Executed March 10, 2005 12:23 a.m. by Lethal Injection in Indiana
W / M / 22 - 47
9th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
953rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Indiana in 2005
12th murderer executed in Indiana since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Donald Ray Wallace Jr.
W / M / 30
W / F / 30
W / F / 5
W / M / 4
As attested by the admission of Wallace to friends after the fact, after burglarizing the home of Ralph Hendricks, he "got greedy" and decided to break into the house next door. However, when he did so, he was surprised to find the family inside. Patrick and Teresa Gilligan and their two children, aged 4 and 5, were confronted by Wallace with a gun. All four were tied up and shot in the head. Wallace would say to friends later that he shot Mr. Gilligan because he was "giving him trouble"; he shot Mrs. Gilligan because she was screaming and he "had to shut her up"; and he shot the children because he "could not let the children grow up with the trauma of not having parents." Wallace then took guns, a CB, a scanner, and other property, all of which was later recovered from or traced to Wallace. Wallace was found incompetent and confined in a mental hospital for almost 2 years prior to trial. His IQ was measured at 130. In the weeks before his execution Wallace admitted that he had "faked" mental illness, and that he had in fact committed the murders.
W / M / 22 - 47
Wallace v. State, 486 N.E.2d 445 (Ind. December 6, 1985)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 3-2
Pivarnik Opinion; Givan, Shepard concur;Debruler and Prentice dissent.
Wallace v. Indiana, 106 S. Ct. 3311 (1986) (Cert. denied)
PCR Petition filed 12-03-86. PCR denied 09-04-87 by Special Judge Robert Brown.
Wallace v. State, 553 N.E.2d 456 (Ind. 1990)
(Appeal of PCR denial by Judge Robert Brown)
Affirmed 3-2; Pivarnik Opinion; Givan, Shepard concur; Debruler, Dickson dissent.
Wallace v. Indiana, 111 S. Ct. 2250 (1991) (Cert. denied)
Wallace v. State, 640 N.E.2d 374 (Ind. 1994)
(Appeal of 2nd PCR denial by Judge Dexter Bolin, Summary Judgment to State)
Affirmed 5-0; Givan Opinion; Shepard, Dickson, Debruler, Sullivan concur.
Wallace v. Indiana, 115 S. Ct. 1972 (1995) (Cert. denied)
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed 09-06-95 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.
Writ denied 11-14-02 by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Wallace v. Davis, ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (S.D. Ind. November 14, 2002).
(Order of Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denying the Habeas Corpus Petition of Donald Ray Wallace, which had been pending for more than 7 years, an unconscionable delay that is left unexplained by the Court.)
Wallace v. Davis, 362 F.3d 914 (7th Cir. March 26, 2004).
(Appeal of denial of Habeas Writ by Judge Sarah Evans Barker)
Affirmed 3-0; Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, Judge Joel M. Flaum, Judge Anne Claire Williams.
He ate his last meal Tuesday night: filet mignon, baked potato, soup and chocolate truffle cake from a local Damon's Grill.
"I hope everyone can find peace with this."
Clark County Prosecuting Attorney
Donald Ray Wallace, Jr. (On Death Row since 10-21-82)
Court: Vigo County Circuit Court
Trial Judge: Hugh D. McQuillan (Venued from Vanderburgh County)
Prosecutors: Stanley M. Levco, Robert J. Pigman
Defense Attorney: William G. Smock
Date of Murder: January 14, 1980
Victim(s): Patrick Gilligan W/M/30; Teresa Gilligan W/F/30; Lisa Gilligan W/F/5; Gregory Gilligan W/M/4 (No relationship to Wallace)
Method of Murder: shooting with handgun
Sentencing: October 21, 1982 (Death Sentence)
Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Burglary; b(8) 4 murders.
