shot Jeremy and then Adam. They returned to the Stoller home then went to a bar. Two days later, Perry was stopped for a traffic violation and after a high speed chase was arrested and booked in as Adam Stoller since he was in possession of his wallet. Several days later after posting bail, while in the stolen Isuzu, Perry and Burkett ran into a deputy sheriff’s vehicle while trying to escape arrest. Both were arrested hiding in a neighboring apartment complex where the shotgun used to kill Sandra Stotler was found. Forensic evidence found near Crater Lake, in the woods, and at the Stotler residence matched Perry’s confession. Perry was tried for Sandra Stotler’s murder. During his trial, Perry took the stand in his defense and claimed that his confession was coerced by police and untrue. The jury did not buy it. Accomplice Burkett was tried separately, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Final/Special Meal:
Three bacon,egg, cheese omelets. In addition three chicken cheese enchiladas and 3 each of Pepsi, Coke and Dr. Pepper.
Last Words:
“I want to start off by saying I want everyone to know that’s involved in this atrocity that they are forgiven by me.” He sobbed briefly, then whispered, “Mom, I love you. I’m coming home, Dad. I’m coming home.”
Internet Sources:
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Media Advisory: Michael Perry scheduled for execution
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information about Michael James Perry, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, 2010. A Texas jury sentenced Perry to death for the murder of Sandra Stotler.
FACTS OF THE CRIME
In October 2001, Michael Perry and a friend, Jason Burkett, decided they needed to get one or two vehicles, so On Oct. 24, they went to the Montgomery home of Sandra Stotler, where Perry entered the house through the garage. Perry shot Sandra Stotler with a shotgun and the two men dumped her body, which was found floating in Montgomery County’s Crater Lake.
Perry and Burkett then returned to the gated community where Sandra Stotler lived and waited outside the gate until the dead woman’s son, Adam Stotler, and his friend, 18-year-old Jeremy Richardson arrived. Perry and Burkett lured the teens to a wooded area and killed Adam Stotler and Richardson. Perry and Burkett, driving the Isuzu Rodeo Adam Stotler had been using, went back to Sandra Stotler’s home and stole her Camaro.
On Tuesday morning, October 30, 2001, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s corporal found Perry, Burkett, and another man in the white Isuzu Rodeo at a truck stop. The vehicle hit the corporal in the course of fleeing, but the officer managed to shoot out the back passenger tire. The vehicle crashed into a nearby store. Perry and Burkett, toting a shotgun, climbed a fence and ran to a nearby apartment complex where police arrested them.
After giving him the Miranda warning, a detective took a statement from Perry in which he admitted to the crime.
EVIDENCE OF FUTURE DANGEROUSNESS
Evidence showed that the night before his arrest, Perry pointed a loaded shotgun at Jason Burkett’s girlfriend’s head and said, “I have already killed somebody, it’s not going to hurt me to kill anyone else.”
On May 22, 2001, police arrested Perry for deadly conduct after he shot at a house.
At the end of first grade, when he was eight years old, Perry was diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder (ADD). At the end of the seventh grade, Perry was diagnosed with “oppositional defiant disorder.” At the end of the eighth grade, Perry was diagnosed with “conduct disorder.” “Antisocial personality disorder” is the adult form of these disorders. Although he was twice admitted to a mental hospital, Perry tested negative for bipolar disorder and did not qualify as learning disabled for special education classes in elementary school.
In junior high, Perry stopped going to school. He ran away from home and came back when he felt like it. Perry stole his mother’s jewelry and tried to pawn it, stole his parents’ van and ran it into a mailbox, and broke into a neighbor’s home and tore the wallpaper and whittled the moldings. During this same time period, Perry received counseling from psychologists and psychiatrists.
After Perry was “kicked out” of an “outbound class” in Florida, Perry’s parents filed charges against Perry, and he was ordered by a court to attend a long-term facility for health care. In September 1997, Perry was sent to Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Nebraska. Three months after his arrival, Perry threatened his house parent, “You know, you people work here. I don’t know why you work here. People like me who are going to rape or kill your kids, you know.” Perry was promptly sent to the locked facility at Boys Town for four months. Perry did not have the level of depression or any DSM-IV disorder to warrant the mental health care provided at the facility.
Perry’s parents, fearing that they would not be able to control Perry, sent him to Casa by the Sea, a secured high school campus in Mexico. Perry graduated from high school, but not from the program at Casa by the Sea, leaving on his eighteenth birthday.
