Lynda Lyon Block

Executed May 10, 2002 by Electric Chair in Alabama

26th murderer executed in U.S. in 2002
775th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
9th female murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Alabama in 2002
24th murderer executed in Alabama since 1976
1st female murderer executed in Alabama since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Electric Chair
Lynda Lyon Block

W / F / 45 - 54

Roger Lamar Motley

W / M / 39


Block, 54, and her common-law husband, George Sibley Jr., were on the run after failing to appear on a domestic battery charge. With Block's 9 year old son in the car, they stopped so Block could use the telephone in a Walmart parking lot. Opelika Police Sergeant Roger Lamar Motley had just finished lunch and was shopping for supplies for the jail when a woman came up to him and told him there was a car in the parking lot with a little boy inside. The woman was worried about him. She was afraid that the family was living in their car. Would he check on them? Motley cruised up and down the rows of parked cars and finally pulled up behind the Mustang. Sibley was in the car with the boy, waiting for Block to finish a call to a friend from a pay phone in front of the store. Motley asked Sibley for his drivers license. Sibley said he didn't need one. He was trying to explain why when Motley put his hand on his service revolver. Sibley reached into the car and pulled out a gun. Motley uttered a four-letter expletive and spun away to take cover behind his cruiser. Sibley crouched by the bumper of the Mustang. People in the parking lot screamed, hid beneath their cars and ran back into the store as the men began firing at each other. Preoccupied by the threat in front of him, Motley did not see Lynda Block until the very last moment. She had dropped the phone, pulling the 9mm Glock pistol from her bag as she ran toward the scene, firing. Motley turned. She remembered later how surprised he looked. She kept on firing. She could tell that a bullet struck him in the chest. Staggering, he reached into the cruiser. She kept on firing, thinking he was trying to get a shotgun. But he was grabbing for the radio. "Double zero," he managed to say -- the code for help. He died in a nearby hospital that afternoon. In letters to friends and supporters, Block later would describe Motley as a "bad cop" and a wife beater with multiple complaints against him. As part of the conspiracy against her, she said, she was prohibited from bringing up his record in court. His personnel file makes no mention of any misbehavior. His wife says he was a kind and patient man. Both Block and Sibley received deeath sentences. True to their "patriot" ideologies, Block waived her appeals. She has refused to accept the validity of Alabama’s judicial system, claiming that Alabama never became a state again after the Civil War. She has been completely non-cooperative with her court-appointed attorney, who nevertheless attempted to work against her death sentence. First execution of a female in Alabama since 1957. She is the 9th female executed in the U.S. since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.

Block v. State, 744 So.2d 404 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996) (Direct Appeal).
Ex Parte Block, 744 So.2d 412 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996) (On Remand).

Final Meal:

Final Words:
Block declined the offer to make a final statement.

Internet Sources:

Montgomery Advertiser

"State Executes Block," by Todd Kleffman. (May 10, 2002)

Alabama executed Lynda Lyon Block at 12:01 a.m. Friday for her role in killing Opelika Police Sgt. Roger Motley in 1993. Block died at 12:10 a.m. Friday, said John Hamm, Department of Corrections spokesman. She is the first woman executed in the state since 1957.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Michael Haley said Block walked willingly to the execution chamber and displayed no emotion to the very end. “She had a very blank, emotionless stare,” Haley said. “The execution was routine. There was never any unexpected incidents.” Block declined the offer to make a final statement.

An emotional Juanita Motley entered the witness room but asked to be removed shortly before Block was executed. “I went as far as I could with this,” the police officer’s widow said. “I saw Lynda, but when they pulled back the blind to put the hood over her face, I asked an officer to take me out.” Motley said she felt no closure from Block’s death and expressed compassion for her family and friends. “My heart goes out to them,” she said. “May God grant them the peace of mind and stamina needed in the days ahead.”

Block wore a prison outfit, with her shaved head covered by a black hood. She wore light makeup, with mascara and a pale shade of pink lipstick. There were no last-minute appeals from Block. There also were limited protests Thursday night leading up to the execution. About nine people kept silent vigil at the Alabama governor’s mansion on South Perry Street in Montgomery just before midnight. It was not confirmed whether Gov. Don Siegelman was in residence.

Block and her common-law husband, George Sibley were both convicted for killing Motley during a gun battle in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She was convicted of capital murder in 1994 along with Sibley, who remains on death row. Block and Sibley, who met at a Libertarian political rally and maintained antigovernment views, had traveled to Opelika from Florida, where they had been convicted of assaulting Block’s ex-husband. They were on the run from authorities with Block’s 11-year-old son. They stopped at the Wal-Mart so Block could use a pay phone.

Motley approached the car after someone told him there was a child in distress. Sibley pulled a gun and opened fire. Motley was hit and took cover behind his police car, returning fire. Block heard the gunfire, pulled a pistol from her purse and came up on Motley from behind, firing several rounds at him. Motley was hit multiple times, but it was never determined whether Block or Sibley fired the fatal shot. The heavily armed couple escaped the parking lot but were later trapped in a police road block on Wire Road in Lee County. They released the boy and then held police at bay for four hours before surrendering.

Block acted as her own attorney during her trial. She argued that she didn’t receive a fair trail from a court system prejudiced against her because of her antigovernment beliefs. Block refused all legal assistance during and after her trial and took no part in any of the many appeal opportunities afforded death-row inmates. She maintained her innocence until the end, saying she had fired on Motley in self-defense.

Block may be the last person condemned to die in “Yellow Mama,” the state’s electric chair, which has been in use since 1927. On July 1, lethal injection becomes Alabama’s preferred method of execution, though inmates can still choose to be electrocuted.


The Alabama Supreme Court set a May 10 execution date for a Florida woman convicted in the 1993 shooting death of an Opelika police officer. Barring a stay, Lynda Block would be the 1st woman executed in Alabama since 1957. A zealot against all manner of government intrusion, she has refused the help of lawyers, contending the judicial system is fraudulent and corrupt. State prosecutors said she has no active appeal.

Block, 54, and her common-law husband, George Sibley Jr., were convicted in the October 1993 shooting death of officer Roger Lamar Motley while they were on the run from a criminal case in Florida. Roger was slain as he approached the couple's car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. A passerby heard Block's 9-year-old son call for help and asked the officer to see if everything was OK. Sibley also received a death sentence and remains on death row. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld Block's death sentence in 1999 and Sibley's in 2000.

At trial, Sibley and Block, who has said she prefers the name Lynda Lyon, said they fired at Motley and his patrol car in self- defense after the officer touched his holster. But witnesses said Sibley fired shots first and Block joined in the shootout after the officer was wounded. Both were sentenced to die in part because forensics experts couldn't decide who fired the fatal shots. At the time, the couple was fleeing from Orlando, Fla., to avoid being sentenced on assault convictions in the stabbing of Block's 79-year-old former husband. They contend they were innocent of assault and had become victims in the case themselves.

The couple have refused to pursue the death sentence appeals they are entitled to under state law. The courts had to appoint attorneys to represent them at trial, but they balked at getting help from defense attorneys for the appeals. Assistant Attorney General Beth Hughes has said Sibley and Block refused to "recognize the jurisdiction of the Alabama courts." Block's court-appointed defense attorney, W. David Nichols of Birmingham, said in 1999 that she contends Alabama never became a state again after the Civil War and its courts hold no jurisdiction. The couple met at a Libertarian Party meeting in 1991 and became active in its politics. They took the position that individuals should be free from government intrusions, eventually getting rid of their driver's licenses, car registrations and birth certificates.

Orlando Sentinel

"A Dangerous Game," by Michael McLeod. (May 09, 2002)

Lynda Lyon Block was never one to go along with the crowd. As a grade-schooler, she favored books over television. At Edgewater High School, class of 1966, she skipped rock for Ravel. As an adult, she edited her own magazine, took long-distance sailing trips, rode a motorcycle cross-country and joined the Libertarian Party. It only stands to reason that she would display the same flair for independence now, as a death-row inmate.

Block -- former Cub Scout mom, Humane Society volunteer and Friends of the Library president -- may well become the last murderer to die in the Alabama electric chair. The 54-year-old Orlando native is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Friday for the 1993 shooting death of police Sgt. Roger Motley, a small-town cop who thought he was coming to the aid of needy strangers in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Opelika, Ala.

A recent change in Alabama law allows death-row inmates to choose lethal injection over the electric chair, but it does not take effect until July 1. That will be too late for Block. She requested clemency in a written appeal to Gov. Don Siegelman this week, but was tersely denied. She had put herself on the fast track to the electric chair by insisting on acting as her own attorney in her trial, then refusing to cooperate with the lawyer who was appointed to handle her appeal. "I tried my best to save her life," said the appeals attorney, W. David Nichols. "The warden took me down to her cell and said: 'Lynda, they're trying to fry you. You ought to talk to this boy. He wants to help.' But she wasn't interested." She wasn't interested because, in her view, the state of Alabama does not exist, the legal system is corrupt, the federal government is the result of a grand conspiracy, and she is one of the few who knows it.

Block considers herself a member of the patriot movement, a small but avid militia group whose advocates believe that many of the day-to-day governmental functions that most people take for granted -- such as income tax, birth certificates and drivers licenses -- are illegal. They are illegal, they argue, because the U.S. government has been swallowed up, gradually and surreptitiously, by power-hungry bureaucracies that have made a mockery of the U.S. Constitution and eclipsed the intentions of the founding fathers. Block and like-minded "constitutionalists" have a solution. They have seceded from the United States, one by one. They revoke official documents such as birth certificates and drivers licenses, actions which help to make them, they claim, "Free American Inhabitants." To support their position, they cite obscure legal precedents, forgotten constitutional amendments and stirring quotes from the country's founding fathers.