Mitigating Circumstances: Extreme emotional disturbance, loveless, insecure childhood
"Man put to death for killing 4 in 1980; Victims' survivors pray, remember Evansville family ," by Theodore Kim and Dan McFeely. (March 10, 2005)
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- A quarter-century after he murdered an Evansville family of four during a botched burglary attempt, Donald Ray Wallace Jr. was executed by lethal injection. Wallace, 47, was pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. EST today at the Indiana State Prison, said Javairya Ahmed, a Department of Correction spokeswoman. "I hope everyone can find peace with this," Wallace said, according to Ahmed. After the execution, Wallace's attorney, Sarah Nagy, read a statement from his family: "Killing Don by the state has only created more pain and helped continue the cycle of hate and violence."
From 8:30 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m., Wallace visited with two friends, said prison spokesman Barry L. Nothstine. After a shower, he was led to a room next to the execution chamber. Wallace declined the chance to meet with a spiritual adviser, saying he preferred to be alone, Nothstine said. He ate his last meal Tuesday night: filet mignon, baked potato, soup and chocolate truffle cake from a local Damon's Grill, Ahmed said. Wallace selected nine people to witness his execution, Nothstine said.
Outside, about 15 death penalty opponents had gathered to protest. Marti Pizzini, 64, Michigan City, a member of the Duneland Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, brought candles, leaflets, a few tables and some noisemakers. "I'm not very religious, but I believe you do not solve the problem of violence with more violence," said Pizzini, who said she has attended 10 execution protests.
In Evansville, meanwhile, relatives of Wallace's victims — Patrick and Theresa Gilligan and their two children — gathered for a prayer service at St. Theresa Catholic Church, where the Gilligans were married. During the 40-minute service, the priest who notified family members of the killings led a rosary. Diana Harrington, of Louisville, Ky., the sister of Theresa Gilligan, told about 200 who attended that Theresa and Pat Gilligan would have appreciated the turnout and that their "children with their wonderful manners and beautiful smiles would have welcomed you all." Several in the church cried and dabbed their eyes.
In January 1980, the Gilligans returned to their home to find Wallace, who had just been released from prison, police said. Wallace, in what he later called a "frenzied blur," killed the couple and Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4, according to police and Wallace's own letters. He was sentenced to death in October 1982.
In a recent interview with WTHR (Channel 13), The Indianapolis Star's news-gathering partner, Wallace said he panicked during the burglary and had no intention of embarking on a horrific killing spree. Rather, the murders were a "moment of utter madness, " he said. "I wish I could take it back, but I can't. I can't change the past."
Wallace had instructed his Indianapolis attorney, Sarah Nagy, not to submit a request for clemency. Nagy said earlier this week that she thought Wallace had "resigned himself to the ultimate penalty." Wallace and his attorneys also reached an agreement to avoid a post-execution autopsy, a standard procedure meant to provide evidence that the person put to death was not abused and did not suffer needlessly. Gov. Mitch Daniels reviewed Wallace's case at least twice, including Wednesday. Daniels, a Republican, has said he has moral misgivings about capital punishment but supports the death penalty in "the most heinous cases." State law allows the governor broad powers to grant clemency to those on Death Row. Wallace's execution is Indiana's 12th since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1977.
In July, then-Gov. Joe Kernan reduced the sentence of Darnell Williams, who killed a Gary couple in 1986. It marked the first time in nearly a half-century that an Indiana governor spared the life of a convicted killer. In January, Kernan, a Democrat, spared the life of an Indianapolis man, Michael Daniels, convicted of murdering a minister during a robbery attempt. Gov. Daniels spent Wednesday night at the official governor's residence, 4750 N. Meridian St.; it has a hotline to the State Prison.
Five protesters had gathered on the sidewalk outside the residence by 11 p.m.; two more stood on the other side of Meridian Street. Karen Burkhart, of the local chapter of Amnesty International, carried a sign declaring: "Execution is not the solution." Referring to the death sentences Kernan commuted, she said "the reason he stopped them was because he thought there were some major questions about how death penalty cases were handled by the courts. We want Gov. Daniels to take the same approach." Ed Towne, a retired Christian Theological Seminary professor, also showed up for the protest. "When you have a man in custody, you don't have to kill him in order to protect society from him," Towne said. Daniels could face other clemency decisions this year. On April 21, the state is scheduled to execute William J. Benefiel, 48, for torturing and killing an 18-year-old Terre Haute woman in 1987.