Except for four to six months in the Job Corps, four months in Houston, and a brief stay with his parents, Perry was essentially homeless after leaving Casa by the Sea. Perry stayed for short periods with acquaintances and in shelters. Moreover, except for four to six months in the Job Corps, laying tile in Houston, and a month at Wal-Mart , Perry remained jobless after leaving Casa by the Sea. To support himself and procure alcohol and pills, Perry stole and sold pills as wells as other items. On October 2, 2001, police arrested Perry for presenting a fake prescription for 100 pills of Xanax. Evidence showed that while in the Montgomery County Jail awaiting trial, Perry was unruly. Perry became belligerent, had to be restrained, and tried to bite an officer who was restraining him.
Michael James Perry, 28, was executed by lethal injection on 1 July 2010 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of three people.
On 24 October 2001, Perry, then 19, and Jason Burkett, 19, went to the Montgomery home where Sandra Stotler, 50, lived with her 17-year-old son, Adam. As Perry later confessed, he and Burkett decided that they needed one or two new vehicles. They knew that Adam Stotler’s parents had “a lot of money” as well as “a newer Camaro and Isuzu Rodeo.” They devised a plan to ask to spend the night at the Stotlers and then steal the Camaro while they were asleep. Driving Burkett’s girlfriend’s truck, they went to the home at about 7 p.m. Mrs. Stotler told them that Adam would not be home until around 9 p.m.
They started driving away, but then decided to go back and steal the car while only Mrs. Stotler was home. They parked the pickup down the street and walked back to the house. Burkett knocked on the door and asked to use the phone while Perry snuck into the house through the garage, with the shotgun. Perry hid in the laundry room and knocked on the back door. When Mrs. Stotler came to answer the door, he shot her with the shotgun. She fell to the floor. When he saw that she moved, as if trying to get up, he shot her again. He and Burkett then grabbed some blankets and sheets off the bed to cover thee body. Burkett ran down the street and got the truck and loaded the body into it with the blankets and sheets. Perry wanted to steal the Camaro, but was unable to find the keys. They drove away in the truck, disposed of the body at Crater Lake, then drove to Conroe and picked up Burkett’s girlfriend, Kristen Willis.
The group drove back to the Stotler’s gated community. They didn’t know the code to open the gate, but they knew Adam would be coming home soon. While they were waiting, they devised a plan to tell Adam that a friend of theirs had shot himself while they were hunting squirrels, and they needed his help. Adam then arrived in the Isuzu Rodeo with his friend, Jeremy Richardson, 18. After Perry and Burkett asked Adam for help, they drove out to a wooded area, while Adam and Jeremy followed in the Rodeo. The four boys got out of their vehicles and walked into the woods while Willis stayed in her truck. Adam then suggested that they look for the friend from a different road, so he and Perry drove away in the Rodeo while Burkett and Richardson stayed in the woods.
According to Perry’s confession, Adam parked the Rodeo, and the two of them got out. Burkett then approached them with the shotgun, alone. Burkett asked them if they heard gunshots, for he fired his shotgun several times to signal his location to them. Burkett told Adam he would take him to where the others were. Perry walked back to the Rodeo while Adam went with Burkett. Perry saw Burkett shoot Adam, then he covered his eyes and heard another shot. He uncovered his eyes and saw Burkett shoot Adam a third time. Perry then walked over to Adam’s body and pulled his car keys out of his pocket. Burkett and Perry drove the Rodeo back to where Willis was waiting. She became upset with them and drove home. Burkett drove Perry back to the Stotlers. Perry grabbed Adam’s wallet from the Isuzu and took the keys to the Camaro off of his key ring. He then drove the Camaro away. The boys then went home, smoked some cigarettes, got cleaned up, and went out to a club.
On the morning of 26 October, Perry was driving the stolen Camaro when police spotted him committing traffic violations. After a high speed chase, Perry wrecked the Camaro and fled on foot. He was apprehended and booked as Adam Stotler, whose wallet he was still carrying. He was then released on bond.
On 27 October, Sandra Stotler’s body was found in Crater Lake at 4:30 p.m.
