Robert Earl Butts And Donovan Corey Parks

Posted in Library of Congress, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on April 27, 2018









The State of Georgia is planning to execute Robert Earl Butts for the 1996 murder of Donovan Corey Parks. The short version is that Mr. Butts, and accomplice Marion “Mookie” Wilson, asked Mr. Parks for a ride. They shot him, and stole his car. They were convicted, and both Mr. Butts and Mr. Wilson were sentenced to death. The long version of the story is below. The majority of this story is from the Attorney General of Georgia. Material from other sources will be used.

“The evidence adduced at trial showed that on the night of Thursday, March 28, 1996, Butts and Marion Wilson, Jr., drove in Butts’s automobile to a local Wal-Mart store and began searching for a victim. Butts entered the store wearing a coat, under which he likely concealed the murder weapon. A witness observed Butts and Wilson standing behind Donovan Corey Parks in a checkout line. The cashier for that checkout line also remembered Butts being in her line. The store’s receipts showed that Butts purchased a pack of chewing gum immediately after Parks made his purchase of pet supplies. A witness overheard Butts asking Parks for a ride. After Parks moved items in his automobile to make room for Butts and Wilson, Butts sat in the front passenger seat and Wilson sat in the back seat behind Parks. According to a witness to whom Butts confessed, Butts revealed the shotgun a short distance away, and Parks was ordered to stop the automobile. Wilson dragged Parks out of the automobile by his tie and ordered him to lie face down on the pavement. Butts then fired one fatal shot to the back of Parks’s head with the shotgun. Witnesses nearby heard the shot, believing it to be a backfiring vehicle.”

“Outside the store, they asked for a ride and then forced Parks to drive to the side street off Ga. 49. Parks’ father, Freddie Parks, had attended church with his son that day and later found his body in a puddle of blood. “I had no idea it was my own son,” he testified at trial.”

“After murdering Parks, Butts and Wilson drove to a service station in Gray, Georgia, where they refueled Parks’s automobile and where Wilson was filmed by the service station’s security camera. Butts and Wilson then drove to Atlanta in an unsuccessful attempt to exchange Parks’s automobile for money at a “chop shop.” The pair purchased two cans of gasoline, drove to a remote location in Macon, Georgia, and set fire to Parks’s automobile.” (“Parks’ burning 1992 Acura Vigor was later discovered behind a Huddle House in east Macon.”) “They then walked to a nearby public phone, where Butts called his uncle and arranged a ride for himself and Wilson back to the Wal-Mart to retrieve Butts’s automobile.

Investigators had recorded the license plate numbers of the vehicles parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot on the night of the murder, and Butts’s automobile was among them. A shotgun loaded with an uncommon type of ammunition was found under Wilson’s bed during a search, and a witness testified that Butts had given the weapon to Wilson to hold temporarily. Two of Butts’s former jail mates testified that he had admitted to being the triggerman in the murder.

Butts was indicted in the Superior Court of Baldwin County, Georgia for malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery, hijacking a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a sawed-off shotgun. Butts was convicted as charged in the indictment and sentenced to death on November 21, 1998.”

During appeals, the traditional claim of ineffective counsel was made. “Butts argues that the trial judge should have recused herself simply because she had previously presided over juvenile proceedings against Butts.” “Trial counsel … made a strategic decision not to question potential jurors about their views on gangs because he intended to focus attention on Butts’s co-perpetrator as a gang member and because he thought drawing premature attention to the issue of gangs would have been counterproductive.”

There seems to be little doubt regarding the guilt of Mr. Butts and Mr. Wilson. “Although the trial judge’s report indicates that the evidence did not “foreclose all doubt” in this case, we note that the evidence supporting the jury’s finding of guilt was very strong. The fact that Butts asked the victim for a ride, even though he had driven his own automobile to the store, shows that he was involved in the motor vehicle hijacking from the beginning. The evidence also suggested that Butts carried the shotgun with him into the store as he sought out a victim. Testimony at trial showed that Butts had worked with the victim previously, suggesting that Butts intended from the beginning to murder the victim in order to ensure the victim’s silence. Several of Butts’s former jail mates testified that he had admitted being the triggerman. Evidence presented during the sentencing phase showed that Butts had a history of criminal conduct. These circumstances all might reasonably have urged the jury to impose a death sentence.”

Lawyers complained about a positive description of the victim. “Here, the incidental characterizations of the victim as a nice and charitable person and as being a person who attended services at a religious establishment were relevant to the facts of the crime. The victim offered a ride to persons pretending to be in need, and the victim was identified, in part, by the semi-formal clothing he was wearing after a religious service. Likewise, the victim’s father’s statement in response to a question by the State about how the victim’s remains were identified was an incidental outgrowth of the relevant fact that the father had, in an extraordinary and tragic turn of events, discovered his own son’s body moments after the murder.”

One novel argument against the execution is based on “evolving standards of decency of the people of Georgia.” A man set for execution next month should be resentenced because he wouldn’t get the death penalty if he were sentenced today, his lawyers argued in a court filing Wednesday. … The murder for which Butts and Wilson were sentenced had a single victim and one aggravating factor, a circumstance that increases the severity of a crime and increases the possible sentence. According to sentencing data obtained and analyzed by Butts’ lawyers, no one has been sentenced to death for a murder with one victim and one aggravating factor in over a decade.”

“According to his case, Butts and the other man were members of the Folks Nation street gang and were being required to commit a violent crime. He got in line behind Parks at a Walmart in Milledgeville, where Parks was buying cat food, and followed him to the parking lot.” “Butts contends that evidence about the Folks gang and gangs in general was irrelevant to the issues in the sentencing phase of his trial and that presentation of the evidence violated his freedom of speech and his freedom of association under the Constitution of the United States. The evidence in question suggested that Butts was involved with the Folks gang and that the gang required acts of violence for promotion within its ranks. We conclude that, because the “violent nature of that gang was relevant to the issues to be decided by the jury during the sentencing phase of [Butts’s] trial,” the contested evidence was not an invitation for the jury to punish Butts based upon his exercise of constitutional rights and, accordingly, that the evidence was admissible.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. UPDATE Robert Earl Butts died at 9:58 pm, May 4, 2018. His last words: “Yeah, I’ve been drinking caffeine all day.”










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  1. […] to the choir ~ Gore Vidal and Revisionism ~ emory con$truction University Committee Erotica ~ Robert Earl Butts ~ Scotty Morrow electoral college ~ soycialist ~ clemency denied Scotty Morrow Joyce Ann Barineau ~ […]

  2. […] convicted of the murder of Donovan Corey Parks on March 28, 1996. Mr. Wilson’s co-defendant, Robert Earl Butts was executed May 4, 2018. If you want more details, read the information below. The first account […]

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