Sunday, August 12, 2012

William L. Garner

Executed July 13, 2010 10:38 a.m. by Lethal Injection in Ohio
Summary:
After falling on an icy sidewalk, Addie Mack went to the hospital emergency room to get checked out. At the hospital, Garner snatched her purse from near a pay telephone, called a cab, and directed the driver to her home address intending to steal what he could from the home. Garner went through each room of the apartment, including two bedrooms in which he noticed four girls and two boys sleeping. While inside, one of the girls woke up and asked Garner for a glass of water, which he gave her, and then he let the child watch television for a few minutes before sending her back to bed. He explained his presence in the apartment by telling her that he ran into her mother at the hospital and she had sent him to check on the children. Garner removed a number of items from the apartment, including a television set, a VCR, a portable telephone, and a Sony “boom box.” Garner put these items in the cab, telling the driver that he and his girlfriend had a fight and that he was moving out his belongings. Realizing the child could identify him, Garner went back inside the apartment and set three fires. Two of the fires, set in the mother’s unoccupied bedroom and another unoccupied bedroom, smoldered but went out. The third fire was set on the living room couch. That fire quickly consumed the living room and filled the entire apartment with heavy smoke. Addie’s oldest son, Rod, was awakened by the smoke, heard his sisters screaming in their room and saw fire in the hallway outside his bedroom. Rod tried to get the other children out through a bedroom window. He went first, out his bedroom window and sliding onto a dormer over the front door, then down. But the other five children aged 8-12, which included his three sisters, a cousin and a neighbor boy who was spending the night, did not follow him and died inside. Upon arrest, after finding the stolen items in his home, Garner admitted entering the home and setting the fire, but said he thought the children would escape.
Final/Special Meal:
A porterhouse steak, fried shrimp, barbecued chicken and ribs, a large salad, potato wedges, onion rings, sweet potato pie, chocolate ice cream and Hawaiian Punch to drink.
Final Words:
Reading from a hand-written note held up by an official, Garner apologized to the six family members of the victims and stated he was “heartily sorry … my carelessness caused a great loss to many and if my flesh gives you all some kind of peace, I want that for you. If this will give you closure, I hope it will.” Garner thanked the state of Ohio, his spiritual advisers and friend Stacy Evans who gave him a clipping of her dreadlock to hold as he died. “I thought I’d never be free, but I am free now.”
Internet Sources:
“Garner goes quietly for killing 5,” by Eileen Kelley. (July 13, 2010)
LUCASVILLE, Ohio — William Garner glanced over at his niece, a soft smile breaking his face as the first of the five syringes of a lethal drug were pumped into his arm at 10:21 a.m. Tuesday in the Death House at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
Garner, 37, who grew up with the name “Peewee,” was the 382nd person to be executed in Ohio since the state began executions in 1803. The state has an execution scheduled each month through November.
Garner has spent nearly half his life on death row after killing five children in an English Woods townhouse on Jan. 26, 1992, when he set three fires to cover up a burglary.
Garner, however, appeared at peace with his condemnation. If he was scared, he showed no sign. He turned his head to the left, staring into the eyes of his niece Martisha Ross for long periods.
While strapped to a wooden gurney, Garner held a dreadlock of hair from a friend in his left hand and read from a hand-written note held up by an official. He apologized to the six family members of victims who were there to witness the execution, separated from the killer by about four feet and a glass window. “If this will give you closure, I hope it will,” he said. Garner thanked the state of Ohio, his spiritual advisers and friend Stacy Evans who gave him a clipping of her dreadlock to hold as he died. Garner’s voice cracked once as he said his goodbyes, but he never lost his composure. “I thought I’d never be free, but I am free now,” he said.
No one spoke as he was dying until the warden broke the silence. “Time of death, 10:38 a.m.,” Warden Donald Morgan called out when the curtain opened at 10:39 a.m. The people in the three witness rooms remained silent as they were ushered out.
Garner was sentenced to death for killing the children in the home of Addie Mack after he stole her purse from a phone booth at University Hospital and broke into her apartment. During the 40 minutes inside the witness rooms, Mack, who lost three daughters in the fire, turned a few times to look at her son, Rod Mack, the only one to survive the fire. About 10 anti-death penalty advocates stood in the drizzling rain during the execution.