In her own murder trial, Block maintained that the state of Alabama had no right to try her. She could prove, she said, that the state had not officially rejoined the union after the Civil War, and therefore did not exist as a governmental body. She also argued that she had the right to shoot the police officer in self-defense, because he had his hand on his holster as he questioned her companion, Orlando auto mechanic George Sibley. She cited a constitutional amendment approved by Congress in 1811 that was meant to limit the power of public employees over other individuals. It was never ratified by the states, however. Sibley, 59, also is on death row, convicted of Motley's murder in a separate trial. His execution date has not been set.

Michael Haley, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, has barred interviews with Block, who was moved this week to Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, home of the state's electric chair. Haley said he does not want to provide her with a platform for her political views. But much of her story can be pieced together from court records, interviews with people who knew her, letters she has sent to friends and her written responses to Orlando Sentinel questions. "The fact that I love my country enough to be outspoken about the abuses I've seen and encountered by government agents or agencies makes me no more 'anti-government' than the NAACP or NOW," she writes. She has also written directly to Congress, in a crisp, even hand on yellow legal paper, claiming the existence of a widespread conspiracy against her, one that stretches from the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Her cell at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., where she has lived for the past nine years, was decorated with pictures of her hero, Abraham Lincoln, and quotes about the perils of allowing big government to run amok. She worked hard to keep herself neat and her dyed blond hair in place. Always a meticulous researcher, she has looked into what happens to a person executed in the electric chair. "Your eyeballs explode," she wrote to a friend. In spite of her revolutionary zeal and her insistence that she is willing to "die for the Constitution," her voice is so soft and her movements so hesitant that people who meet her often come away with the impression of a lost soul rather than a fiery zealot.

Her soft-spoken ways make it easy to forget that she is a cop killer. There was little in her life to foreshadow it. She spent a year as a student at the old Orlando Junior College. She worked for a time as a hairdresser. She lived in Key West, where she volunteered for the library. She loved the opera. She read poetry. She married, had a son, divorced. She did not fit the profile of the kind of person drawn to militia groups, because there is no such profile. White-collar, blue-collar, male, female -- the only commonality that experts acknowledge is that connection to such groups fills an emotional need. "All these people dream that they are facing the redcoats on Lexington Green," said Chip Berlet, a researcher at Political Research Associates in Boston who has studied the militia movement for 25 years.

Block's mother, a 71-year-old Orlando businesswoman who spoke on the condition that she not be identified, said she thinks that her daughter spent her life trying to replace her father, Orlando businessman Frank Lyon, who died when she was a child. "She was always very idealistic," she said. "She was looking for Prince Charming."

If that was her search, it took a strange turn in 1983, when she moved back to Orlando at the age of 35 and married again, this time to a man twice her age. Karl Block was a conservative, old-Orlando securities broker, a retired military man with a deep tan and thick white hair. Block, who died two years ago at age 87, was flattered by the attention of a younger woman. But he was attracted to Lynda Lyon for another reason. Since 1974, he had been grieving the death of his only son, who was killed in a car accident. Block desperately wanted a male offspring to carry on the family name. Although it made little sense for him to become a father at his age, he was adamant. He needed a wife who could bear him a child, no matter what people might say about the age difference between them.

His daughter, Marie, vividly remembers encountering her future stepmother in the early 1980s and recognizing her as a former high-school classmate. But the studious, brown-haired girl she had known at Edgewater High had been transformed into a boisterous woman, clattering with jewelry, long nails lacquered, hair dyed jet black. The only thing unchanged were her blue eyes, so huge that she seemed to be transfixed in an expression of permanent surprise. Marie Block assumed Lynda Lyon was a gold digger and that the relationship would not last. But it did. In 1984, the couple had the son Karl Block had wanted. Their marriage disintegrated eight years later -- around the time that Lynda astonished her husband by taking a sudden interest in the Libertarian Party, then attending rallies and lectures about the patriot movement.

Soon, she was publishing a small-circulation magazine, Liberatus. She wrote articles such as "The Day Our Country Was Stolen -- How the 14th Amendment Enslaved Us All Without A Shot Fired." "In Europe, Africa and other places in the world, a despot simply took over a country by waging war," she wrote. "Here in America, however, as long as Americans were armed and prepared for hostile armed takeover, the Conspirators knew that a different technique -- a grand deception by manipulation of the laws, the courts, the schools, the media -- must be employed to obtain the same results." She went on to suggest that others could follow her lead and declare themselves "natural persons" by revoking their drivers licenses and birth certificates. A headline over that section of her article was appropriate in a way Lynda Block could not foresee. "A Dangerous Game," it read.

Like others in the militia movement, Block was strongly influenced by the 1993 siege of David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Many militia members saw proof, in the flaming ruins of the Koresh complex, that the federal government was out of control. "After Waco, what was just a theory became a reality," says Gary Hunt, one of Block's former comrades in the patriot movement.

Hunt, a former Orlando land surveyor who now lives in Arizona, flew from Orlando to Waco in April 1993, when the Branch Davidians were under siege, to see whether he could offer assistance. He says while he was at Waco he was sure that federal agents bugged his hotel room and had people in the room next door, watching him. Feeling a need, as he puts it, "to ensure my personal safety," he called several patriot friends and asked them to arm themselves and meet him at Orlando International Airport when he flew home. Among those who did as he asked: Lynda Block. She was accompanied by a like-minded, fiercely opinionated mechanic whose face was so gaunt that Karl Block liked to refer to him as "Ichabod Crane." His name was George Sibley.

By August of 1993, Block and Sibley were not only fellow patriots but lovers. Lynda had separated from Karl Block, and the two were in the midst of a divorce. But they battled over money, and on a steamy summer evening, Lynda Block and Sibley showed up at Karl Block's apartment to talk about it. Karl Block wound up with a shallow, one-inch knife wound in his chest. Sibley and Lynda Block, who claimed that Karl had lunged at her, were charged with assault and battery. Overloaded state attorneys, faced with what looked to them like not much more than another routine domestic-disturbance case, were only too happy to bypass a trial in favor of a plea deal. Besides, it was a first offense for both defendants. Prosecutors were willing to let them go with a slap on the wrist -- six years of probation. Sibley and Lynda Block wouldn't have it.

They didn't see an impersonal criminal-justice system dispassionately grinding away. They saw enemies with a chance to lash out at them. They suspected that the judge had been given orders to ignore the plea agreement and put them in jail. Everything they detested about big government had suddenly crystallized in their own lives, just as it had at Waco. They fired their court-appointed attorney. In place of traditional legal strategies they substituted a patchwork defense of their own. It included Sibley's contention that the judge assigned to their case, James Hauser, should be disqualified because, for one thing, he was using "peculiar hand gestures of raising fingers of the whole hand while the heel of his palm rested on the bench" to secretly signal the court reporter to omit some statements from the court record.

Lynda Block also told friends and supporters that powerful people in Orlando -- including Orange County Chairman Linda Chapin and Sheriff Kevin Beary -- were using the case to attack her because of articles she had written about them in her magazine. Finally, the two refused to appear at their sentencing hearing and barricaded themselves in Sibley's Pine Hills home with weapons and ammunition. They sent a dramatic fax to newspapers and television stations explaining that they expected an attack from the police at any moment and would "rather die than live as slaves." Then they waited for the police attack that would surely come. But it never did. "They wanted a shootout at the OK Corral, but we didn't give it to them," said an undercover Orange County sheriff's detective who worked on the case.

Instead, the house was kept under routine surveillance by a felony squad. At one point a deputy simply knocked on the door to serve them papers. There was no answer. Somehow, the couple had slipped away, piling their weapons -- three handguns, two semi-automatic rifles and an M-14 rifle -- into Block's red Ford Mustang, on which she had plastered a bumper sticker that said: "A woman raped is a woman without a gun." In the car with George and Lynda was the 9-year-old son that Karl Block had wanted so much. Karl, because of his advancing age, had agreed to let his estranged wife have custody of the boy. The three headed north to stay with friends in Georgia. Then they decided to hide out in Mobile, Ala. They stopped in Opelika to make a phone call. That was when they finally encountered the enemy they had been seeking so avidly. They found him in a Wal-Mart parking lot, in the form of a bespectacled, 39-year-old police sergeant who liked to send flowers to his wife and sign the note "Just because."

Roger Motley had been just about every kind of cop you could be in Opelika. He started as a dispatcher at age 19 and worked his way through the divisions -- traffic, patrol, detective. Then a captain, noticing Motley getting onto the other detectives for not filling out their paperwork correctly, transferred him to administration. Motley's chief responsibility was making sure that the county jail ran smoothly. He drove the only patrol car in town that did not have a light rack on top. He was the only officer in the city who did not own a bulletproof vest. Because of a shortage of the vests, he had given his up a week earlier to a rookie patrolman. He had never fired his service revolver in the line of duty.

Opelika, just off Interstate 85 between Atlanta and Montgomery, Ala., is Auburn's blue-collar twin, just far enough away from the college town to maintain its Old South feel, with Victorian mansions on one side of town and weathered textile mills -- one of which served as a set for Norma Rae in 1979 -- in the other. With a population of 25,000, the city is small enough that its Wal-Mart serves as the de facto center of town. You couldn't have picked a more public place. With so many witnesses in the parking lot, there is little argument about what happened there early in the afternoon of Oct. 4, 1993.