Outside the sprawling, chain-linked State Prison, death penalty opponents braved a bitterly cold wind off Lake Michigan that kept many of them in their idling cars until the time for the execution drew near. Rows of satellite TV trucks from stations in South Bend, Evansville and Indianapolis lined a parking lot across from the prison entrance just hours before Wallace's scheduled death. Robert Dhoore, 64, South Bend, braved the elements long enough to carry two signs over to a small folding chair to claim his spot for a rally. A veteran protester at state executions, Dhoore came prepared. "I've got my two sets of pants, two sweatshirts. And I got a pail in the car just in case," he said. There are no public restrooms outside the prison.
But the protests go on anyway along Hitchcock Road, the two-lane street alongside the sprawling State Prison property. On this night, it was crowded with traffic. A few cars honked as they drove by. Dhoore, a Catholic who attends church on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, is eager to share the message on his well-worn signs, one of which begins: "We are called to love our enemies." "What more can I say?" said Dhoore. "I do not believe in the death penalty for any reason at any time. It's gotta stop."
It was not a sentiment shared by Mark Hamner, 37, an Indianapolis Police Department officer who drove to the prison with fellow officers Patrick Snyder, 30, and Chris Cooper, 34. They set up a camping stove on a card table and cooked hamburgers and beans for dinner. "We came up here to protest the protesters," Hamner said. "Most of the time, it's the protesters that get the press. We are here to show that the majority of this state does favor the death penalty."
At one point, three anti-execution protesters approached the officers and started a spirited but cordial debate. "How are we going to be more safe by killing this man?" asked Sean Napier, 40, a Michigan City hotel manager. "His next victim will be safe," offered Snyder. "Do you sleep well at night?" asked Pizzini, of the Duneland Coalition. "I sleep like a baby," Snyder replied. "And I will sleep well tonight."
"Indiana Executes Killer of Four." (Thu Mar 10, 2005 01:50 AM ET)
MICHIGAN CITY (Reuters) - A man who killed two small children and their parents during a burglary 25 years ago was executed by the state of Indiana on Thursday. Donald Wallace, 47, was pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. EST following an injection of lethal chemicals at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, a spokesman said. It was the ninth execution in the United States this year and the 953rd since the country brought back capital punishment in 1976.
Wallace was convicted of killing Patrick Gilligan and his wife Teresa, both 30, as well as their children Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4, on Jan. 14, 1980. All were tied up and shot in the head. Police said Wallace had burglarized a house in Evansville, Indiana, on the night of the crime and decided to break into a neighboring home, where he encountered the Gilligan family.
"I hope everyone can find peace with this," Wallace said in final words before his execution. In a recent television interview Wallace expressed regret and blamed the crime on drugs, saying the incident was "like a dream ... I can't tell you why (it happened). I've asked myself a million times why. I don't know why."
Wallace spent two years in a mental hospital after the crime but was then declared fit to stand trial. He had refused to let his lawyer file a clemency petition with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. For his last meal, Wallace ate steak, baked potato, french fries, cheese sticks, a fried onion, and a piece of chocolate cake, the spokesman said.
"EXECUTED: Donald Ray Wallace Jr.; His death ends nightmare that began 25 years ago," by Bryan Corbin and Maureen Hayden. (March 10, 2005)
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - Shackled to a gurney with a needle in his arm, Donald Ray Wallace Jr. could turn his head to face his witnesses. Staring through the miniblinds and into the execution chamber, his witnesses heard a short, simple statement: "I hope everyone can find peace with this." He then signaled to his executioners, as required by an agreement to not autopsy his body.
He was ready to die. It took only minutes for the lethal mix of chemicals to flow into his vein, paralyzing his lungs and stopping his heart. He was pronounced dead at 12:23 a.m. today. He was 47. Prison officials said he cooperated fully with his execution.