Up to the moment of his death, Garner, who has an IQ of 76 and was considered borderline retarded, maintained he never intended for the children to die, and was only trying to cover up the fact that he stole a television set, a VCR, a boom box and phone from the home. Rod Mack jumped from the window and was found shivering in the snow when emergency crews arrived. He told the police he heard his sisters screaming. The girls died huddled together. Garner took a cab from the apartment to a United Dairy Farmers where he bought Hawaiian Punch, a jelly cake and candy.
For his last meal at the Death House on Monday, Garner also had Hawaiian Punch and an assortment of food that included a Porterhouse steak, barbeque chicken and ribs, sweet potato pie, fried shrimp and chocolate ice cream.
Garner declined the standard prison breakfast Tuesday morning, as well as a sedative, in the hours before his death. He spent the early morning hours with his mother, Patricia Garner, his sister Lisa Ross, his friend Evans, spiritual leaders, the defense counsel and his niece – the only person to witness his death on his behalf. “He is finally at peace and that was very important,” his older sister Ross said after his death. She said she hoped the family members of sisters Denitra Satterwhite, 12, Deondra Freeman, 10, Mykia Mack, 8; the girls’ cousin Markeca Mason, 11, and neighbor Richard Gaines, also 11, could one day forgive him.
Marshandra Jackson, who lost her daughter Markeca, quietly wept during the 40-minute process that started with prep-work and the insertion of two shunts while Garner was in his holding cell. The preparations were broadcast into the witness rooms through video monitors. He then took 17 steps into the death chamber and climbed on the gurney.
Garner arrived in Lucasville on Monday, a place where he first was admitted to death row all those years ago when the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility sent people to death by the electric chair. The prison at the time was the only one in the state to house death row inmates. Much has changed since then.
The electric chair has since been replaced first with a lethal cocktail of drugs and then more recently to the sole drug Thiopental Sodium. Garner, who sentenced shortly after he turned 20, had been housed at the Mansfield Correctional Facility since 1995, where he lived alone in a 94-square-foot cell. When not in trouble, he was permitted out of his cell for up to 2½ hours a day.
Garner found trouble, though. Reports from the correction department say he was cited 13 times for infractions ranging from having sex with inmates to throwing fluids on workers to violent outbursts and fighting.
Garner and his twin Willie, who were born on Sept. 26, 1972, went by the names Peewee and Pappy, respectively. Garner suffered abuse and got into trouble early, court records show. At the age of 5, he kicked a teacher and threw temper tantrums. Garner was beaten by his mother and her boyfriends, as well as by a brother who had sexually assaulted him, according to court records.
That brother was picked up on a warrant Tuesday as he stood outside the prison walls before the execution. The infraction was that he allegedly failed to register as a sex offender in Hamilton County. Garner started getting in trouble with the law at the age of 10. He failed the second-, fourth- and sixth-grades, court records say. There were theft charges, criminal trespass and another theft charge all before his 11th birthday. Many followed ranging from breaking and entering, to assault to disorderly conduct.
“He was ready. Peewee had been ready,” Ross said of her brother’s execution Tuesday. “… Through the years, we prepared for this day.”
“Killer executed, but when isn’t certain; Calling of death delayed for man who killed 5 kids in 1992,”by alan Johnson. (Wednesday, July 14, 2010 02:51 AM)
LUCASVILLE, Ohio – William Garner may have been ready to go, but his body wasn’t. The Cincinnati man who killed five children by setting an apartment fire to cover up a burglary succumbed to a lethal dose of thiopental sodium at 10:38 a.m. yesterday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. But Garner, 37, wasn’t pronounced dead until after an unusual 10-minute delay, during which a curtain shielded his body from the view of witnesses and the media in the prison Death House and an ancillary site.
Ernie L. Moore, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said later that when the curtain was pulled – usually signaling the end of an execution and the announcement of the time of death – the coroner said he heard “faint heart sounds” even though there were “no other life signs.” Garner was not dead, even though the fatal chemical had been flowing into his veins for nine minutes.