Roger Motley had just finished lunch with his wife, Juanita. He was shopping for supplies for the jail when a woman came up to him and told him there was a car in the parking lot with a little boy inside. The woman was worried about him. The car seemed to be filled with possessions and bedding. The boy seemed like he needed help. She was afraid that the family was living in their car. Would he check on them? Motley cruised up and down the rows of parked cars and finally pulled up behind the Mustang. Sibley was in the car with the boy, waiting for Block to finish a call to a friend from a pay phone in front of the store. Motley asked Sibley for his drivers license. Sibley said he didn't need one. He was trying to explain why when Motley put his hand on his service revolver. Sibley reached into the car and pulled out a gun.

Motley uttered a four-letter expletive and spun away to take cover behind his cruiser. Sibley crouched by the bumper of the Mustang. People in the parking lot screamed, hid beneath their cars and ran back into the store as the men began firing at each other. Preoccupied by the threat in front of him, Motley did not see Lynda Block until the very last moment. She had dropped the phone, pulling the 9mm Glock pistol from her bag as she ran toward the scene, firing. Motley turned. She remembered later how surprised he looked. She kept on firing. She could tell that a bullet struck him in the chest. Staggering, he reached into the cruiser. She kept on firing, thinking he was trying to get a shotgun. But he was grabbing for the radio. "Double zero," he managed to say -- the code for help. He wasn't attacking her. He was trying to get away. He had just enough consciousness left to put the cruiser into gear. It glided into a parked car and came to a rest as he blacked out. He died in a nearby hospital that afternoon.

In letters to friends and supporters, Block later would describe Motley as a "bad cop" and a wife beater with multiple complaints against him. As part of the conspiracy against her, she said, she was prohibited from bringing up his record in court. His personnel file makes no mention of any misbehavior. His wife says he was a kind and patient man. The most serious trouble Motley ever seems to have gotten into was having a fender-bender in his police cruiser. After her husband's death, Juanita Motley received a letter of sympathy from a man who had been a prisoner in the Opelika jail while he was in charge, saying Roger had always treated him with kindness.

Sibley and Block tried to flee but were cut off by a police barricade between Opelika and Auburn. Eventually, they surrendered. But first, surrounded, they had a conversation with a police negotiator. He told them to let the boy out of the car, and they did. The son that Karl Block wanted so badly was taken into custody and eventually sent back to Orlando, where he lives with his grandmother. He is a straight-A student in a private school who wants to study automotive engineering in college.

Trapped on the Alabama highway, surrounded by dozens of police officers, Lynda Block feared there would be a shootout before she and Sibley would have a chance to surrender. She spoke to the police negotiator. "Let's not have another Waco happen here," she pleaded. It was the second time that day that a police officer had stared at her with a puzzled look on his face. "What's Waco?" the negotiator asked.


"Lyon-Sibley Dies In The Alabama Electric Chair," by Robert Anthony Phillips. (May 10, 2002)

ATMORE, AL - (May 10, 2002) -- Cop killer Lynda Lyon-Sibley, making no last statement and appearing to pray silently with her eyes shut, became possibly the last person to be executed in the electric chair in Alabama early Friday morning.

Wearing white prison issues, her head shaved and face covered in a black veil, Lyon-Sibley was strapped into “Big Yellow Mama,” the macabre name given to the electric chair, at 12:01 a.m. and received two jolts of electricity over two minutes. “She was read the death warrant (while strapped to the chair) and asked if she had a final statement,” said Brian Corbett, an Alabama Corrections Department spokesman who witnessed the execution. “She said, ‘No,’ and that was that.” “I can tell you her demeanor was stoic,” said Corbett. “She displayed no emotion. She had very wide eyes with a defiant look on her face. She did make eye contact with our commissioner (Corrections Commissioner Michael Haley) and it looked like she was trying to stare a hole straight through him.”

Corbett said that one 2,500 volt jolt of electricity was sent through Lyon-Sibley’s body for 20 seconds and a second jolt of 250 volts was sent through her for 100 seconds. Corbett said that he saw steam rise from the wet sponge placed under the electrode on her left leg. A reporter from the Birmingham News newspaper wrote in her story that Lyon-Sibley “clenched her fists, her body tensed” as the electricity rammed into Lyon-Sibley’s body.

Lyon-Sibley, a former Cub Scout mom and library volunteer in Orlando, Fla., was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. Lyon-Sibley, who is listed in prison records as Lynda Block, became the first woman put to death in Alabama since 1957, when Rhonda Martin was executed in the electric chair for poisoning her husband. Before Lyon-Sibley was executed, the condemned woman spent time in an isolation cell with three visitors from Florida. Her spiritual advisor, a former chaplain at Tutwiler Correctional Facility, where she was held before her execution, was with her, Corbett said.

The execution, at Holman Prison here, marked both the end of Lyon-Sibley, an anti-government activist, and the end of the Alabama electric chair as the official execution device in the state. Alabama is officially switching to lethal injection on July 1, now leaving only Nebraska as the only state that will still use electricity to kill convicted murderers. Condemned men or women in Alabama, however, can still choose to die in the electric chair if they choose.

Lynda Lyon-Sibley and her husband, George Sibley, were both sentenced to death for the murder of Opelika police sergeant Robert Motley in 1993. The Sibley’s were on the lam from Florida, where they were facing assault charges, when they stopped in Opelika and became involved in a shoot-out with Motley in a shopping center parking lot. Lyon Sibley has claimed over the years that she shot Motley in self defense to prevent him from shooting her husband.

Motley’s widow, Juanita Motley, had planned to witness Lyon-Sibley’s execution, but as the witness room blinds were opened and the execution was about to begin, asked to leave the room, Corbett said. "I went as far as I could with this," Juanita Motley told a reporter from the Birmingham News. "I went on in and I saw Lynda but when they pulled the hood over her head, I asked an officer to take me out."

George Sibley, also on death row, had been at Holman Prison but was transferred to another facility prior to the execution, Corbett said. No execution date has been set for him, authorities said. Lyon-Sibley had refused all offers of legal help or the chance to file more appeals to escape the death house. During her trial, she had fired her lawyers and represented herself. Lyon-Sibley, in her death row writings over the years, accused the judicial system of being corrupt. She also did not recognize the authority of Alabama, saying it never became a state again after the Civil War.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Alabama - Lynda Lyon Block - Scheduled Execution Date and Time: 5/10/02 1:00 AM EST.

Lynda Lyon Block is scheduled to be electrocuted by the state of Alabama on May 10 for the death of police officer Roger Motley. Block has completely waived her right to legal counsel and her right to appeal her death sentence, on account of her political beliefs.

Block has refused to accept the validity of Alabama’s judicial system, claiming that Alabama never became a state again after the Civil War. She has been completely non-cooperative with her court-appointed attorney, who has nevertheless attempted to work against her death sentence. Block has instead chosen to appeal directly to Congress and the judiciary. Upon hearing of her execution date Block stated: Block’s execution date is essentially another case of a volunteer execution. She was given a stay due to the fact that her previous execution date, April 19, is considered a sacred date to those who share her political beliefs. Please write to Judge Roy Moore and the state of Alabama to protest this second attempt to execute Lynda Block.

Alabama Amnesty International

Lynda Lyon Block of Alabama First Woman to be Executed Since 1957

The Alabama Supreme Court set an April 19 execution date for a Florida woman convicted in the 1993 shooting death of an Opelika police officer. Barring a stay, Lynda Lyon Block would be the 1st woman executed in Alabama since 1957. A zealot against all manner of government intrusion, she has refused the help of lawyers, contending the judicial system is fraudulent and corrupt. State prosecutors said Wednesday she has no active appeal.

Block, 54, and her common-law husband, George Sibley Jr., were convicted in the October 1993 shooting death of officer Roger Lamar Motley while they were on the run from a criminal case in Florida. Sibley also received a death sentence and remains on death row. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld Block’s death sentence in 1999 and Sibley’s in 2000.

At trial, Sibley and Block said they fired at Motley and his patrol car in self-defense after the officer touched his holster. Witnesses said Sibley fired shots 1st and Block joined in the shootout after the officer was wounded. Both were sentenced to die in part because forensics experts couldn’t decide who fired the fatal shots.

At the time, the couple was fleeing from Orlando, Fla., to avoid being sentenced on assault convictions in the stabbing of Block’s 79-year-old former husband. They contend they were innocent of assault and had become victims in the case themselves. The last woman to come close to execution in the state was Judith Ann Neelley, who avoided the electric chair when former Gov. Fob James set aside her death sentence in 1999

Montgomery Advertiser

"Block Awaits Death Penalty," by Todd Kleffman. (May 09, 2002)

Barring a surprise 11th-hour stay, Lynda Lyon Block will become the first woman executed by Alabama in nearly 45 years shortly after midnight tonight.

Block, convicted of killing an Opelika police officer in 1993, is scheduled to be electrocuted at 12:01 a.m. Friday in the death chamber at Holman Prison near Atmore. She could be the last person to die in the state’s electric chair, because no other executions are scheduled before lethal injection becomes Alabama’s official execution method July 1. Block and common-law husband George Sibley were convicted of killing Sgt. Roger Motley during a gunbattle in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Opelika. Sibley also received a death sentence, but his execution hasn’t been scheduled.

On Monday, Block was transferred to Holman from Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Elmore County. Security at the Atmore facility, which houses 979 inmates including 158 men on death row, was tightened after her arrival, Warden Charlie Jones said. “Security is always increased around the prison when something special is happening,” Jones said. Sibley was transferred from Holman to Donaldson Prison near Birmingham the day his wife was moved to Holman, Hamm said.