On Wallace's last day, he visited with two spiritual advisers. They could have remained with him, but he asked them to leave at 4:30 p.m. He then showered, put on a new set of prison clothes and was ushered into a holding cell next to the execution chamber. Then, according to the prison's spokesman, he relaxed by watching television. He could have made phone calls until 10 p.m. He didn't. He ate nothing for dinner. On Tuesday evening, he had a "special meal" ordered from a local restaurant. He dined on filet mignon, baked potato, soup and cake and washed it down with a glass of water. While Wallace rested in his holding cell late Wednesday, three execution teams made preparations: one to shackle him to a gurney and wheel him into the execution chamber, a second to hook up an IV, and the final team to start the lethal drip.
Wallace is the first person from Vanderburgh County to die by execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977. Nine people, who were not identified, witnessed his execution. His sister, Kathleen Wallace Mason, was expected to be a witness. His father, Donald Ray Wallace Sr., was not. His parents divorced when he was 5, and his mother could not be located for the execution. Wallace, sentenced to die for the 1980 murders of the Patrick Gilligan family, barred his attorneys from asking Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for clemency. His attorneys had a 48-page clemency request, but they never filed it. Daniels' staff, however, obtained a copy, said spokeswoman Jane Jankowski.
Two phones were inside the execution chamber - one to the governor's hot line and one to the court. They never rang. The clemency request cited Wallace's troubled childhood and an adolescence riddled with crime and drugs. Wallace was 22 and recently released from prison in 1980 when he killed Theresa and Patrick Gilligan, both 30, and their two children, Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4.
After spending 23 years fighting his death sentence, Wallace declared he was ready to die. "I'm relieved it's almost over. The hard part will be seeing friends and loved ones at the end," Wallace said in one of a series of letters sent to the Evansville Courier & Press late last year. "The dying part is easy. I am so tired of doing time."
In his letters, Wallace acknowledged that many will take glee in his execution, but he tried to defuse that. "They will never know how much I await death as if it were Christmas morning and I a kid," he wrote. He said prison rehabilitated him; he argued that he was no longer the "deranged dope-fiend" who killed the Gilligan family. "I had no true center," Wallace said of his youth. "No moral center. No spiritual center. Not even a rational center. I was hollow... I didn't have a clue where I was." He described death row as a "place for penitent reflection," which promoted "redemption in ways ordinary prison cannot."
He conceded there would be skeptics. "It's hard to explain to people who haven't suffered a lot of emotional pain at the hands of others how it is natural to get a mask that conceals any sign of pain ... Soon you wear that mask all the time. But when normal people see that ... they say, 'Look at that: No remorse at all!' It suggests to them that you are a heartless sociopath. But trust me, 'I sentence you to death' affects you."
"Donald Ray Wallace Executed," by Kerry Corum and Stephanie Silvey. (March 10, 2005, 10:58 AM EST)
UPDATE: Stefanie Silvey wraps-up the Wallace story for us from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. After spending more than half his life on death row, one of Indiana's most notorious killers paid for the 1980 murders of the Patrick Gilligan family, with his own life. Donald Ray Wallace was pronounced dead at 12:23 Thursday morning, his last words were, "I hope everyone can find peace with this." The process started shortly after midnight, when he was wheeled in on a gurney. The witnesses left visibly upset, but said he was ready for this and that he looked at it as an early parole. This, after being on death row for more than 23 years.
UPDATE: A man who killed an Evansville family,and then spent 23 years on death row, has been executed at the Indiana State Prison. With groups of supporters and opponents of the death penalty waiting outside the prison, Donald Ray Wallace was put to death by chemical injection shortly after 12:00 Thursday morning. He is the 84th person executed by the state of Indiana since 1897, and the 12th since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977.
Wallace was convicted in 1982 of killing Theresa Gilligan, her husband, Patrick, and their two young children during a robbery at their home. He exhausted all his appeals, even to the US Supreme Court, and decided not to ask Governor Mitch Daniels for clemency. A Department of Correction spokesman says Wallace's final statement was, "I hope everyone can find peace with this." He was injected with the lethal chemicals and was pronounced dead at 12:23 Thursday morning. Later, his lawyer read a statement outside the prison, saying the execution "only created more pain and continued the cycle of hate and violence." Attorney Sarah Nagy says, in spite of the execution, it was Wallace's wish that healing may finally come to everyone affected by the murders. Wallace spent much of his final day visiting with friends. He had a final meal of filet mignon, baked potato and cake on Tuesday.
