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.
David Sanders Then and Now
Male/White 27 years old at the time
Victims: Jim Brandenburg, Wayne Hatch
On January 28,1987 David Lee Sanders executed Jim Brandenburg and Wayne Hatch by shooting them in the back of the head during a grocery store robbery in Madison County. One victim died almost instantly, the other died two days later. The killer confessed to these crimes and to the attempted execution of another grocery storekeeper one month earlier in which the victim survived a gunshot to the back of his head.
David Lee Sanders was sentenced to death June 5, 1987.
Parramore Sanborn Then and Now
Male/White 38 at the time
Victim: Barbara Heilman
On October 12, 1983 Parramore Sanborn kidnapped, raped, sodomized, and murdered Barbara Heilman, a mother of three, in Henry County. He tore the victim’s hair, stabbed her nine times, and dumped her body alongside a country road.
Sanborn was originally tried and found guilty of capital murder on March 8, 1984. The court imposed the death sentence on March 16, 1984. The Kentucky Supreme Court’s reversal of Sanborn’s conviction in June, 1988 resulted in a new trial in October, 1989. Sanborn was again found guilty of murder, kidnapping, rape and sodomy in a retrial in Louisville Kentucky and sentenced to death May 14, 1991 in Henry County.
Melvin Lee Parrish Then and Now
Male/Black 34 at the time
Victims: Rhonda Allen, LaShawn Allen, Jonathan Allen
On December 5, 1997, Melvin Lee Parrish stabbed and killed his cousin Rhonda Allen who was six-months pregnant, and her 10 year-old-son LaShawn Allen. Parrish also stabbed Rhonda Allen’s 5-year-old son Jonathan 9 times. The five year-old survived and was able to identify the killer as the person who stabbed his mother and brother to death. Parrish was trying to take money from the woman when the murders occurred.
Melvin Lee Parrish was sentenced to death February 1, 2001 in Jefferson County for the murder of Jonathan Allen. He was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Rhonda allen, 20 years enhanced to life for the attempted murder of Jonathan Allen and 20 years enhanced to 50 years for the robbery.
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.