Sibley and Block had been convicted of assaulting Block’s ex-husband in Florida and were on the run from police when they pulled into the Opelika Wal-Mart with Block’s 11-year-old son in tow. When a shopper notified Motley that a child appeared to be in distress, he went to investigate. He encountered Sibley, who pulled a gun and fired on the officer. Motley retreated behind his police car and returned fire. Block, who was using a nearby pay phone, heard the shots, pulled a pistol from her purse and began firing on Motley. The officer was hit several times, but it was never determined who fired the fatal bullet.

Sibley, Block and her son drove away, but were later cornered by police on Wire Road in Lee County. The heavily armed couple released the boy and then surrendered after a tense four-hour stand-off. Block has maintained her innocence, saying she shot Motley to defend her husband. She said the court system is biased against her and Sibley because of their anti-government stance, and that they didn’t receive fair trials.

Alabama has used the electric chair, known as “Yellow Mama” because of its bright color, since 1927. The chair has been used in 176 executions, including three women. The last woman to be electrocuted was in 1957, when Montgomery waitress Rhonda Belle Martin was put to death for poisoning six family members. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill that makes lethal injection the state’s method of execution. It becomes effective July 1, though inmates will still have the option of choosing death by electrocution. “If they don’t actively choose electrocution, it automatically goes to lethal injection,” Hamm said.

"Widow Plans to Witness Death," by Todd Kleffman.

OPELIKA – Juanita Motley isn’t sure yet if she’ll be able to watch as Lynda Lyon Block dies, but she’s going to try. “I have up until I walk through that last door to say I don’t want to see this,” Motley said. “I’m not sure I want to have that image with me for the rest of my life.”

But Motley is going tonight to Holman Prison near Atmore, where Block is scheduled to be electrocuted at 12:01 a.m. for the 1993 killing of Opelika police officer Roger Motley, Juanita’s husband of 11 years. There, she’ll decide if she needs to see her husband’s killer die. There was a time during the first two years after the murder that Juanita Motley would have gladly thrown the switch to send the fatal voltage through Block’s body. Rage was her controlling emotion. She wanted an eye for an eye. “Hatred and bitterness were poisoning everything in my life. I had to learn to put that down,” Motley said. “I loved Roger with all my heart, but there was nothing I could do to go back and change that one day.”

Support from her husband’s former colleagues, family and the community has helped heal her heart over the years. “Initially, all I had was hatred, but as the years went by, I got to the point where I was more concerned about the other people this was affecting,” she explained. “I had children and grandchildren who depended on me and realized I have to be able to take care of things.” She keeps a portrait of her husband in her home and makes sure her grandchildren know about the man they have never met but call “Papa Roger.” “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about Roger,” she said.

With the execution drawing near, she also finds herself thinking a lot about Block as well. Until recently, she had been able to keep Block’s memory at a distance. But then Block spoke of her husband as an overly aggressive cop and worse, and the old rage began welling up again – enough so that Motley decided she might want to see Block die after all.

Block “has absolutely no remorse,” Motley said. “I don’t think she has an ounce of humanity in her. I’m a compassionate person. If I had seen some sympathy for the victim in all of this, I wouldn’t feel the need to see this finished.” Motley will travel to the execution site with her two sons. Roger Motley’s mother, Anne Motley, and sister, Betty Anne Foschee, also will be there. The three women are on the list to witness Block’s death.

As she weighs whether to watch the execution, Motley said her thoughts will be with Block’s mother, who sent her a sympathy card two days after Roger was killed. It was signed simply “Lynda’s Mom,” with no return address. That is the only connection the two have had. “I just can’t get her off my mind,” Motley said. “To know the exact moment your daughter is going to die must be unbearable.”

"Yellow Mama Built by Inmate," by Alvin Benn.

When Alabama legislators decided to switch from hanging to electrocution as the state’s official method of execution more than 70 years ago, they were faced with a bit of a problem. The state didn’t have a way to carry out death sentences as prescribed by the new law. Enter Edward Mason, a British-born cabinetmaker who had been sentenced for a string of burglaries in Mobile.

Mason wound up behind bars about the same time the Legislature decided to switch to electrocution. When prison officials learned he was an expert carpenter, they asked him to build what would become known as “Yellow Mama.” Mason told a reporter who visited him while he was finishing the project in March 1927 that he was promised a chance at parole if he built an electric chair. “Every stroke of the saw meant liberty to me and the fact that it would aid in bringing death to others just didn’t occur to me,” Mason said in the prison interview. “I was rather proud of my work.” No one is quite sure what happened to Mason, who didn’t get that parole he had been hoping for. He apparently completed his sentence in Alabama and left the state.

During the early part of the 20th century, executions in Alabama were carried out at county jails. Most of the old jails still in use or converted to museums have metal trap doors on which the condemned stood before their short ride into eternity. Charlie Bodiford, a former state Department of Corrections employee who assisted in several executions at Holman Prison, said in an interview before his retirement that the garish yellow paint job apparently wasn’t Mason’s idea. “They had to use something on the wood, so they came up with some yellow striping paint from the Highway Department,” said Bodiford. “They called it ‘Yellow Mama’ because many of their mothers were dead and they felt they were going to meet her,” former Montgomery Advertiser reporter Bob Ingram said Wednesday afternoon.

The chair’s busiest day was Feb. 9, 1934, when five murderers were executed. Several other multiple executions have occurred since then. Now that the Legislature has changed the method of execution from electrocution to lethal injection, questions surface over what to do with “Yellow Mama.” Should it be destroyed? Should it be placed in a museum? Ingram leaves no doubts about his sentiments. He feels it should be destroyed, or at least hidden from viewing. “I can’t imagine how anyone would want to preserve something like that for schoolkids to see,” Ingram said.

"Electrocutions of Women Rare in Alabama," by Todd Kleffman.

If Lynda Lyon Block is executed as scheduled, her name will go on a very short list in Alabama history – she’ll become only the fourth woman to die in the state’s electric chair. The last woman executed was Rhonda Belle Martin, a Montgomery waitress convicted of poisoning her mother, three children and two husbands. Despite testimony that Martin may have suffered from schizophrenia, she was put to death at Kilby Prison in Montgomery Count on Oct. 11, 1957.

Earle Dennison of Wetumpka also poisoned a relative – her 2-year-old niece – and died in the electric chair at Kilby on Sept. 4, 1953. Dennison was the first white woman executed by the state. On Jan. 24, 1930, Silena Gilmore of Jefferson County became the first woman to be executed in Alabama. Gilmore was convicted of murder, but details of the crime were unavailable Wednesday.

Alabama began using the electric chair, known as “Yellow Mama,” as its execution method in 1927. Since then, 176 people have died in her arms. The state’s death-row inmates and death chambers were housed at the old Kilby prison until it was torn down in 1971 and the facilities were moved to Holman Prison near Atmore. Back in the 1950s, as now, the execution of a woman was front-page news in the Advertiser. Martin’s final hours competed with headlines about Sputnik and the integration of public schools in Little Rock, Ark.

Veteran Montgomery journalist Bob Ingram was a newly hired Advertiser reporter when Dennison, a nurse, was put to death in 1953 for placing arsenic in an orange drink she gave to her young niece because she wanted to collect on a $500 insurance policy. “That was such a horrendous crime, and it was so close to home – up in Wetumpka – so there was great interest in it,” said Ingram, who witnessed Dennison’s execution. “There was more interest because of the novelty that she was a woman. But no one was crying out that the state shouldn’t execute her because she was a woman.”

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

"TV Station Fails to Overcome Deathrow Interview Ban: Judge upheld Alabama prison official's prohibition against media contacts with a female inmate, saying the policy was related to security not content."

A judge last week denied a Montgomery, Ala., television station's request to interview a death-row inmate who might become the first woman to die in Alabama's electric chair. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price on April 24 declined to remove a ban on media contact with such inmates.

WSFA/Channel 12 filed suit in Montgomery County Court, asking Price to allow one of its reporters to speak to Lynda Lyon Block, a woman scheduled to die on May 10 for the murder of a police officer in 1993. The station claimed the First Amendment forbids bans such as the one imposed by Prison Commissioner Mike Haley. Station officials have not decided whether to appeal the decision.

Block and her common-law husband, George Sibley, were convicted on capital murder charges in the shooting death of Roger Motley, a police office in Opelika, in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Sibley also sits on death row but his execution date has not been scheduled. Sibley and Block claimed self-defense in the shooting and stated that police and courts do not have legal power over them.

In halting death-row interviews, Haley had issued a memo saying he didn't wish "to publicize this heinous crime and in so doing bring any recognition to Ms. Block." Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price heard arguments in the case on April 19 and agreed with prison officials that an interview with Block would cause security problems. "There are a legion of cases that hold, as this court does, that Commissioner Haley's decision to deny the stated interview is not a denial of plaintiff's right of freedom of speech," Price wrote in his decision. "This court finds that the denial is based on security and control reasons and not content-related."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Woman Could be Last in Electric Chair," by Rhonda Cook and Drew Jubera. (May 09, 2002)

Lynda Lyon Block is scheduled to be strapped into a brightly painted yellow chair, known in Alabama as "Yellow Mama," just after midnight tonight. If the execution goes as planned by Alabama's Department of Corrections, and Block, 54, is pronounced dead minutes later, the convicted killer of an Opelika, Ala., police officer could achieve a new infamy: the last inmate in the United States to die in the electric chair.

Alabama recently made lethal injection its prime method of execution, and no other executions are scheduled there before the new law takes effect July 1. Gov. Don Siegelman has said the state's change was a precaution against the U.S. Supreme Court declaring the electric chair to be cruel and unusual punishment. That leaves Nebraska as the only state that uses the chair as its sole means of capital punishment. A lethal injection bill was introduced in the Legislature earlier this year, but the political debate shifted toward eliminating the death penalty altogether.