The unexpected development triggered a five-minute wait under prison protocol, Moore said. At that point, behind the curtain, Garner’s body was re-checked for a heartbeat. This time there was none; the curtain was opened, and the execution was over. Prison officials said they may re-examine the procedure for determining when the curtain is pulled and death is determined.
Rod Mack, the lone survivor of the fire on Jan. 26, 1992, watched Garner’s execution, as did the parents of several of the dead children. So many family members wanted to see Garner die that prison officials set up a room where three witnesses watched the execution on closed-circuit television. About 10:20 a.m., as the execution began, a storm that had been hanging over the southern Ohio hills was unleashed. There were several loud claps of thunder, and a heavy rain began pelting the prison roof.
Reading from a rambling hand-written statement, Garner said he was “heartily sorry … my carelessness caused a great lost (sic) to many and if my flesh gives you all some kind of peace, I want that for you.” He thanked a long list of people, including the state of Ohio, then said, “I’m free, thank God almighty, I’m free now.”
None of the victims’ family members spoke to the media afterward, but Lisa Ross, Garner’s sister, said her brother “was at peace. He was ready to go.” Ross said “accidents happen” and that she hopes people can forgive her brother.
Police and court records tell a very different story about a man who tried to set fires in three places and stole the telephone – all the while knowing there were six children in the apartment. Garner even got one girl a glass of water and watched TV with her for a while. Five of the children died of smoke inhalation: Deondra Freeman, 10; Richard Gaines, 11; Markeca and Mykkila Mason, 11 and 8, respectively; and Denitra Satterwhite, 12. Mack, who was 13 at the time, escaped by jumping out a window.
Records show Garner found a purse belonging to Addie F. Mack in the emergency room of a Cincinnati hospital. After locating her address, Garner took a cab to the apartment, stole her television, VCR, telephone and boom box, then tried to cover his tracks by setting fire to the couch and two other spots in the apartment.
Garner ate nearly all of his last meal, which included a porterhouse steak, fried shrimp, barbecued ribs, a large salad, potato wedges, onion rings, sweet potato pie, chocolate ice cream and Hawaiian Punch to drink.
He was the sixth Ohioan executed this year and the 39th since capital punishment resumed in 1999.
“Ohio man executed for fire deaths of 5 children,” by JoAnne Viviano. (7-13-10)
LUCASVILLE, Ohio — An Ohio man said he was “heartily sorry” before he was executed Tuesday for the murders of five children in a 1992 Cincinnati apartment fire he set in an attempt to destroy evidence of a burglary. William Garner, 37, died by lethal injection at 10:38 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
As he lay on the execution table, Garner held a dreadlock of hair from a female friend and read a lengthy final statement from notebook paper held by the execution team leader, thanking several people as well as the state of Ohio. “God bless everyone who has been robbed in this procedure,” he said. “I thought I’d never be free, but I’m free now.”
In the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 26, 1992, Garner gained access to Addie Mack’s apartment after stealing keys from her purse while she received care in a hospital emergency room. Six children, ages 8 to 13, were at the apartment alone, and Garner knew they were there when he threw a lit match onto a couch. Garner has admitted setting the fire but said he thought the children would escape. Only one, 13-year-old Rod Mack, made it out alive. Mack watched the execution quietly with several others.
So many people wanted to witness the execution on behalf of the young victims that the prison opened a second viewing room, prisons spokeswoman Julie Walburn said. Mack and five others were accommodated in the witness room facing the execution chamber, and another three watched on closed-circuit TV in the spillover room, she said.
Garner spent his final hours watching television and talking on the telephone with a friend and his twin brother. He visited with his mother and other relatives, as well as with spiritual advisers and his legal team, and took Holy Communion about an hour and a half before the start of his execution.
Garner had said a secondary motivation for setting the fire was to draw attention to the children’s squalid living conditions. He told police that he had noticed the bedroom “full of girls” and that one of them had asked him for water, which he provided, according to a report by the Ohio Parole Board. He also said he had been in another bedroom where the two boys slept.