On 30 October, a Montgomery County sheriff’s corporal spotted the stolen Rodeo at a truck stop, with three occupants. The vehicle struck the corporal in the course of fleeing, but the officer was able to shoot out a rear tire. The vehicle crashed. Perry and Burkett fled on foot, carrying a shotgun. They climbed a fence and ran to a nearby apartment complex, where police arrested them and recovered the shotgun. Perry, who had a deep cut on his arm from the crash, was taken to a hospital for treatment. Officers questioned him at the hospital and obtained the confession related above.
At his trial, Perry claimed that police coerced the confession from him and ignored his request for a lawyer. “I had a gun shoved in my face,” he testified. “At the time, there was quite a bit of excitement. I was under the influence. My arms hurt pretty bad and I was real scared … my condition in my mind state was that I am going to tell [the detective] anything he wants to hear to get him away from me, to get out of this situation, and that’s what I did.”
Perry had been diagnosed with personality and conduct disorders as a schoolchild. He ran away from home while in junior high school and became a drifter. He supported himself by stealing and selling pills and other items.
A jury convicted Perry of the capital murder of Sandra Stotler in February 2003 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in December 2004. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Jason Aaron Burkett was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. He remains in custody as of this writing.
On a web site set up on his behalf, Perry claimed he was innocent. He stated that “it has now clearly been proven, that the crime actually happened between the 26th and the 27th, at times I was in jail.” He emphasized the evidence against Jason Burkett. He also implied that Kristen Willis could have been responsible. “At trial, Kristen stated, that she was afraid of Jason,” Perry wrote. “So afraid that she’d do anything for him? Even murder??” He further implied that Willis was given full immunity because her father was a police officer in Montgomery County.
Regarding the circumstances of his arrest on the 26th, Perry only stated that he was taken in for “traffic violations and evading arrest” and omitted any mention of whose car he was driving or whose wallet he used for identification.
Sandra Stotler’s mother and daughter and Jeremy Richardson’s brother attended Perry’s execution and watched it from a viewing room. Perry’s mother watched from another viewing room.
“I want to let everyone here who is involved in this atrocity know they’re forgiven by me,” Perry said in his last statement at his execution. He sobbed briefly, then mouthed “I love you” to his mother. He twice whispered, “I’m coming home, Dad.” The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead nine minutes later at 6:17 p.m.
“Inmate executed for nurse’s murder; Says he didn’t kill Conroe woman,” by Mike Tolson. (Associated Press July 1, 2010)
HUNTSVILLE — Condemning his execution as an “atrocity,” Michael James Perry was put to death Thursday night for the shotgun murder of a Conroe woman during an alcohol and drug-fueled binge almost a decade ago.
Perry had steadily proclaimed he was innocent of the murder of 50-year-old Sandra Stotler in her fashionable home near Lake Conroe in October 2001. Although he confessed following his arrest several days later, he quickly recanted, claiming he was coerced and physically intimidated into implicating himself. “I want to let everyone here who is involved in this atrocity know they’re forgiven by me,” Perry said in his final statement, still not acknowledging his role in the woman’s death. He sobbed briefly, teared up, mouthed “I love you” to his mother in the witness room, then twice whispered, “I’m coming home, Dad.”
Making some peace
Perry, 28, gasped four times before falling silent. He was pronounced dead at 6:17, nine minutes after the lethal injection was administered. He is the 14th inmate to be executed in Texas this year.
“We can get on with our lives now and have peace,” said Stotler’s mother, Mary Ann Bockwich. Stotler’s daughter, Lisa Stotler Balloun, said the day “was not a good day no matter what anyone says” and expressed sympathy for Perry’s family. But she said his last statement validated the jury’s death sentence. “I needed to look into his eyes and see if he was the monster I had made him out to be, because he was just a 19-year-old kid at the time,” Balloun said. “When he said that, I knew that he was. I knew that justice had been served.”
Points finger at friend
Perry confessed to authorities that he killed Stotler, a nurse, in her home in the Bentwater subdivision near Conroe on Oct. 24, 2001, then later recanted. He claimed to have been in jail on an unrelated traffic charge at the time that the state’s medical examiner pinpointed the time of death – Oct. 26 – and thus could not be the killer. He blamed his former friend and co-defendant, Jason Aaron Burkett, for the shotgun shooting of Stotler and later Stotler’s son, Adam, and Adam’s friend, Jeremy Richardson. Burkett is serving a life sentence in connection with the boys’ deaths.
“Burkett should be up there, too, on the gurney with him,” said Charles Richardson, Jeremy’s brother, one of the witnesses. “This was friends stabbing friends in the back.”