Like three other states, Alabama still will give those condemned to death the electrocution option. But death penalty experts say that option is unlikely to be carried out. Last year, when an Ohio death row inmate chose the chair to make a statement against the death penalty, the state changed its method to lethal injection.

The electric chair option is a "transition to make sure people didn't complain that their sentences had been changed," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. "The guillotine is gone forever, and the electric chair will be in the museum," Dieter said. Block's execution "could be a historic moment --- the electric chair has been such a symbol of the death penalty."

Block's scheduled execution at Holman Prison, about 40 miles northeast of Mobile, is playing out amid a bizarre convergence of circumstances. These include Block's extreme anti-government stance, which has led her to decline any legal representation, and the residence until recently of her common law husband, George Sibley, also convicted in the police killing, in the same cellblock where her death sentence will be carried out. For security reasons, Sibley has been moved from his Holman cell to a prison in Birmingham. Block, who has no appeals pending, will not be allowed to speak to him. Block also will be the first woman executed in Alabama since 1957.

Block and Sibley met at a Libertarian Party meeting in 1991 in Orlando and bonded as anti-government extremists. They renounced their U.S. citizenship and gave up their driver's licenses and Social Security cards. The couple then fled Florida with Block's 9-year-old son to avoid being sentenced on assault convictions in the stabbing of Block's former husband. Officer Roger Motley approached their car in an Opelika parking lot after a passer-by said a young boy was calling for help. Both Block and Sibley shot Motley repeatedly. The couple claimed the shooting was justified because Motley reached for his holster. They also claimed that Motley, as a government employee, had no right to question them. Motley was the father of two.

After their convictions, Block contended that Alabama never became a state again after the Civil War and its courts had no jurisdiction. She never has expressed remorse. Her April 19 execution date was postponed by the Alabama Supreme Court. Although no reason was given, April 19 is the anniversary of the fire at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, and of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. "I'm not afraid of death," she said recently. "Every trip in your car is a crap shoot, considering all the traffic deaths there are each year."

Execution by electrocution came about as a sideline to the competition to expand the use of electricity between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Since it was first used in New York state in 1888, the electric chair has claimed more convicts' lives than any other method of execution. It was first used in Georgia in 1924, after the state abandoned hanging. Georgia switched to lethal injection last year after the state Supreme Court ruled that electrocution was unconstitutionally cruel.

Official Lynda Lyon Homepage

Lynda's Petition to Governor Seigalman; Alabama Supreme court Document; Lyon - Sibley Update, Statement from Lynda; Lynda writes of denial of phone use; Letters for Lynda; The Story of Lynda and George.

CCADP - George Sibley and Lynda Lyon Homepage

George Everette Sibley, Jr. - born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, and moved to Orlando Florida in 1976. He spent most of his life designing and converting cars and engines into drag racers, and also worked on street racers and circle track cars. He owned his own car repair shop in Orlando, but closed it when he couldn't find proficient mechanics to repair cars to his standards. He enjoys reading, sport shooting, auto cross competing, and political activism on libertarian issues. In recent years he became a well-respected legal researcher and drafter of constitutionally correct revocation and sovereignty-status documents.

Lynda Cheryle Lyon - born and raised in Orlando, Florida, but has traveled throughout America. She is a professional writer of columns, op-ed pieces and short stories for several publications. She is a sailor, scuba diver, cross-country motorcyclist, sport shooter, fisherman and billiards champion. She has been active in community affairs as President of Friends of the Library, as investigator for the Humane Society, President of the Young Womens organization in her church, and State Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida, where she and George met. George became Lynda's partner in her publishing business and wrote a column about gun ownership rights in her magazine "Liberatus." They married in 1992 and are raising Lynda's 11 year-old son, Gordon.


This is the incredible story of George Sibley and Lynda Lyon - the only husband and wife in America sentenced to die by electrocution - to be murdered by the State of Alabama for a crime they did not commit They shot and killed a bad cop - Alabama said it was murder but George and Lynda said it was self defense. The dead officer was the only other witness as to how and why the shooting began. His personnel file, that showed a long history of abuse to the public, was hidden from the jury. The verdict was predictable - guilty of capital murder The sentence - death in the electric chair.

Written by Lynda Lyon in her own words, this poignant narrative tells how despite torture, unsanitary conditions, and almost dying for lack of medical treatment - George and Lynda have never lost their love and loyalty to each other, and have vowed they will always be soulmates - even to the day they are strapped into the electric chair to their deaths.

"From Heaven to Hell," Written by Lynda Lyon.

It was fate - and a libertarian philosophy - that brought George and me together at a libertarian Party meeting in Orlando, Florida, 1991. George had been attending for a year when I entered the meetings for the first time. I was immediately at home with the small but active group of intellectual activists, and George and I were among a smaller group that together attended political rallies.

A year later, my marital problems came to a head and my husband agreed to leave the house to me and our son and to start divorce proceedings. At that time, needing to enlarge my fledgling publishing business, I accepted an investment partnership offer from George, who had seen my potential as a writer and publisher, and who had also seen an entrepreneurship opportunity for himself.

Our partnership, which had began as friendship, soon blossomed into romance - a true libertarian relationship of two highly intellectual, fiercely independent individualists who live passionately. We soon realized that we were soulmates - totally compatible in every way. We married in 1992 and our love and friendship has grown continually.

George helped me launch a new magazine - "Liberatus" -and we published hard-hitting articles about political corruption. We pioneered a revocation process that eliminated driver's licenses, school board surveillance on my home schooled son, IRS demands, and state revenue notices. Every document we filed was challenged by the various agencies, but after we sent them legal proof of our right to revocate, they went away. We taught others this process in papers, video, and seminars. We spoke on local talk radio. The local, state and federal agencies began to notice the influx of revocation documents from Florida.

Our hell began, not with the agencies, but with Karl, my ex-husband, who had decided to sue me for possession of the valuable house. He petitioned the judge to allow him back into my house until the case was settled, a preposterous idea. George urged me not to go to Karl's apartment to try to reason with him, knowing Karl to be a violent- tempered man. But I was desperate to keep my home and was prepared to offer him a deal, so George went with me. Karl let us in to talk, but he became angry at my attempt to bargain. In a rage, he lunged at me. George managed to pull him off, but Karl had sustained a cut from a small knife I had pulled out and held up as a warning just as he had grabbed me. The cut was not large or deep, and when we offered to take him to a medical center, he refused, though he did allow us to bandage the cut.

George and I were arrested in our home at 2:30 am that same night. Karl had called the police and told them we had broken in and attacked him. George and I had never been arrested before, never been in any trouble other than traffic tickets. We were in shock - George's face was pale and grim, and I felt faint when the deputy began to read us our "rights". They put us both, hand cuffed, in the back seat of a patrol car and we tried to console each other. We agreed not to make any statements until we got a lawyer. I told him tearfully how sorry I was that he got pulled into this mess between Karl and me, and he assured me that it was all right, that he didn't blame me. I would have gladly borne the ordeal myself to spare him this. At the jail, as George was taken away, he looked back at me one last time and said "I love you, Lynda". Those words sustained me through the next five days of hell.

Because we were charged with "domestic violence", George and I could not make bond without a hearing, and we had to wait five days for that. I was placed in a cell with 30 other crying, arguing, loud talking women. I chose a top bunk on the far end, and sat and cried. I was terrified, because I had recently been interviewed on the radio about money being skimmed from the jail accounts, and the sheriff had ordered the radio station padlocked that night.

I could not eat those five days. The meat stank, and the vegetables and whipped potatoes were watery. I lived on whatever cartons of milk I could trade for my trays. I was astounded that the long timers would eagerly bid for my tray, and I managed to get paper and pencil as well. Writing helped me keep sane. I was able to converse with some of the women who recognized me as "fresh meat" and protected me from the lesbians and bullies. I called my mother to see how my son was doing, and she told me that Karl said he would make sure I went to prison and that he didn't want his son. When I began crying, the others stopped talking and looked at me. A large, black woman came over and hugged me to her ample bosom, and I felt a strange kinship to these thrown-away, forgotten wives, daughters, mothers.

The most humiliating experience was the strip search. When ordered to strip for a body search, I froze. I had never undressed for anyone except my husband and doctor. Silent tears ran down my face as I disrobed, then turned to squat so they could see if I had any drugs protruding from my rectum. When I dressed, my face was red with shame. I felt violated, mentally raped. I never did get over that.

George and I did get out on bond the 5th day. We were sure that our ordeal was over and that we would soon prove our innocence at trial. We were so naive.

It soon became evident that politics had entered our case. Too late, we realized that our attorney had sold us out for a job with the county. When our trial date arrived, our attorney had done nothing - the witnesses had not been subpoenaed, nor records we needed. George and I immediately fired him and asked the judge for a continuance to prepare for trial. He said no - we either plead "Nolo contendre" or go to trial that day; and if we were convicted, we would be sent directly to prison for a mandatory 3-year term. Our attorney had an evil, satisfied look on his face and I knew we had been set up. We were forced to sign "No contest."

We were still determined to fight it; we had a month before sentencing. We filed papers exposing the corruption of the judge and the denial of our right to a fair trial, sending copies to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Chief Judge of Florida, Attorney General, and the Sheriff. Friends and supporters flooded these officials with faxes calling for an investigation, throwing their offices in an uproar according to a secretary in the Chief Judge's office.

