Robert Keith Woodall

Robert Keith Woodall Then and Now

Male/White 24 years old at the time

Victim: Sarah Hansen

On January 25, 1997 Robert Keith Woodall abducted a popular 16-year-old, Sarah Hansen, from a local convenient store as she returned a rented movie in Muhlenburg County in 1997. Woodall took the victim from the parking lot to a wooded area where he raped her, beat her, and used a box-cutter knife to slash her throat. Woodall then dragged and discarded her body in the icy Luzerne Lake. Results of an autopsy revealed that water was found in Sarah Hansen’s lungs and reports that she died as a result of drowning.

Robert Keith Woodall was sentenced to death September 4, 1998 in Caldwell County for Capital Murder, Capital Kidnapping and First Degree Rape.

Meet a Resident of Kentucky’s Death Row –
Virginia Caudill

In Fayette County on March 15, 1998, Virginia Caudill and accomplice Jonathon Goforth entered the home of a 73-year-old female and beat her to death, shattering her skull. The victim was the mother of Caudill’s estranged boyfriend and the two had gone to her home to ask her for money, supposedly to buy crack cocaine. Caudill and Goforth then ransacked her home and stole numerous items of valuable personal property, including guns, jewelry and a mink coat.  They then wrapped her body in a rug and placed it 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.

Aggravating circumstance which made this case eligible for the Death Penalty: 

Murder which occurred during the commission of a burglary and robbery.

Virginia Caudill was sentenced to death March 24, 2000.

Gregory L. Wilson


Gregory L. Wilson Then and Now

Male/Black 31 years old at the time

Victim: Deborah Pooley

On May 29, 1987 Gregory L. Wilson kidnapped, robbed, raped and executed Deborah Pooley in Kenton County. After raping her, he strangled her to death despite her begging him not to kill her. The defendant went on a shopping spree with the victim’s credit cards. Her body was found weeks later near the Indiana-Illinois border. The date of her death had to be established by the extent of blowfly maggot development on her body.

Gregory L. Wilson previously served a prison sentence in Ohio on two counts of rape. He was sentenced to death October 31, 1988 in Kenton County for the kidnapping and murder of Deborah Pooley.

Mitchell Willoughby


Mitchell Willoughby Then and Now

Male/White 25 years old at the time

Victims: Jacqueline Greene, Joe Norman, Joey Durham

In Fayette County on January 13, 1983 Mitchell Willoughby, along with Leif Halvorsen, executed a teenage female,Jacqueline Greene, and two male victims, Joe Norman, and Joey Durham, 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, the testicles, the right arm, the left leg, and the right temple. They shot the other male three times– in the back, the chest, and in the back of his neck. That night the killers attempted to dispose of the bodies by throwing them from the Brooklyn Bridge in Jessamine County, Kentucky.

Mitchell Willoughby was sentenced to death September 15, 1983 in Fayette County.

Karu Gene White


Karu Gene White Then and Now

Male/White 21 years old at the time

Victims: Charles Gross, Lula Gross, Sam Chaney

On February 12, 1979 Karu Gene White and two accomplices entered a Haddix, Kentucky store operated by two elderly men and an elderly woman. This killer beat Charles Gross, Lula Gross, and Sam Chaney, to death in the course of a robbery in Breathitt County. They were ages 74, 75, and 79. White and his accomplices took a billfold containing $7,000, coins, and a handgun. Due to the brutal nature of the fatal beatings, the victims had to be buried in body bags.

Karu Gene White was arrested on July 27, 1979. He was sentenced to death March 29, 1980 in Powell County for the murder of three Breathitt County residents.

Roger Wheeler


Roger Wheeler Then and Now

Male/Black 36 years old at the time

Victims: Nigel Malone, Nairobi Warfield

In Jefferson County, in 1997, while on parole for 10 counts of Robbery, Roger Wheeler stabbed the victim Nigel Malone nine times and left him to bleed to death. This killer strangled and stabbed the victim Nairobi Warfield, who was three months pregnant, with scissors which he left embedded in her neck.

William Eugene Thompson


William Eugene Thompson Then and Now

Male/White 35 years old at the time

Victim: Fred Cash

William Eugene Thompson was serving a life sentence for a murder for hire in Pike County. While serving that sentence in 1986 at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County, he reported for prisoner work detail. While on work detail on May 9, 1986, he took a hammer and hit a Fred Cash, a prison guard, 12 times in the head, killing him. After killing the guard, he took the victim’s body to a nearby barn where he took the victim’s wallet, keys, and knife. He then drove the prison van to a bus station to try and escape.

Police arrested Thompson in a bus station on his way to Indiana. Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death in October 1986 in Lyon County, but seven years later the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. Thompson also won a change of venue from Lyon County to Graves County. Thompson entered a plea of guilty on January 12, 1995 to the following charges: Capital Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, and Escape in the First Degree. Thompson was sentenced to death March 18, 1998.

Victor D. Taylor


Victor D. Taylor Then and Now

Male/Black 24 years old at the time

Victims: Scott Nelson, Richard Stephenson

On September 29, 1984 Victor D. Taylor kidnapped, robbed, bound, gagged and executed Scott Nelson and Richard Stephenson,two high school students who became lost on their way to a football game, in Lousiville, Kentucky. The killer sodomized one of the victims before executing him. Taylor told four people he had killed the victims. The personal property of the victims was found in his possession.

Victor D. Taylor was arrested on October 4, 1984 and was sentenced to death May 23, 1986.

Vincent Stopher



Vincent Stopher Then and Now

Male/White 24 years old at the time

Victim: Deputy Gregory Hans

On March 10, 1997 Vincent Stopher was assaulting a man in Jefferson County when Deputy Gregory Hans pulled over to assist the assault victim. While Hans was exiting his vehicle, Stopher struggled with the deputy, taking his gun. Stopher then used the deputy’s gun to shoot him in the face, killing him.

Vincent Stopher was sentenced to death March 23, 1998 in Jefferson County.

Michael St. Clair



Michael St. Clair Then and Now

Male/White 34 years old at the time

Victim: Frances C. Bradey

Michael St. Clair escaped from an Oklahoma jail where he was awaiting trial for two murder charges. He carjacked a man in Colorado for his truck and then shot the man. He then traveled to a Bullitt County rest-stop on October 6, 1991, where he carjacked Frances C. Brady. He took Brady to an isolated area where he handcuffed him and then shot him twice, killing him. He then returned to the rest-stop where he burned Brady’s car and shot at a state policeman while being apprehended.

Michael St. Clair was sentenced to death September 14, 1998 for murder in Bullitt County. On February 20, 2001, St. Clair received a second death sentence in Hardin County for the capital kidnapping charge. The Bullitt County death sentence for murder was reversed and remanded to conduct a new capital sentencing phase due to the trial courts instruction erroneously failed to permit the jury to consider a sentence of life without the possibility of probation or parole. However, in 2005 a new Bullitt County jury again sentenced St. Clair to death. In Octboer 2005, the Hardin County death sentence for capital kidnapping was reversed and remanded due to various trial errors.

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