Prosecutors said there was ample evidence supporting Perry’s confession and that much of the information he provided could only have come from someone involved in the killings. The time of death was not a real issue, Bill Delmore, an appellate specialist with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, has said. He said the forensic evidence did not place an upper limit on how long Stotler, whose body was found in a nearby lake on Oct. 27, had been dead.
Perry’s lawyers have claimed Burkett, convicted of capital murder in the boys’ deaths but given a life sentence by a jury, was also behind the woman’s murder and brought the car to Perry. They produced an affidavit from a jail inmate who claimed Burkett had bragged to him that he had killed all three. “There’s no doubt he was making bad decisions at the time,” appeals lawyer Jessica Mederson said in an earlier interview. “It does not mean he was guilty of murdering someone.”
Stotler’s family said Perry’s claim of innocence, amplified by a well-produced website, was “just asinine.”
“Perry put to death,” by Nancy Flake. (Updated: 07.02.10)
HUNTSVILLE – When Michael James Perry said he forgave everyone involved in the “atrocity” of his execution Thursday evening, the daughter of the woman he killed said she knew “justice had been served today.” Perry, 28, was executed by lethal injection just after 6 p.m. Thursday in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Walls Unit for the October 2001 murder of Sandra Stotler, 51, a nurse at Conroe Regional Medical Center.
Perry shot Stotler twice in the back as he lay in wait for her in the laundry room of her Lake Conroe-area home. Taking her red Camaro, he and his accomplice, Jason Burkett, then dumped her body in Crater Lake near Grangerland. Perry and Burkett then went back to her home and lured Stotler’s 16-year-old son Adam and his friend Jeremy Richardson, 18, to a nearby wooded area, where they shot and killed both of them and stole Adam Stotler’s SUV.
Burkett is serving a life sentence for all three murders. Perry was charged only with the murder of Sandra Stotler.
Laying on a gurney, where the combination of three drugs began flowing through his veins at 6:03 p.m., Perry gave his final statement. “I want to start off by saying and letting everyone involved in this atrocity know they’re all forgiven by me.” Looking at his adoptive mother, Gayle Perry, he said, “Mom, I love you,” with his voice breaking. “I’m coming home, Dad.” Perry’s adoptive father died in June. He gave four audible gasps and his breathing slowed, while one tear rolled from his right eye down his cheek. Family members of the Stotlers and Richardson watched quietly and intently, while some wiped away tears. Perry was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m.
“I felt sorry for his family,” said Lisa Stotler Balloun, Sandra Stotler’s daughter and Adam’s sister. “It’s not a good day for anyone. When he said he forgave us, I knew justice had been served today. I needed to see if he’s a monster – and apparently he is. “I just wish Jason Burkett and Kristin Willis were here sitting beside him.” Willis was Burkett’s girlfriend at the time of the murders and was present in the wooded area when Adam Stotler and Jeremy Richardson were shot, with blood left on the shirt she was wearing, according to trial testimony. She testified against Burkett in his October 2003 trial.
Before the execution, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon personally reviewed all the evidence, he wrote in a statement Thursday night. “Ethics prevented me from commenting on the ridiculous accusation that Mr. Perry’s confession was somehow coerced and the evidence in his criminal case was flawed,” Ligon stated. “The reality is that Mr. Perry laughed throughout his legal and voluntary confession in which he related gruesome details about the murders of his innocent victims. The remainder of the evidence in the case was as overwhelming as it was disturbing. “Mr. Perry’s last words reflected the way he lived his life: full of hatred, bile and narcissism. I do not relish in the execution of his sentence, but I do not mourn his death. May the victim’s families finally have the peace they deserve.”
Neither Perry nor any of his family members ever reached out to the victims’ families, Lisa Balloun said. “Never. Not once,” she said. “He’s been blaming and pointing fingers since day one. It just infuriates me; we were the ‘bad guys’ in this situation.”
Perry sought a commutation of his death sentence in recent days, claiming, based on a medical examiner’s testimony about Sandra Stotler’s time of death, he was in the Montgomery County Jail and couldn’t have killed her. But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t agree, clearing the way for Perry’s execution.
