Brian Moore Then and Now
Male/White 22 years old at the time
Victim: Virgil Harris
In Jefferson County in 1979, Brian Moore kidnapped, robbed, and executed Virgil Harris, an elderly man who begged for his life. The killer drew a gun on the victim as he was returning to his car in a grocery store parking lot. He commandeered the car and threw the victim down an embankment several miles away. Moore then shot Harris from point blank range on the top of the head, in the face below the right eye, inside the right ear, and behind the right ear. Moore returned hours later to remove a wristwatch from the body. Virgil Harris had been on his way to celebrate his 77th birthday with his adult children.
Brian Moore was sentenced to death November 29, 1984.
John Mills Then and Now
Male/White 25 years old at the time.
Victim: Arthur Phipps
On August 30, 1985 John Mills murdered his 79-year-old landlord, Arthur Phipps, during a burglary and robbery in Knox County. This killer stabbed the victim 29 times and struck him in the head five times with a blunt object. He stole the victim’s change purse containing $4.60.
John Mills was sentenced to death October 18, 1996.
William Harry Meece Then and Now.
Male/White 31 years old at the time.
Victims: Joseph Wellnitz, Elizabeth Wellnitz, Dennis Wellnitz
William Harry Meece burglarized a family’s home in Adair County in 2003. On February 26, 2003 he shot Joseph andElizabeth Wellnitz and their son, Dennis Wellnitz in their home, in Columbia,KY.
Meece was convicted of 3 counts of Murder, Burglary in the 1st Degree and Robbery in the 1st Degree. He was originally indicted in Adair County , case 03-CR-00020. However, on June 30, 2006 a change of venue was entered and the case was moved to Warren County, case 06-CR-00656.
William Harry Meece was sentenced to death November 9, 2006.
David Eugene Matthews Then and Now.
Male/White 33 years old at the time.
Victims: Mary Matthews, Magdalene Cruse
On June 29, 1981 David Matthews burglarized the home of his estranged wife, Mary Matthews’, in Jefferson County. He executed Magdalene Cruse, his mother-in-law, by shooting her in the back of the head: she agonized and convulsed for 8 hours before dying.
David Eugene Matthews was tried and convicted on October 8, 1982. He was then sentenced to death November 11, 1982.
Donald Johnson Then and Now.
Male/White 22 years old at the time.
Victim: Helen Madden
Donald Johnson stabbed 61-year old Helen Madden 24 times in Floyd County in 1981. Before killing the victim, the killer mutilated her vagina and rectum with a ball point pen, bit her several times, and then disemboweled her with a knife.
This killer was arrested on December 1, 1989 and charged with murder, robbery and burglary. The charge of 1st Degree Sexual Assault was added later.
Donald Johnson was sentenced to death October 1, 1997.
James Hunt Then and Now
Male/White 56 years old at the time
Victim: Bettina Hunt
James Hunt shot his estranged wife Bettina Hunt in Floyd County November 30, 2004. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found the body of Bettina Hunt with bullet wounds to her arms, cheek area, face, and a wound between the bridge of her nose and left eye. The victim’s infant granddaughter was also in the home. The victim was pronounced dead at the residence. Troopers were advised that the victim’s estranged husband was involved in a one-vehicle accident approximately 200 feet from the residence. Upon further investigation and collection of evidence, James Hunt was lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center, charged with Murder.
Trial began on May 15,2006. The jury returned a verdict of Guilty to Murder, Burglary, Burglary 1st Degree, and Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree. Hunt was sentenced to Death on the Murder charge on July 28, 2006. Hunt consented to allow the court to sentence him on the remaining charges.
Benny Lee Hodge Then and Now
Male/White 34 years old at the time
Victims: Tammy Acker, Roscoe J. Acker (strangled but survived), Bessie Morris, Edwin Morris
Case #1: On August 8, 1985 Benny Hodge, along with Roger Epperson, stabbed Tammy Acker 12 times with a butcher knife during a robbery at her father’s home in Letcher County. The victim’s body was found with the butcher knife stuck through her chest and imbedded in the floor. Also her father, Roscoe J. Acker, was strangled with an electric cord but he survived.
Case #2: This killer was arrested in Florida. Hodge murdered Bessie Morris and Edwin Morris during a robbery in their home in Jackson County on August 15, 1985. Mr. and Mrs. Morris were found with their hands and feet tied behind them. Mrs. Morris was shot twice in the back. Mr. Morris died as a result of a gunshot wound to his head, two blunt force head injuries and obstructed breathing caused by a ligature gag.
Benny Lee Hodge was sentenced to death June 20, 1986. He received a second death sentence on November 22,1996.
Leif Halvorsen Then and Now
Male/White, 29 years old at the time
Victims: Jacqueline Greene, Joe Norman, Joey Durham
On January 13, 1983 in Fayette County Leif Halvorsen, along with Mitchell Willoughby, executed a Jacqueline Green, Joe Norman, and Joey Durham. The teenage female and two male victims were killed inside a home they were remodeling. These killers shot the female eight times in the back of the head. They shot the younger male five times — in the back, testicles, right arm, left leg, and right temple. They shot the other male three times — in the back, in the chest, and in the back of his neck.
Leif Halvorsen was sentenced to death September 15, 1983.
Randy Haight Then and Now
Male/White, 33 years old at the time
Victims: Patricia Vance, David Omer
Randy Haight escaped from the Johnson County Jail August 18, 1985 with his girlfriend and another male inmate. He was there while awaiting trials in three counties. He stole guns and several cars; shot at a KY. State Police Trooper and caused another police officer’s death in a gunfight. He executed a young couple while they were inside their car. He shot the man in the face, chest, shoulder, and back of the head and shot the woman in the shoulder, temple, the back of the head, and through the eye. He spent all but two of his 15 adult years in four Ohio, three Virginia, and four Kentucky prisons.
Randy Height was sentenced to death March 22, 1994 for the murder of Patricia Vance and David Omer on August 22, 1985.
Johnathan Wayne Goforth Then and Now
Male/White, 39 years old at the time
Victim: Lonetta White
On March 15, 1998, Johnathan Wayne Goforth and his accomplice, Virginia Caudill, entered the home of 73 year oldLonetta White and beat her to death. Her skull was shattered. After killing her, they burglarized her home. They then placed her body in the trunk of her own car and drove her to a rural area in Fayette County and set the car on fire. The victim was burned so badly that she could not be recognized.
Johnathan Wayne Goforth was sentenced to death March 24, 2000.