On this date, September 13, 2011, a Satanic White Supremacist, Steven Michael Woods was executed by lethal injection in Texas. He was put to death for the May 2, 2001 murders of Bethena Brosz and Ron Whitehead in Texas.
|Steven Michael Woods|
INTERNET SOURCE: http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/woods1267.htm
Woods v. State, 152 S.W.3d 105 (Tex.Crim.App. 2004). (Direct Appeal)
Ex parte Woods, 176 S.W.3d 224 (Tex.Crim.App. 2005). (State Habeas)
Woods v. Thaler, 399 Fed.Appx. 884 (5th Cir. 2010). (Federal Habeas)
Bacon; a large pizza with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and hamburger; fried chicken breasts; chicken fried steak; hamburgers with bacon on French toast; garlic bread sticks; Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea; and ice cream.
"You're not about to witness an execution; you're about to witness a murder. I've never killed anybody, never. This whole thing is wrong ... Warden, if you're going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull that trigger. Goodbye."
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders (Woods)
Woods, Jr., Steven Michael
Date of Birth: 04/17/1980
Date Received: 08/27/2002
Education: 10 years
Occupation: computer technology, assembly worker, laborer
Date of Offense: 05/02/2001
County of Offense: Denton
Native County: Wayne County, Michigan
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 5' 8"
Prior Prison Record: None
Summary of incident: On 05/02/2001, in The Colony, Texas, Woods and a co-defendant used a 380 caliber pistol, a 45 caliber pistol, and a knife to kill a 21 year old white male victim by shooting the victim 6 times in the head and cutting his neck 4 times. A 19 year old white female victim was also killed by receiving 2 shots to the head, 1 shot in the knee, and cutting her throat. Woods and the co-defendant took property from the victims which included their car keys, backpacks, a cell phone and other personal items.
Co-Defendants: Rhodes, Marcus
Texas Attorney General
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Media Advisory: Steven M. Woods scheduled for execution
AUSTIN – Pursuant to a court order by the 367th District Court in Denton County, Steven Michael Woods is scheduled for execution after 6 p.m. on September 13, 2011. In 2002, a Denton County jury found Woods guilty of murdering Ronald Patrick Whitehead and Bethena Lyn Brosz.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, citing a federal district court’s description of the facts, described the murder of Mr. Whitehead and Ms. Bosz as follows:
Early in the morning of May 2, 2001, two golfers driving down Boyd Road at the Tribute Golf Course near The Colony, Texas, found the bodies of Ron Whitehead, 21, and Beth Brosz, 19. Both had been shot in the head and had their throats cut. Whitehead was dead; Brosz was still alive but after receiving medical care, she died the next day. That evening, police received several anonymous tips that Woods was involved in the killings, along with one Marcus Rhodes.
Detectives interviewed Woods, who admitted to being with the victims the night before their bodies were found. He said that he and Rhodes had agreed to lead Whitehead and Brosz to a house in The Colony, but that their two vehicles became separated during the trip, so he and Rhodes returned to the Deep Ellum section of Dallas. Woods was not arrested as a result of his interview. Detectives then interviewed Rhodes, and after a search of his car revealed items belonging to Whitehead and Brosz, Rhodes was arrested.
Woods left the Dallas area, traveling to New Orleans, Idaho and California, where he was finally arrested. Several witnesses testified that before the killings he told them about his plan to commit the murders, and after the killings, he told them about his participation in them.
On April 18, 2002, a Denton County grand jury indicted Woods for murdering Ronald Patrick Whitehead and Bethena Lyn Brosz. Because Woods was charged with murdering two victims in the same criminal transaction, he was charged with capital murder.
In August 2002, a Denton County jury found Woods guilty of murdering Ronald Patrick Whitehead and Bethena Lyn Brosz. After the jury recommended capital punishment, the court sentenced Woods to death by lethal injection.
On December 15, 2004, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Woods’s appeals and affirmed the defendant’s conviction and sentence.
On May 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Woods’s direct appeal when it denied his petition for writ of certiorari.
After exhausting his direct appeals, Woods sought to appeal his conviction and sentence by seeking an application for a state write of habeas corpus with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. On November 2, 2005, the high court denied Woods’s application for state habeas relief.
On September 6, 2006, Woods attempted to appeal his conviction and sentence in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Texas. The federal district court denied his application for a federal writ of habeas corpus on August 26, 2009.
On October 25, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected Woods’s appeal when it affirmed the federal district court’s order denying the defendant a federal writ of habeas corpus.
On May 16, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Woods’s appeal a second time when it denied his application for a writ of certiorari.
On September 1, 2011, Woods filed a second – or successive – application seeking a state writ of habeas corpus from the state district court that adjudged him guilty of murder.
On September 2, 2011, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Woods’s successive writ application. The high court also denied Woods’s motion to stay his execution.
PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY
Under Texas law, the rules of evidence prevent certain prior criminal acts from being presented to a jury during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. However, once a defendant is found guilty, jurors are presented information about the defendant’s prior criminal conduct during the second phase of the trial – which is when they determine the defendant’s punishment.
During the penalty phase of Woods’s trial, jurors learned that Woods was involved in the murder of another victim in California less than two years before he murdered Whitehead and Brosz. Jurors were also informed that Woods, Rhodes, and two other accomplices planned to rob a clothing store in Deep Ellum. Jurors also learned that Woods may have planned to murder a woman who intended to purchase and resell illegal drugs.
Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson.
Steven Michael Woods Jr., 31, was executed by lethal injection on 13 September 2011 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of two people.
Early in the morning of 2 May 2001, two golfers driving on a golf course road in The Colony - a suburb on the north side of Dallas - discovered two victims lying beside a car. Ron Whitehead, 21, had been shot in the head six times and his neck was cut four times. Bethena Brosz, 19, was shot twice in the head, once in the knee, and her throat was also cut. Whitehead was dead. Brosz was alive and given medical treatment, but died the next day.
The police received several anonymous tips that Woods, then 21, and Marcus Rhodes, 23, were involved in the killings. Detectives interviewed Woods, who admitted being with the victims the night before their bodies were found at Insomnia, a coffee shop in Dallas's Deep Ellum entertainment district. Woods said that he and Rhodes had agreed to lead Whitehead and Brosz to a house in The Colony, but that their two vehicles became separated during the trip, so he and Rhodes returned to Deep Ellum. Woods was not arrested as a result of this interview. Detectives then interviewed Rhodes.After a search of his car revealed car keys, a cell phone, backpacks, and other personal items belonging to Whitehead and Brosz, he was arrested. The .380-caliber and .45-caliber handguns used in the killings were found at his parents' home. His fingerprints were on both weapons.
Woods, who had left Dallas and traveled to New Orleans and Idaho after being questioned, was arrested months later in northern California. He and Rhodes were both charged with capital murder, even though the physical evidence pointed to Rhodes as the only gunman. (Under Texas law, a defendant can be found guilty as a party to capital murder even without proof that he personally inflicted a mortal injury.)
Whitehead was a known LSD dealer in West Ellum. Woods was also a drug dealer, and prosecutors described Rhodes as one of Woods' customers. At Woods' trial, witnesses testified that he lured Whitehead to the isolated area on the pretense of a deal. Police speculated that Woods and Rhodes killed him because his sales were cutting into Woods' own drug business. According to prosecutors, Brosz happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed because she was a witness to Whitehead's murder.
David Samuelson testified that he spoke with Rhodes at Insomnia on 1 May, the evening of the killings. Samuelson said Rhodes stated that "he had a job to do" for Woods that night, and he did not want to do it. Staci Schwartz testified that she spoke with Rhodes at Insomnia on 2 May. Rhodes told her that he and Woods used Brosz's credit cart to make an online purchase of tickets to an anime festival. Rhodes told Schwartz they bought the tickets in Samuelson's name and had them sent to his house in an attempt to make him appear responsible for the murders. Samuelson then testified that his credit card account had a denied charge in Brosz's name for anime festival tickets.
Woods was connected to another murder involving Rhodes that took place about two months earlier. Beau Sanders, the manager of Insomnia, disappeared in March 2001. His body was eventually discovered in the desert southwest of Las Vegas. He was murdered with a .380-caliber handgun. In an interview with a detective from the San Bernardino County (California) Sheriff's Department, Woods stated that Sanders wanted to go to California and that he, Rhodes, Jeremy Stark, and Matthew Potts agreed to give him a ride. Woods said he knew that Rhodes and Stark planned to kill Sanders. Woods said his girlfriend convinced him not to go on the trip, but he lent the others his car instead. Rhodes provided the guns and was present when Stark and Potts shot Sanders. When they returned, they divided up Sanders' clothing, compact discs, and other personal items among themselves.
Woods denied that he ordered a "hit" on Sanders. He said Sanders was his friend and he felt bad about what happened to him. He said he did not do anything to prevent the murder and did not go to the police because he was afraid of Rhodes and Stark. Other witnesses testified that Woods was more involved in Sanders' killing than he admitted. Michael Cavin testified Woods told him he was taking Sanders out to California to kill him, and that he would kill Cavin if he told anyone. Cavin was at Insomnia with the group on the night they left for California in Woods' car, while Woods stayed behind. A day or two later, Woods woke Cavin up at 3 a.m., pointed a 12-gague shotgun in his face, and asked him if he was going to tell anyone. Finally, Stephen Price testified that he encountered Woods in California, where he was hiding out after the murders of Whitehead and Brosz. Price said Woods told him he murdered Whitehead because he "was a threat to go to the police" about Sanders' murder.