Previously: Donald Ray Wallace has been executed for the murders of the Patrick Gilligan family in Evansville in 1980. Michigan City State Prison officials report that the 47-year-old Wallace died as the result of lethal injection at 12:23 am CST Thursday. Wallace's last words were, "I hope everyone can find peace with this."
Shortly after the execution, two of Wallace's family members spoke with the media. Shannon Wallace said, "In killing Don, the state has only created more pain, and continued the cycle of hate and violence. Don felt this way, and so do we." Kathleen Wallace added, "In spite of this, it was his wish that peace and healing may finally come to all those affected by this case, and everyone who was touched by his life." Newswatch's Stefanie Silvey is at the prison and will provide live reports on Newswatch Sunrise and throughout the day Thursday. Come back to this site for updates as they become available.
"Gilligan Family Remembered on Eve of Execution," by Ben Jackey. (March 10, 2005, 07:13 AM EST)
At a prayer service at St. Theresa Catholic Church Wednesday evening, Theresa Gilligan's sister Diana Harrington said a question had lingered in her head for some time.What would they do on this night? The next question, what would her sister want? The answer was a celebration of the lives before they were taken January 14, 1980.
A time for healing comes 25 years later. Diana Harrington says, "It is now time to bind and soothe the wounds that have been present for so long. I don't think you can put closure on four people dying. I think this was the starting of the healing. Healing for a family, and a community."
Some at this prayer vigil were distant acquaintances. Theresa Gilligan's sister Diana says the anguish of the deaths of Theresa, Pat, Lisa and Greg go beyond family ties. Harrington says, "This was the starting of the healing for the Evansville community. It was a start of healing for us."
Twenty five years ago, their funerals were held here. Now, it's not their deaths, but their lives that are remembered. Ted Harrington says, "We wanted the focus to be on the family, and the tragedy itself, rather than what may happen later." Patrick Gilligan's sister, Sue Hern says, "Let us not forget to pray for one Donald Wallace, whose life has been forever crossed with ours, that he might find forgiveness for his sins." It was the presence of God that was invoked through song and prayer, but forever in these hearts will be the presence of four lives cut tragically short. Diana Harrington says, "They're here. I've felt them for so many years. They're always with me. They'll always be here."
"Wallace says he's ready; 'The dying part is easy. I am so tired of doing time,'" by Bryan Corbin and Maureen Hayden. (March 10, 2005)
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - The execution of Donald Ray Wallace Jr. appeared imminent just minutes before midnight Wednesday, as his court-appointed attorneys abandoned 11th- hour pleas to spare the killer's life. "It's over; it's done with; the execution will go on as planned," said Alan Friedman of the Midwest Center for Justice. "That's what he wants."
The 47-year-old Wallace, sentenced to die for the 1980 murders of the Patrick Gilligan family, barred his attorneys from asking Gov. Mitch Daniels for clemency. "We respect that request," said Friedman, a Chicago attorney appointed to represent Wallace. "He's at peace. He's told us he's ready to die."
The execution was scheduled to begin after midnight inside the Indiana State Prison's death chamber in Michigan City. At press time, prison officials had not started administering the lethal combination of chemicals. Outside the prison walls, death-penalty opponents protested Wallace's execution while journalists waited inside the prison's administration building for official word of Wallace's death. His attorneys had a 48-page clemency request, but they never filed it. Daniels' staff, however, obtained a copy, said spokeswoman Jane Jankowski.
Under Indiana law, Daniels has the authority to halt the execution. He planned to spend Wednesday evening at the official residence, equipped with a "hot line" to the death chamber. The clemency request cites Wallace's troubled childhood and an adolescence riddled with crime and drug use. Wallace was 22 and recently released from prison when he killed Theresa and Patrick Gilligan, both 30, and their two children, Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4.