We didn't show up for sentencing; we'd been tipped off that Judge Hauser was going to send us to prison anyway, under "orders." We had three days to file a temporary restraining order in federal court, but the man who had promised to draft the document never did, and a capias was issued for our arrest.

A friend in the Sheriffs department, and a member of my church, called me the evening of the third day, his voice shaking. "Lynda, the warrants for you and George came up on computer. I just heard there's a plan to raid your house. They know you have guns - they're going to use a SWAT team." I was incredulous. "A SWAT team!" His voice became softer, sadder. "You and George have made a lot of important people angry. They're going to kill you and then say you shot at them first. " He paused, to let this sink in, then said, "I've put myself at great risk telling you this. Please, get out of Florida. They mean business."

George had heard this on the speaker phone. His face was as somber as mine. As a last, desperate attempt to stop this insanity, I called to talk to Sheriff Beary. I had interviewed him when he ran for election. But he wouldn't come to the phone.

George and I were not criminals and we did not want to become fugitives. But my friend had made it clear we had no choice. At the invitation of a friend in Georgia to stay with him, we loaded our car and George, my son Gordon, and I left Florida that night.

The Shooting

We stayed in Georgia for three weeks, but we knew we couldn't stay longer and endanger our friends. We decided to go to Mobile, Alabama, a large port where strangers come and go everyday, and figure out how to straighten out the Florida mess. We stayed in a motel in Opelika, Alabama while waiting for our friend to turn our remaining silver coin into cash, then we started out October 4, 1993, for Mobile. On the way I spotted a drugstore with a pay phone in front and suggested to George that we stop there so I could get a vitamin supplement and call a friend in Orlando. After Gordon and I came out of the store, he got back in the car to wait while George and I made the call.

While I was on the phone, George stood by, watching the traffic and people going by. He noticed one particular woman in a red Blazer pull in beside our car. She got out and looked at our car, a Mustang hatchback, with pillows stacked on top of all our belongings. It later came out at trial that she had presumed that we were transients, living out of our car, with a child obviously not in school. Actually, I always carried my own pillows when sleeping in motels. This woman's prejudicial presumption cost a police officer his life, my son his mother, and George and me our freedom.

Because I had run out of change for the phone, my call was cut off, so we left. But as we were leaving the shopping center I remembered my friend had an 800 number and I then spotted a phone in front of Wal-Mart. So George pulled the car into a parking space and he and Gordon stayed in the car while I walked to the store to call. Unknown to us, the woman saw a police officer coming out of a nearby store. She approached him and told him that we were living out of our car and she was concerned about the child. She gave him a description of our car and left.

Roger Motley was the supply officer for the Opelika Police Department and hadn't been on patrol for years. He was irritated that he had to stop and check on this situation. He drove his car up and down the aisles, and when he found our car, he stopped behind it.

I had my back turned while talking on the phone and didn't see the officer pull up. When George saw the officer in the rear view mirror, he got out of the car, closed the door, and waited to see what the officer wanted. The officer approached George with the typical "I'm the guy with the badge and the gun" attitude. In a curt voice he demanded to see George's driver' s license. George told him he didn't have one, and was prepared to get our legal exemption papers from the car. The officer then decided to arrest George and told him to put his hands on the car. George hesitated, knowing this was arrest, yet he had done nothing illegal. Motley, thoroughly irritated now, reached for his gun. When George saw him go for his gun, he reacted instinctively and drew his own gun. When Motley saw George's gun, he said "Oh shit'." and, with his hand still on his gun, turned and ran for cover behind the police car.

When I heard the popping noises, it took me a couple of seconds to realize it was gunfire. I heard people yelling and running to get out of the way. Quickly I turned and saw Motley crouched beside his car, shooting at George. Fear gripped my stomach. I cried, "Oh God, no!" and dropping the phone, began running, ignoring the people scrambling for cover. I saw George standing between the rear of our car and the right side of the police car; he was holding his gun in his right hand, but his left arm was hanging strangely. Motley didn't see me approach, and just as I came to a stop I pulled my own gun and shot several times. He turned to me in surprise, and as he did, one of my bullets struck him in the chest and he fell backwards, almost losing his balance in his crouched position. His gun was pointed at me and I prayed he wouldn't shoot. Instead, he crawled into the car, and after grabbing the radio microphone, he drove off.

I immediately ran to our car and got in. The parking lot was quiet - everyone had sought shelter inside the stores. I was shaken, yet incredibly calm. "What happened?" I asked. George's face was extremely pale. "He tried to arrest me for not having a driver's license." He shook his head in disbelief. "I was going to show him our papers, but he didn't give me a chance - and he went for his gun. " He looked at me, his eyes begging me to believe him. "I couldn't just stand there and let him shoot me."

I did believe him. George is the most honest person I know. He would not have placed himself or us in danger. He took the law seriously. He was never the showoff gunslinger-type and would walk away before being drawn into a fight.

I told him that I believed him, but that we had just shot a cop and the whole police force would be gunning for us. We had to get out of there fast. It was then I noticed his arm and he raised it up to show me. With characteristic understatement, he said simply "I've been hit." His arm had been pierced by a bullet. Though blood was dribbling down his arm, it didn't obscure the hole. I examined his arm and could see that the bullet passed through his forearm and miraculously had not broken any bone or cut through a tendon or artery. I had an advanced medical kit in the car and I knew I could treat it later.

George maneuvered our car deftly through the streets, trying to get us out of the area quickly while not attracting attention. I tried to calm Gordon, who was crying and shaking, and I looked at the map for the best route out. But we were unfamiliar with the area and kept running into heavy traffic. Then we picked up an unmarked police car and knew they were closing in on us. We were going over 100 mph when we suddenly came to a crossroad. We could only turn right or left. "Which way?" he asked. I was clueless - I had lost track of where we were. He took a guess and turned left.

We had gone only 1/4 mile down the country road when we came up on a rise - and then we saw the roadblock, at least 20 cars. George slowed down, then pulled the car over to the side of the road and cut the engine. He sat in calm resignation, then looked over at me. I said quietly, "I guess this is it, isn't it?" He nodded, then we both looked out at the policemen, detectives, deputies -coming at us from all directions, guns drawn, shouting "Get out of the car and put your hands up!"

It was an incredible, surrealistic scene, as though I was experiencing a virtual reality game where I could feel the action and motion, but then the game would end and I would go back to living my real life again. My son's sobs brought me abruptly back to reality. I rolled down my window and put out my raised hand. "Stop!" I shouted. "I have a child in the car!" I could plainly see the closest officer's face turn pale,and he quickly spoke into the radio on his shoulder. "There's a child in the car!" he shouted. The Opelika police never told these Auburn police this. The word was quickly passed and then he said "Okay, ma'am, we won't shoot. You can let the child go."

I talked to Gordon, calmed him down, then I opened the door and let him out, told him to be a good boy and that they would take care of him, and pointed him toward a plain-clothes policeman. I gave him a last kiss, holding his handsome nine year-old face in my hand, to get a last picture in my mind of the child I may never see again. I watched him walk quickly away to the beckoning officer and I felt as though my heart would break. I had planned his conception, had nurtured him through sickness, homeschooled him. No one could have possibly loved a child as much as I loved mine, and he was walking out of my life only half-grown, unfinished.

As soon as Gordon was taken away, the police then shouted at us to surrender. I turned to George and asked "What do you want to do?" He had lost a lot of blood and was pale and tired. "I don't know." I made a decision for us. I told the officer, "We are not surrendering. You will have to kill us first."

For four hours George and I sat in the car and talked. I held my gun where the officers could see that we were not going to surrender peacefully. The officer continued to talk to me to get information about us. George and I spent the time talking about the shooting, as he explained to me what happened. We discussed our plans for our future together, all gone. We discussed the probability that if the officer died, we'd be charged with capital murder and executed. If we decided to fight in court, it could take years. We knew we did not want to spend the rest of our lives in prison for an act of self-defense. We knew that it would be our word against a cops' word, and we had already seen how corrupt the justice system is. We then talked about suicide.

My religious belief is that suicide is wrong, but now I was faced with the total hopelessness of our situation. I told George that the only regret I had in all this is that I would not be able to raise my son. We discussed all our options.

As dusk settled in, we saw the SWAT team position themselves around us. The regular police had pulled back an hour earlier. A negotiator got on the police car hailer and tried to talk us into surrendering. We said no, that if they tried to come after us we would shoot ourselves. He then tried to bargain with us. What did we want? I printed my answers on notebook paper with a marker and George held it out his window for them to read - to talk to my son, to talk to the press, and to talk to clergy of my religion. He agreed to all these things (he lied - they did none of them), but we had to surrender first.

Finally, the showdown came. The SWAT teams had us surrounded. We were told that if we did not surrender in 5 minutes, they would lob tear gas through the windows of the car and take us anyway. George and I had been sitting with our guns in hand. We had planned to shoot ourselves in the head at the same time. George looked at me with such sorrow and asked, "Would you mind if I stayed in the car and shot myself while you surrender? At least you could have some decision in Gordon's future."

I looked up at him with surprise, my eyes filling with tears at the thought that this honest, loving, gentle man who had waited over 40 years to find the right woman and found me, spending all those years in patient waiting, should now die alone with a bullet to his head. 'No," I said firmly, "I'm not going anywhere without you. Either we surrender together or we die together. I'll follow you, George - Whatever you want, I'm leaving it up to you." A totally surprised expression came to his direct, penetrating gaze. Until that very moment, he had not realized the depth of my love for him, that I would rather stay with him, even in death, and that I would trustingly place my life in his hands. "If we surrender, it will be years before this is resolved." "I know," I said, "but at least we'd be fighting this together."