Balloun tells her daughters – one was 3 years old and the other 10 months old when Sandra Stotler was murdered – about “what a wonderful woman she was” and how Adam was “the best uncle in the world,” she said. “Our family is crushed.” For Rosemary Jeffery, Jeremy Richardson’s mother, Perry’s death has not yet brought the closure she seeks. “It won’t be over until Burkett is gone,” she said. “Then … our family can have some rest.”
But that closure finally seems to have come for the family of Sandra and Adam Stotler. “I’m glad to say this is over,” said Mary Ann Bockwich, Sandra Stotler’s mother and Adam’s grandmother. “We can all have peace now.”
“Killer of Houston-area nurse executed,” by Mary Rainwater. (July 1, 2010)
HUNTSVILLE — Texas inmate Michael Perry, 28, was executed Thursday for the slaying of a 50-year-old Conroe-area woman nine years ago. Perry’s last words were full of emotion as he said good-bye to his family and friends witnessing his death. “I want to start off by saying I want everyone to know what’s involved in this atrocity that they are forgiven by me,” he said from the death chamber gurney, his remaining statement almost muted by his sobs. “Mom, I love you. I’m coming home, Dad. I’m coming home.”
As the drugs took effect, his eyes fluttered and he hiccupped four times. A single tear ran down his right cheek, prompting quiet sobs from his mother and an aunt and friends. The victim’s relatives gasped and motioned to each other. Perry was pronounced dead just nine minutes later, at 6:17 p.m., making his the 14th execution to take place in the state this year.
The U.S. Supreme Court, about 90 minutes before the lethal injection, rejected a last-day appeal from Perry’s lawyers. They unsuccessfully argued they had new evidence showing Perry was already in jail when 50-year-old Sandra Stotler was murdered in 2001. They also contended a co-defendant and friend of Perry’s killed Stotler. Prosecutors said a “mountain of evidence” pointed to Perry — most notably that he was seen driving Stotler’s stolen car and bragged about the killing before his arrest.
Holding a photo of Stotler, her daughter Lisa Balloun said she was glad she watched Perry die. “Going in I thought it would be worse,” she said. “And I felt sorry for the family — it is not a good day for anybody. “When we said he forgave us, I knew justice had been served,” she added. “I needed to see if he was the monster I built him up to be. Apparently, he is.”
Perry was convicted of shooting Stotler twice in the back at her home and stealing her red Chevrolet Camaro convertible. Testimony showed Perry and a friend, Jason Burkett, then dumped her body in a lake and returned to her Lake Conroe subdivision to wait for her son, Adam. Prosecutors said Perry and Burkett lured Adam Stotler, 16, and his friend, Jeremy Richardson, 18, to a nearby wooded area, shot them dead and stole Adam Stotler’s SUV.
Two days later, Perry crashed the Camaro after a police chase. He was arrested and released on bond under Adam Stotler’s name because he had Stotler’s wallet and ID. Sandra Stotler’s body was found the next day. Police then arrested Perry and Burkett in Stotler’s SUV after a shootout. Inside the truck, officers found the 12-gauge shotgun used to kill Sandra Stotler.
Perry never was charged with the two other slayings. Burkett is serving a life sentence for his role. A Montgomery County jury deliberated two hours to convict Perry; jurors took another six hours to send him to death row. Among evidence against Perry was his DNA on a cigarette butt beneath one of the victims. Perry also argued on appeal that a fellow jail inmate said Burkett took credit for the slayings. State lawyers said other courts had rejected the argument as self-serving for Perry and “rank hearsay.”
On Wednesday, Jonathan Green, 42, was spared from execution for abducting, raping and strangling a 12-year-old Montgomery County girl, Christina LeAnn Neal, a decade ago. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said it needed more information about his claims of mental incompetence.
The next execution, scheduled for July 20, is that of Derrick Jackson for the September 1988 slaying of two Houston men.
Michael James Perry was convicted of brutally murdering 50 year old Sandra Stotler in the course of burglarizing her house. According to Perry’s confession, he and his friend Jason Burkett decided to steal two cars. They identified two cars, a Camaro and Isuzu Rodeo, that belonged to the parents of another friend, Adam Stotler. Perry and Burkett made a plan to spend the night at the Stotler house and steal a car in the middle of the night.