His lawyers had argued that the death sentences be set aside because Garner had developmental disabilities, a limited IQ and a violent, abusive upbringing that caused him to function on the level of a 14-year-old at the time of the deaths.
Garner is the sixth person executed in Ohio this year and the 39th put to death by the state since it resumed the practice in 1999.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, on the night of January 25, 1992, Addie Mack slipped and fell on the icy sidewalk, injuring herself. Addie Mack woke up her oldest son, Rod, and told him she was going to the emergency room to get checked out. Rod went back to sleep in the apartment where his three sisters were sleeping along with a cousin and a neighbor boy who were both spending the night.
At the hospital, 19-year-old William Garner snatched Addie’s purse from near a pay telephone in the emergency room area. Inside the purse, Garner found food stamps, keys, and the identification information of Addie F. Mack. Garner called a cab and directed the driver to take him to the address that he found inside the purse, an apartment at 1969 Knob Court in Cincinnati that was Addie’s home, intending to steal whatever he found inside the apartment.
Garner went inside Addie’s apartment while the cab driver, Thomas J. Tolliver, waited outside. Garner went through each room of the apartment, including two bedrooms in which he noticed four girls and two boys sleeping. While Garner was inside, one of the girls woke up and asked Garner for a glass of water, which he gave her, and then he let the child watch television for a few minutes before sending her back to bed. He explained his presence in the apartment by telling her that he ran into her mother at the hospital and she had sent him to check on the children.
Garner removed a number of items from the apartment, including a television set, a VCR, a portable telephone, and a Sony “boom box.” Garner put these items in the cab, telling the driver that he and his girlfriend had a fight and that he was moving out his belongings. Realizing the child could identify him, Garner went back inside the apartment and set three fires. Two of the fires, set in the mother’s unoccupied bedroom and another unoccupied bedroom, smoldered but went out. The third fire was set on the living room couch. That fire quickly consumed the living room and filled the entire apartment with heavy smoke.
Addie’s oldest son, Rod, was awakened by the smoke, heard his sisters screaming in their room and saw fire in the hallway outside his bedroom. Rod tried to get the other children out through a bedroom window. He went first, out his bedroom window and sliding onto a dormer over the front door, then down, but the other five children, ranging in age from 8 – 12, did not follow him and died inside.
Garner left in the cab and directed Tolliver to take him to a convenience store, where Tolliver waited while Garner purchased several items. Garner then had Tolliver take him home to 3250 Burnet Avenue. Tolliver helped Garner unload the cab and carry everything into Garner’s home. Garner did not have enough cash to pay the cab fare, but Tolliver accepted a television set as payment. Based on information provided by two police officers in the area, the police located Tolliver and interviewed him on the morning of January 26. Tolliver told the police that he had driven a man from the hospital emergency room to 1969 Knob Court, waited while the man went inside and returned with several items, driven the man to the convenience store, and driven him to 3250 Burnet Avenue. The police showed Tolliver still photographs from the convenience store’s surveillance tape, and Tolliver identified his previous night’s fare based on the man’s clothing. The police also showed Tolliver three photo arrays, two of which contained photographs of Garner, and Tolliver identified Garner as his passenger from the night before.
Based on the information provided by Tolliver, police obtained a search warrant and searched the house at 3250 Burnet Avenue. Police recovered, among other things, a VCR, a Sony “boom box,” a portable telephone, a pair of gloves, a set of keys later identified as Mack’s, and copies of Mack’s children’s birth certificates.
On February 3, 1992, Garner was charged with five counts of aggravated murder, each with three death-penalty specifications, one count of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated arson, one count of theft, and one count of receiving stolen property. On September 25, 1992, Garner pleaded no contest to the charges of theft and receiving stolen property. The case proceeded to trial on the remaining charges, and on October 1, 1992, a jury convicted Garner on all counts and specifications. On October 16, after a mitigation hearing, the jury found that the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors and recommended that Garner be sentenced to death. On November 5, 1992, the state trial court accepted the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Garner to death on each of the five counts of aggravated murder. The trial court also sentenced Garner to ten to twenty-five years in prison for aggravated burglary and aggravated arson and two years in prison for theft and receiving stolen property, to be served consecutively.

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