After spending 23 years fighting his death sentence with a battery of legal appeals, hunger strikes and a prison-hostage standoff, Wallace declared he was ready to die after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected one of his final appeals last year. "I'm relieved it's almost over. The hard part will be seeing friends and loved ones at the end," Wallace said in one of a series of letters sent to the Evansville Courier & Press late last year. "And even those from whom I've been long estranged will probably come see me for an awkward and stressful visit. The dying part is easy. I am so tired of doing time."
Wallace has not seen his biological mother since he was a teenager. Wallace's father, Donald "Wally" Wallace Sr., said this week that family members have been unable to locate Wallace's mother.
Wallace likened life on death row to punishment inflicted by a sadist. "Sadists designed these places and sadists love to hear how much people suffer in them," Wallace wrote, describing spending 23 of 24 hours a day locked up in solitary. In his letters, Wallace acknowledged that he'd built up a quarter-century of ill will in the Evansville community, in part for refusing to confess. He speculated that many would take glee in his execution, but he sought to diffuse that. "They will never know how much I await death as if it were Christmas morning and I a kid," he wrote.
He said prison rehabilitated him. He argued that he was no longer the "deranged dope-fiend" who killed the Gilligan family. "I had no true center," Wallace wrote of his youth. "No moral center. No spiritual center. Not even a rational center. I was hollow. I was a mass of complexes and emotional reactions to my life. I'd wandered so far out past the frontiers of normality that I didn't have a clue where I was." He described death row as a "place for penitent reflection." "Death row, where we are supposed to rot as the unredeemable condemned, actually promotes redemption in ways ordinary prison cannot," he wrote. He conceded there would be skeptics.
"It's hard to explain to people who haven't suffered a lot of emotional pain at the hands of others how it is natural to get a mask that conceals any sign of pain ... Soon you wear that mask all the time. But when normal people see that ... they say, 'Look at that: No remorse at all!' It suggests to them that you are a heartless sociopath. But trust me, 'I sentence you to death' affects you."
A quarter-century after he murdered an Evansville family of four during a botched burglary attempt, Donald Ray Wallace Jr. was executed by lethal injection. Wallace, 47, was pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. EST today at the Indiana State Prison, said Javairya Ahmed, a Department of Correction spokeswoman. "I hope everyone can find peace with this," Wallace said, according to Ahmed. After the execution, Wallace's attorney, Sarah Nagy, read a statement from his family: "Killing Don by the state has only created more pain and helped continue the cycle of hate and violence."
From 8:30 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m., Wallace visited with two friends, said prison spokesman Barry L. Nothstine. After a shower, he was led to a room next to the execution chamber. Wallace declined the chance to meet with a spiritual adviser, saying he preferred to be alone, Nothstine said. Wallace selected nine people to witness his execution, Nothstine said. Outside, about 15 death penalty opponents had gathered to protest. Marti Pizzini, 64, Michigan City, a member of the Duneland Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, brought candles, leaflets, a few tables and some noisemakers.
"I'm not very religious, but I believe you do not solve the problem of violence with more violence," said Pizzini, who said she has attended 10 execution protests. In Evansville, meanwhile, relatives of Wallace's victims — Patrick and Theresa Gilligan and their two children — gathered for a prayer service at St. Theresa Catholic Church, where the Gilligans were married. During the 40-minute service, the priest who notified family members of the killings led a rosary. Diana Harrington, of Louisville, Ky., the sister of Theresa Gilligan, told about 200 who attended that Theresa and Pat Gilligan would have appreciated the turnout and that their "children with their wonderful manners and beautiful smiles would have welcomed you all." Several in the church cried and dabbed their eyes.
In January 1980, the Gilligans returned to their home to find Wallace, who had just been released from prison, police said. Wallace, in what he later called a "frenzied blur," killed the couple and Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4, according to police and Wallace's own letters. He was sentenced to death in October 1982. In a recent interview with a local television channel, Wallace said he panicked during the burglary and had no intention of embarking on a horrific killing spree. Rather, the murders were a "moment of utter madness, " he said. "I wish I could take it back, but I can't. I can't change the past."