A jury convicted Woods of capital murder in August 2002 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. Marcus Scott Rhodes was also charged with capital murder. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. He remains in custody as of this writing.
In interviews and writings from death row, Woods admitted that he was present when Whitehead and Brosz were killed, but he said Rhodes acted alone. He said he and Rhodes were both high on LSD on the night of the killings. As he was lighting a cigarette for Whitehead, Rhodes shot him in the head, then shot Brosz. On a web site maintained by his friends and family, Woods claimed he was wrongfully convicted and that Rhodes was the "real murderer" of Whitehead and Brosz. "I was set up to take the blame for this crime, so that a rich, well-connected family would not have to deal with negative media and the burdens that come with death row," he wrote. When a reporter asked Woods about the witnesses who testified to hearing him planning to kill Whitehead and later bragging about it, he answered, "No possible way."
"You're not about to witness an execution; you're about to witness a murder," Woods said from the execution chamber. "I've never killed anybody, never. This whole thing is wrong ... Warden, if you're going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull that trigger." The lethal injection was then started. Woods said he could feel the drug working, then said "Goodbye." He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.
|Steven Michael Woods (SOURCE: http://texasdeathpenalty.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/execution-watch-steven-woods.html)|
INTERNET SOURCE: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8353855
Drifter with Chicago ties executed in Texas
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
September 14, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A former runaway, drifter and drug dealer who began his deviant odyssey in Chicago, Steven Michael Woods was executed Tuesday evening for a double murder more than a decade ago north of Dallas.
At the age of 17, Woods was lured to Chicago's club scene and away from his parents and siblings at their home in Livonia, Michigan, outside Detroit.
According to court records, Woods was also a white supremacist, into bomb-making, mistreatment of animals and was a Satanist.
After using and dealing drugs in Chicago and committing petty offenses in the area, Woods ended up in Denton County, Texas, north of Dallas.
In May of 2001, he shot and slashed a 19-year-old woman and her boyfriend and dumped their bodies along a golf course road. Woods claimed it was a drug deal that went sour and that he was on LSD at the time.
Woods acknowledged he was present in May 2001 when Ronald Whitehead, 21, and Bethena Brosz, 19, were fatally shot and had their throats slashed near a golf course but insisted he was not involved and blamed the murders on his friend Marcus Rhodes.
Woods was tried first for the slayings, was convicted and sentenced to die. Rhodes then pleaded guilty and accepted a life prison term, avoiding a possible death sentence.
All of Woods' appeals ran out Tuesday. Shortly after 6 p.m., Woods was strapped down in the Texas death chamber and given a lethal injection, the 10th execution in Texas this year.
Before he was killed by the state of Texas, Woods said, "You're not about to witness an execution, you're about to witness a murder... I've never killed anybody, never. This whole thing is wrong... Warden, if you're going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull that trigger."
Woods went by the name "Halo" on the street and was a mid-level drug dealer. The Texas victims, Brosz and Whitehead, were found by golfers May 2, 2001, along The Tribute golf course road between North Dallas and Denton, Texas. Whitehead was shot six times in the head. Brosz was shot twice in the head and once in the knee. Both had their throats cut. Brosz was alive when she was found but died the following day.
Witnesses testified at Woods' 2002 trial that he lured Whitehead to the isolated road on the pretense of a drug deal and killed him because he knew about another killing involving Woods two months earlier in California.
Prosecutors said Brosz was merely at the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed because she was a witness to Whitehead's death. Woods also blamed Rhodes for the California slaying.
Even though there are open murder cases in Chicago during the time he was in the area, Woods' name had not come up as a suspect.
In a jailhouse interview, Woods, 31, said he doesn't remember much of his time in Chicago because he was usually high on marijuana, acid, heroin, cocaine or speed. "I wanted to do as much as I could possibly do and still live," he told a reporter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
INTERNET SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Parties
Felony murder rule (Texas)
Texas' felony murder rule, known as the law of parties, is a variation on the common law felony murder rule. Codified in Texas Penal Code § 7.02, the law states that a person can be criminally responsible for the actions of another if he or she aids and abets, or conspires with the principal. However, all common law jurisdictions find that an accessory to murder will be criminally responsible. This liability can arise through solicitation, aiding and abetting, conspiracy, or any other doctrine of complicity.
The law of parties is significantly different to the felony murder rule in other jurisdictions and attracts heated debate, particularly when the capital punishment is a possible sentence, as under Texas law someone convicted of capital murder under the felony murder rule is as eligible for the death penalty as the one actually committing the murder.
In 2009, the Texas Moratorium Network led an advocacy campaign to pass a bill to end the death penalty for people convicted under the law of parties. The bill was approved by the Texas House of Representatives, but did not pass the Senate.