He then took my left hand in his right, stained with blood where he had tried to staunch the wound, and raised my hand to his lips. "No," he said with renewed determination. "We will surrender so we can fight this. We have to do whatever we can to see that Gordon is taken care of, and to prove our innocence - if only for his sake." For the first time in months, hope was in his voice "We will fight this to the end, and it they still execute us, we'll die knowing we fought for what was right." He then gave a tired smile. "Yes," I said with respect and admiration for my husband.

With a look of tenderness I'll always remember, he leaned forward and kissed me, a gentle, parting kiss, perhaps the last we would ever share. Then, at a nod from him, we laid down our guns and exited the car with our hands up.

The Trials

George and I were placed in solitary confinement in the Lee County jail in Opelika. The jail is small - the men's section holds 100 men, the women's section - 25. I was taken to a 4-cell unit in which I was the sole occupant. I was exhausted and numb - I had been fingerprinted, photographed, strip-searched and questioned. I had not eaten since breakfast and it was after 9:00 pm.

The cell block I was in was at the far end of the jail and hadn't been used for almost a year. After the last occupants had left, it had not been cleaned. One of the female officers pointed out a cell and told me to put my things there, then they left. But five minutes later they came back and took everything except the mattress, soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper. I stood there, dumbfounded. "Why are you doing this?" I asked. "Orders," was the curt reply and they locked me in the tiny cell.

George was treated similarly, locked in a cell by himself, but under the watchful eye of a surveillance camera. The bright fluorescent lights in our cells were not turned off for 10 days, and it was almost impossible to sleep. The constant temperature in the jail was 68 -degrees, and without, any covering, not even a sheet, I developed hypothermia, at times awakened by uncontrollable shivering. I would pace the cell to keep warm but I was too exhausted to pace for long. George had no shoes or socks - they had taken those from him- and he too, was suffering from the cold. By the 6th day of constant cold I awoke to intense shivering, I was cold - inside as well as out; I was numb and could hardly move. With great difficulty I crawled to the bars of the cell and tried to raise myself, but couldn't. About 30 minutes later they found me on the cold cement floor, one hand grasping the bars, and they decided to give me a blanket. I wrapped myself in it and slept for 18 hours before my body temperature became normal.

I had to use my only pair of panties to wash myself and hung them to dry overnight to wear each day. They wouldn't let us shower, nor would they give us clean clothes. We asked repeatedly to use the phone to call our families so they could get lawyers for us, but they denied us that, too. The constant cold and bright light, the isolation, the starchy food - they all began to take its toll - as planned. We were both taken before Judge Harper for the initial appearance in handcuffs attached to belly-chains, and shackles on our bare ankles.

One cannot imagine the pain of trying to walk with shackles on your ankles, on bare skin. The proper procedure is to place them on the pants legs, but the jailers deliberately put them on our skin to inflict pain. George and I bore the pain without comment - we were not going to let them gain satisfaction from their torture. I still have scars on my ankles where the shackles dug deep into my skin.

At both court appearances the media was there in swarms. At the first appearance, Judge Harper - the star - imperiously went through the routine of asking if we understood the charge - capital murder - and that the penalty was death or life without parole. Did we have lawyers or did we want the state to provide them? We both looked at him in disbelief. They all knew we had been denied even one phone call - how could we have retained lawyers? If George and I were not so exhausted and disheartened, we would have insisted on handling our own case. But they would not let us talk and discuss this. The prosecutor had quickly figured out from looking through my files and our legal papers that were in the car that we were well-educated, and politically and legally astute. He did not want us to handle our own case, thus the psychological torture to force us to take their lawyers.

After we were appointed lawyers, suddenly everything changed. They let us shower and use the phone. We received all our bedding and basic toiletries. We began to receive mail. Because George and I were so well known, the news of the shooting went all around the country, and calls and faxes to the Sheriff had come in asking about us. My mother had called and begged the Sheriff to let her talk to me but he curtly told her I was going to die for killing a cop and hung up on her. A friend had traveled all the way from Orlando to see what he could do for us and they refused him. Letters began pouring in, but we didn't get them. The prosecutor, judge and the Sheriff conspired to cut us off from all contact with support.

Despite the cruelties I suffered, none was worse than what they did to George. After they let us receive mail, a friend sent us stationary, pens and stamps. It was a long shot but l asked if George and I could exchange letters. Surprisingly, they said yes. (We found out later that the prosecutor had the jailers copy our letters for information.) When George wrote, he told me that the wound in his arm had been treated only once - at the hospital right after we surrendered. Over a week had gone by and they had not given him any antibiotics. Once, just before he was to appear in court, an officer put peroxide in his wound and changed his bandage. George wrote me that he could feel itching and could smell infection setting in.

As angry as I was of their treatment of me, I was more angry at their deliberate indifference to his obvious medical condition. We had just been given permission to use the phone and I called a friend and told him what they were doing to George. He immediately put out an urgent fax message to our supporters nationwide and we were told that the next day the Sheriff's office was swamped with faxes and phone calls demanding that George be properly treated immediately. Pat Sutton, a retired deputy, quoted law and Supreme Court decisions to the Sheriff about the proper treatment of prisoners. Early the next morning George was taken to a doctor who treated his wound and prescribed antibiotics. An officer later told George they had been given a prescription for antibiotics at the hospital, but the Sheriff would not authorize it to be filled.

From the moment we were introduced to our court-appointed lawyers, George and I fought to have them recognize that we were as knowledgeable of the Constitution and the law as they. We soon realized that we were more knowledgeable then they; all they knew was what they were spoon-fed at law school. They knew nothing about the common-law rights of self-defense, of the significance of the 14th Amendment citizenship, of the right to resist unlawful arrest. They refused to combine our cases, kept trying to put me against George so I would get a lighter sentence, kept repeating the phrase "We're doing this for appeal." We soon realized that they were not considering our innocence, but only the degree of our "guilt." They didn't expect acquittal, weren't working for it at all, and only wanted to work toward saving us from the electric chair.

George and I refused to submit to their plans - George' s lead attorney tried to quit; mine left town and was replaced. George' s attorneys did not prepare for trial. They had not sent the witness subpoenas out in time, so few came. They had not examined the forensic reports or questioned potential witnesses about the officer's violent nature. At trial, the prosecutor purposely twisted the facts in his closing statement to make it appear that it was George's bullet - not mine - that killed the officer. When George and I insisted that I testify to show that it wasn't George's bullet, George's attorney made the loudest protest. My attorney begged me not to testify. "George is already lost. Don't throw away your chance for life. Don't be a hero." I looked him straight in the eye. "I'm not doing this to be a hero. I'm doing it because it's the right thing to do."

I had prayed that I would be calm while I was on the stand, and I was. This, however, was interpreted by the media and the jury as "cold-blooded lack of remorse." During his trial, George was pale and tired, and extremely thin. And he knew he was lost. It was inevitable that he would be convicted and sentenced to death.

When the jury recommended death for George, the jailers expected me to cry and wail. Because I showed no reaction and went about my normal routine, keeping my grief to myself, some of the jailers turned against me, convinced I was cold and heartless about George's plight. It was only after George had been taken away to prison three weeks later that I broke down. Clutching his last letter, written hurriedly just before they took him away, I cried quietly for hours. Half of me had been torn away and now I couldn't even hope for a glimpse of him in court, and receive his daily letters of love and encouragement. The reality of our situation only hit me then, when they took George away to Death Row.

I now had to concentrate on my own trial, which was getting nowhere. My lawyers and I argued at every meeting because they refused to even consider the Constitutional issues I knew were crucial to my case. One night I perpended the realization that unless these issues were raised at trial, I could not raise them in appeal - according to the ABA Rules of Court - and I would have no basis for a demand of my release. I had no choice but to fire these useless attorneys and conduct my own trial.

The next morning, at a closed-chamber session between the judge, my lawyers and me, I presented the lawyers their dismissals, and copies to the judge. Judge Harper only raised his eyebrows in surprise and ordered that the lawyers and I discuss this privately. When we were alone, the lead attorney exploded in anger. "You arrogant fool. Why do you insist on throwing your life away! Do you have a death wish?" I was calm and even smiled a little. "You are not interested in proving me innocent - only of getting me a lighter sentence. I want acquittal or nothing. I may lose anyway, but at least it will be done my way." He stormed out angrily, and the other attorney shook his head in sympathy. "I know why you're doing this, but you're making a big mistake. You're risking your life." I nodded. "I know, but it is my life, isn't it?"

To prepare for trial in the 3 months I had, I read the Rules of Procedure and Rules of Evidence. I filed several pre-trial documents, unusual documents that I convinced the judge were to be introduced as evidence at trial. Fortunately, the judge was too ignorant of the documents and of Constitutional law to realize what I filed. Though he and the prosecutors scoffed at my pretrial documents challenging his jurisdiction, the Constitutionality of the statute I was charged under, and the validity of the indictment based on the original 13th Amendment; I knew that if I did lose, I still could raise this issue on appeal because it had been raised at trial.

The trial was a play, scripted by the judge, the prosecutor, and the restrictive ABA Rules of Procedure. In both our cases, Judge Harper refused to release the officer' s personnel record, which showed a long pattern of abuse to the public, and I was working against a one-sided portrayal of the officer as a "good cop gunned down in cold blood." I was able to perform all the functions of trial in a calm, business-like manner, and even the judge grudgingly admitted how well I was conducting my defense. But under the restrictive rules of procedure in today's courts I had little chance, and I knew it. All I could hope to do was maneuver the trial to get as much information in my favor on record - for appeal.