On October 24, 2001, Perry and Burkett drove to the Stotler house with a 12-gauge shotgun in a blue Chevy truck belonging to Burkett’s girlfriend, Kristin Willis. Sandra Stotler, Adam’s mother, told Perry and Burkett that Adam would not be home until 9 pm. They returned to their truck and drove several blocks before deciding that it would be easier to steal the car when only one person was home. When they arrived back at the house, Burkett knocked on the front door and asked to use the phone. Perry then went into the house through the back door in the garage with the shotgun and hid in the laundry room. Perry knocked on the back door. When Sandra Stotler went to the back door, Perry came out of the laundry room and shot her in her side. Sandra Stotler fell, then tried to get up, and Perry shot her again.
At this point, Perry and Burkett wrapped her in bedsheets and blankets and loaded her into the back of the truck. As they could not find the keys to the Camaro, both Perry and Burkett left in Willis’s truck. Burkett drove the car to nearby Crater Lake. At first, Burkett and Perry opened the tailgate and tried backing up to the lake, hoping that Sandra Stotler’s body would slide out. When that did not work, they grabbed her body and rolled her into the water. They covered her body with the sheets, sticks, and brush.
Burkett and Perry drove to pick up Willis from work and returned to the Stotler house. When 16 year old Adam Stotler arrived back at his house with his friend 18 year old Jeremy Richardson, Burkett and Perry convinced them that a friend had been shot in the woods and needed their help. Adam and Jeremy followed Willis’s truck in Adam’s Isuzu. When they arrived in the woods, Perry and Burkett led Adam and Jeremy into the woods. According to Perry, Burkett shot Jeremy and then Adam. Perry removed the car keys and wallet from Adam’s pocket. Burkett and Perry returned to the truck. Willis asked what had happened, became upset, and left in her truck. Burkett and Perry stole the Camaro and Isuzu.
Perry ended his confession by stating that they returned home, cleaned up, and went to a bar. Two days later, Perry attempted to evade police who had tried to stop him for traffic violations. The high speed chase ended when Perry wrecked the Camaro and fled on foot. He was eventually apprehended with Adam Stotler’s wallet. He was booked and released on bond as Adam Stotler. The next day, Sandra Stotler’s body was found in Crater Lake.
Several days later, while in the stolen Isuzu, Perry and Burkett ran into a deputy sheriff’s vehicle while trying to escape arrest. The vehicle crashed into a nearby store. Burkett and Perry were arrested hiding in a neighboring apartment complex; the shotgun used to kill Sandra Stotler was also found there. Forensic evidence found near Crater Lake, in the woods, and at the Stotler residence matched Perry’s confession.
Perry was tried for Sandra Stotler’s murder. During his trial, Perry took the stand in his defense and claimed that his confession had been untrue. Perry, however, had made several subsequent statements that implicated him in the murder.
At the sentencing phase, the defense presented extensive evidence about Perry’s family history and upbringing. An adopted child, Perry had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (“ADD”) at 8 years old. He was later diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder. A year after that, he was diagnosed with conduct disorder. Perry twice tested negative for bipolar disorder after being admitted to a mental hospital. He never qualified for special education classes in elementary school, had an IQ of 97, and was by all accounts an average student.
Perry often ran away from home. He stopped going to school in junior high. He stole his mother’s jewelry and the family car. He broke into a neighbor’s home and destroyed the moldings. Perry’s parents filed charges and had him committed to a long-term facility for mental health care. He was sent to Boys Town in Nebraska, but after threatening his house parents, he was moved to a locked facility within the program. Perry’s problems did not qualify him for any mental health care provided by the facility. When he was expelled from Boys Town, his parents moved him to a secured high school campus in Mexico called Casa by the Sea. After high school, Perry was essentially homeless and jobless. He had a brief stint in the Job Corps, laying tile, and at Wal-Mart. Perry also stole and sold prescription pills to support his indulgence in alcohol and pills.
The defense presented testimony from Perry’s biological mother who testified that she used drugs and alcohol until a month or two before Perry was born. Despite this, Perry was full weight and healthy when born. Although no biological relatives had committed murder, Perry’s mother testified to a family history of depression, alcoholism, drug use, and thievery. Dr. Gilda Kessner, a clinical psychologist with a forensics background, interviewed Perry and testified that Perry’s youthfulness was his greatest risk factor for recidivism. After serving time in prison, Dr. Kessner testified, the likelihood of Perry’s becoming violent would drop to zero. The jury found Perry guilty of capital murder. During the sentencing phase, the jury found that Perry posed a continuing threat to society and that there were not sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant a life sentence. The trial court sentenced Perry to death.

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