Keith Tharpe And Jaquelin Freeman

Posted in Library of Congress, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on September 19, 2017

Keith Leroy Tharpe, GDC ID: 0000173325, is currently scheduled to be executed on September 26, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. for the 1990 murder of his sister-in-law Jaquelin Freeman. There is little doubt regarding his guilt. The only controversy involves some statements by a juror. This is the short version of the story. If you want more details, see below.
Murderpedia has the story of the slaying.”Tharpe’s wife, Migrisus Tharpe, left him on August 28, 1990 and moved in with her mother. Following various threats of violence made by the defendant to and about his wife and her family, a peace warrant was taken out against him, and the defendant was ordered not to have any contact with his wife or her family. Notwithstanding this order, Tharpe called his wife on September 24, 1990 and argued with her, saying if she wanted to “play dirty,” he would show her “what dirty was.”
On the morning of the 25th, his wife and her sister-in-law met Tharpe as they drove to work. He used his vehicle to block theirs and force them to stop. He got out of his vehicle, armed with a shotgun and apparently under the influence of drugs, and ordered them out of their vehicle. After telling the sister-in-law he was going to “f— you up,” he took her to the rear of his vehicle, where he shot her. He rolled her into a ditch, reloaded, and shot her again, killing her. Tharpe then drove away with his wife. After unsuccessfully trying to rent a motel room, Tharpe parked by the side of the road and raped his wife. Afterward, he drove to Macon, where his wife was to obtain money from her credit union. Instead she called the police.”
At the trial, Mr. Tharpe was found guilty, and sentenced to death. “The jury found the following statutory aggravating circumstances: 1. The offense of murder was committed while the offender was engaged in the commission of another capital felony, to wit: kidnapping with bodily injury of Jaquelin Freeman. 2. The offense of murder was committed while the offender was engaged in the commission of another capital felony, to wit: kidnapping with bodily injury of Migrisus Tharpe. 3. The offense of murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved an aggravated battery to the victim.”
Eight years after the trial, one of the jurors was interviewed. He later claimed he was intoxicated during this interview. The juror, Barney Gattie, is now deceased. Here is the story.
“Mr. Gattie expressed his feelings about the case in general. He stated that there are two kinds of black people in the world — “regular black folks” and “niggers.” Mr. Gattie noted that he understood that some people do not like the word “nigger” but that is just what they are, and he “tells it like he sees it.” According to Mr. Gattie, if the victim in Mr. Tharpe’s case had just been one of the niggers, he would not have cared about her death. But as it was, the victim was a woman from what Mr. Gattie considered to be one of the “good black families” in Gray [a city in Jones County]. He explained that her husband was an EMT. Mr. Gattie stated that that sort of thing really made a difference to him when he was deciding whether to vote for a death sentence. … But as soon as prosecutors saw Gattie’s sworn statement, they rushed to his home and got him to sign a counter-affidavit two days after he signed the first one. The new affidavit sought to nullify what he told Tharpe’s investigators. Gattie, who now swore he wasn’t a bigot, claimed he had been drinking beer and whiskey when he spoke to the defense, and didn’t pay much attention when the affidavit was read to him. He said many of his statements “were taken out of context and simply not accurate.” He signed the defense affidavit because he “just wanted to get rid of them.””
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Russell Lee took the pictures in September 1937. Many were located in Williams County, North Dakota. UPDATE Mr. Tharpe has requested his Last Meal. “Tharpe requested a last meal of three spicy chicken breasts, roast beef sandwich with sauce, fish sandwich, tater logs, onion rings, apple pie, and a vanilla milkshake.” UPDATE SCOTUS stays execution of Georgia death row inmate amid claims of racial bias. UPDATE SCOTUS issued a ruling on the case January 8, 2018, with a dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas.

5 Responses

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  1. The Juror Who Said The N-Word | Chamblee54 said, on September 24, 2017 at 10:56 am

    […] Keith Tharpe

  2. […] and the dissent by Clarence Thomas. Chamblee 54 has written about this case twice before. Keith Tharpe And Jaquelin Freeman is about the case itself. The short version is the Mr. Tharpe allegedly murdered his sister in law, […]

  3. Ceremonial Handwringing | Chamblee54 said, on January 15, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    […] handwringing,” Thomas lamented, “I respectfully dissent.” ~ The Juror Who Said The N-Word ~ Keith Tharpe And Jaquelin Freeman ~ A juror called this death row inmate the n-word. Now the Supreme Court is sending his case back […]

  4. […] magic word The problem is endless appeals, trying to find any technicality not to execute someone 091917 092417 010918 My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege contribute your verse […]

  5. Keith Tharpe Dies | Chamblee54 said, on January 27, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    […] represented him in recent years as he attempted to appeal his death sentence. He was 61.” Keith Tharpe was convicted of killing Jaquelin Freeman. There was little doubt of his guilt. A death sentence […]

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