When the jury came back with the guilty verdict I was not surprised, but it hit me hard. No one can possibly imagine being alone in a courtroom, feeling the eyes of everyone else upon you waiting for your reaction to the news that they were going to put you to death in a most horrible manner. I forced myself to sit perfectly still, emotionless, while realizing that the people of Alabama wanted to kill me for choosing to defend my husband's life.

When it came time for the sentencing portion of the trial, when I was supposed to convince the jury they should give me life without parole instead of the death penalty, I waived my time, telling everyone in that courtroom that I had presented everything I had at trial. I was not going to beg for my life. When I was awaiting their decision, I prayed that they would give me death. If George and I were both on Death Row, we could join our appeal and fight together. When the jury recommended death, I rose from the defense table with as much dignity as I could evoke and walked through the silent courtroom and hallways back to my cell. Some of the jailers were upset. One of the women in my cell broke down and cried.

Execution by electric chair is gruesome. They shave your head so they can attach the electrodes to bare skin. They shove cotton up your rectum and put an adult diaper on you because the charge of electricity through your body causes your bladder and intestines to evacuate. They put a hood over your face because the jolt of 20,000 volts causes your face to contort and your eyeballs to explode.

George and had agreed at the roadblock that we would fight to the end, and if we still lose and are executed, we will go back to our Creator knowing that we fought to the end, and fought for the principle that it is better to have fought and lost than to submit to those who would rob us of our unalienable right to liberty.

Heart to Heart

Below are portions of the daily letters George and Lynda wrote while in the Lee County Jail, Alabama

"When you wrote that you did not blame me for the plight we're in, it did make me feel much better too. I had been put in such a difficult spot, and when he reached for his gun, my reaction was an instinctive one. At that point was one choice: life or death, to protect myself and my family, or fail miserably. You came to my defense, as I would yours, without question. I don't know of any woman I've ever met who would do as you did for me, and I do so thank God that we met. " - George

"I'm going through a terrible time dealing with my captivity here. Yet, there is that hope, that chance for freedom, and I am clinging to that with the fierceness of a person who is clinging to the last standing tree in a raging storm." - Lynda

"I have been penalized all my life, as you have, for adhering to principle, and being honest. I defended my principles to my own detriment. Everywhere I went, someone wanted me to yield to a situation, an ideal, or purpose that was wrong - or at least, wrong for me - and I rebelled. This has cost me dearly throughout my life. Realizing this, I still am unwilling to forfeit that what I hold dearest -my integrity." - George

"Though in a moment of total despair I may have been tempted to entertain thoughts of ending it all here, I've since come to terms with the fact. that, just as our lives are playing possibly to the end, so are the lives of those who lied to us and about us, who prosecuted us, who cheated us and stole from us, who have unjustly punished us. Even in this place, captive as I am, I will not yield my principles. No matter how much I am mocked or tormented, I will not forfeit my dignity. I will leave this world as Lynda Lyon Sibley, and with all the pride that entails. I am content to play this to the end, whatever it might be" - Lynda

I agree with you completely on the result we want here. Patrick Henry's 'Give me liberty or give me death!' sums up the way I feel, and all who share the same spirit as you and I, that mere existence is not life. " - George

'I told her (attorney) I was tired of living my life to suit others, including an enslaving government, and that yes, I could have taken the (Florida) sentence and tried to live under community control, but why? Why should I submit to yet another injustice? When does a person stand up for the principle of defending oneself against injustice, rather than submit for the sake of expediency? Always, I said. I'd rather die than live as a slave to government control or public opinion. " - Lynda

"I will never give up the fight for freedom, never! No matter what, I will endure, and I know that you have the will, determination, and faith to do it too. As you have said before, they cannot chain our spirits!" - George

"Life in prison is not "life." It is living hell for someone like you or me. Living in a caged existence where you are told what to eat, what to wear, where to sleep, when to sit or stand; where your meager belongings are regularly searched, where even your body is inspected, where the only intellectual stimulation you receive is what they allow - what kind of life is that? If the jury has to choose between death or life in prison, they would be far more charitable to give us death." - Lynda

"This is one man who won't make a "deal" and sell his soul for limited freedom." - George

"You carried yourself proudly in the courtroom, and this is what the jury hated. They wanted submissive, emotional groveling. They wanted pained expressions of remorse. You are truly a brave man, Sweetheart, and I am honored to be your wife. " - Lynda

"You have changed me forever, Lynda, and for the better. I am a whole and complete man with you, and I know that even if we can't communicate for a while, that you will never forsake me and will always love me. I know you won't want anyone else, and I want only you. I will always be faithful to you, my soulmate, and I will not lose faith in our freedom coming Soon, or in Heavenly Father's plan for us. " - George

"I tried to picture you in my mind, and the picture of you I love best is how you look in jeans, your snug-fitting shirt, and your leather jacket. With your tall, slim stature and your wavy hair, you looked so incredibly elegant and handsome. I love your boyish smile and your direct, intense gaze. Such honesty in that gaze. I love and adore you. " - Lynda

"After all this time apart, sweet Lynda, I will cherish every moment we have together, every tender caress, every kiss, every chance I have to see you. My favorite memories are those of holding you in my arms, sharing a tender kiss or with your head on my chest. I await the soft warmth of your embrace as I bring you to the exquisite heights of our lovemaking. I pledge my eternal love, and a promise of total and complete loyalty to you. You are one of Heavenly Father's special daughters, and He has given me the Sacred duty and honor to love, protect, and guide you, and I will. " - George

"These months ahead are going to be lonely for us, George. Please don't let my resignation of our present situation make you think I will ever let my love grow dim. I think about you constantly. Memories make me cry with longing for days gone by. I want to lay with you once again, caress your body; to snuggle up to you and your masculine scent, and then feel the warmth of you inside me as we share love. I am not complete without you. I never will be. I am yours for eternity. " - Lynda

Block v. State, 744 So.2d 404 (Ala.Crim.App. 1996) (Direct Appeal).

This case involved the death of career police officer, Roger Lamar Motley, who, during a routine investigation of a complaint made by a concerned citizen, was killed in the line of duty. The prosecution's case against Block was virtually impenetrable. Block was convicted of the capital offense of murder under § 13A-5-40(a)(5), Ala.Code 1975. The jury, by a 10-2 vote, recommended the death penalty; the trial court imposed the death penalty after a sentencing hearing.

The Defendant, Lynda Lyon [Block], and her common law husband, George E. Sibley, Jr., lived in Orlando, Florida. In August 1992, the Defendant and her husband were arrested and charged with aggravated battery and burglary in a stabbing incident involving Lyon's 79-year-old former husband.

They entered a plea of nolo contendere to these charges and a sentencing hearing was set for September 7, 1993. They failed to appear for sentencing. On September 10, 1993, the Defendant, Sibley, and her son fled the state of Florida knowing that a writ of arrest had been issued by the Court.

On October 4, 1993, the Defendant was parked near Big B Drug[s] in Pepperell Corners Shopping Center in Opelika, Alabama. She was using a pay telephone outside the store and Sibley stayed near the car with the child. A passerby, Ramona Robertson, heard the child ask for help. Worried that the child was in danger, she kept an eye on the Defendant's vehicle as it moved to a different location in the parking lot near the entrance to Wal-Mart.

As Sgt. Roger Motley of the Opelika Police Department came out of a store in the shopping center, Robertson reported to him what she had observed. Motley, a uniformed officer, had been running an errand for the police department. After the situation was reported to him, Motley approached the vehicle of the Defendant. At that point, Sibley got out of his vehicle as Motley approached. Meanwhile, Lyon was using the pay telephone near the entrance to Wal-Mart. Prior to approaching Sibley, Motley radioed to the Opelika Police Department as to his activities with respect to investigation of this incident. A tape recording of those radio contacts was admitted at trial and played for the benefit of the jury.

Motley approached Sibley and asked for his driver's license. Sibley stated that he did not have one because he had no contacts with the State. Motley then requested identification from him. At that point, Sibley pulled a pistol from a concealed holster on his person and began firing at Motley. Motley attempted to get away from him and ran behind his vehicle for cover. The officer then began returning fire at Sibley. Numerous shots were fired by Sibley at Motley. The officer was able to fire his weapon three times at Sibley. Meanwhile, Lyon heard the shooting and ran toward the patrol car. She pulled a pistol from her purse and began firing at Motley from his rear or side. The officer was finally able to get into his patrol car and radio for help. The patrol car started to move through the parking lot in an erratic manner, hitting several vehicles as it moved prior to its coming to a stop near Big B Drug[s]. Motley was mortally wounded.

The Defendant, Sibley and the child then sped away from the scene. After a high speed chase, they were stopped at a roadblock on Wire Road in Auburn, Alabama. The child was released and, after a four-hour standoff, the Defendant and Sibley surrendered to the police. A search of the automobile of the Defendant uncovered numerous weapons and large quantities of ammunition.

The police officer had several gunshot wounds. The fatal shot went through his chest from the front at a slight downward angle. The fatal bullet was never recovered and tests were inconclusive as to which gun fired the fatal shot, although it appears, from the physical evidence and testimony, that [Block] most likely fired it. In a statement given to the police following her arrest, the Defendant admitted firing at the officer three times. At the time this incident occurred, the parking lot was crowded with vehicles and people. Numerous witnesses testified at trial as to being eyewitnesses to the shooting."

The State literally had an airtight case; hence, the State easily met its burden of proof on each and every element of the offense of capital murder, in that there was overwhelming evidence that Block had murdered Opelika Police Officer Roger Lamar Motley while Office Motley was on duty.