Wallace had instructed his Indianapolis attorney, Sarah Nagy, not to submit a request for clemency. Nagy said earlier this week that she thought Wallace had "resigned himself to the ultimate penalty." Wallace and his attorneys also reached an agreement to avoid a post-execution autopsy, a standard procedure meant to provide evidence that the person put to death was not abused and did not suffer needlessly. Gov. Mitch Daniels reviewed Wallace's case at least twice, including Wednesday. Daniels, a Republican, has said he has moral misgivings about capital punishment but supports the death penalty in "the most heinous cases." State law allows the governor broad powers to grant clemency to those on Death Row. In July, then-Gov. Joe Kernan reduced the sentence of Darnell Williams, who killed a Gary couple in 1986. It marked the first time in nearly a half-century that an Indiana governor spared the life of a convicted killer. In January, Kernan, a Democrat, spared the life of an Indianapolis man, Michael Daniels, convicted of murdering a minister during a robbery attempt. Gov. Daniels spent Wednesday night at the official governor's residence; it has a hotline to the State Prison. Five protesters had gathered on the sidewalk outside the residence by 11 p.m.; two more stood on the other side of Meridian Street.
Outside the sprawling, chain-linked State Prison, death penalty opponents braved a bitterly cold wind off Lake Michigan that kept many of them in their idling cars until the time for the execution drew near. Rows of satellite TV trucks from stations in South Bend, Evansville and Indianapolis lined a parking lot across from the prison entrance just hours before Wallace's scheduled death. Robert Dhoore, 64, South Bend, braved the elements long enough to carry two signs over to a small folding chair to claim his spot for a rally. A veteran protester at state executions, Dhoore came prepared. "I've got my two sets of pants, two sweatshirts. And I got a pail in the car just in case," he said. There are no public restrooms outside the prison. Dhoore, a Catholic who attends church on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, is eager to share the message on his well-worn signs, one of which begins: "We are called to love our enemies." "What more can I say?" said Dhoore. "I do not believe in the death penalty for any reason at any time. It's gotta stop."
It was not a sentiment shared by Mark Hamner, 37, an Indianapolis Police Department officer who drove to the prison with fellow officers Patrick Snyder, 30, and Chris Cooper, 34. They set up a camping stove on a card table and cooked hamburgers and beans for dinner. "We came up here to protest the protesters," Hamner said. "Most of the time, it's the protesters that get the press. We are here to show that the majority of this state does favor the death penalty." At one point, three anti-execution protesters approached the officers and started a spirited but cordial debate. "How are we going to be more safe by killing this man?" asked Sean Napier, 40, a Michigan City hotel manager. "His next victim will be safe," offered Snyder. "Do you sleep well at night?" asked one protester. "I sleep like a baby," Snyder replied. "And I will sleep well tonight."
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Donald Ray Wallace, Indiana - March 10, 2005
The state of Indiana is scheduled to execute Donald Ray Wallace March 10 for the murders of Patrick, Teresa, Lisa, and Gregory Gilligan in 1980 in Vigo County. He killed the family after burglarizing their home unaware that the family was in the house.
At the sentencing phase of Wallace’s trial, the judge found there were three aggravating factors that made Wallace eligible for the death penalty. First, Wallace had committed the murders while he was burglarizing the Gilligan home. Second, Wallace had committed multiple murders. Third, Wallace, then 22, had committed the murders while on parole from a prior felony unrelated to the Gilligan case. But in the years since Wallace was convicted of the murders, that felony conviction was overturned, along with a second felony conviction on Wallace’s record. The state of Indiana is required to weigh the aggravating factors against any mitigating ones in order to determine whether the death sentence should be given. On appeal, Wallace’s attorneys requested his death sentence be overturned because it was not determined through the weighing of accurate aggravating factors. At least two circuit judges dissented from the denial of Wallace’s petition for a rehearing.
There is reason to believe that Wallace was not able to assist his counsel at trial in his own defense due, at least in part, to his mental state and difficult childhood. The defense attorney at trial did not inform the jury of the defendant’s difficult childhood. Court records indicate Wallace was not cooperative in helping his attorney in gathering mitigating evidence. Wallace told the state judge that his counsel “did in fact approach me and try to develop all these sources that they are prepared to present and uh – which at the time I forbid them to do that, I repeatedly forbidden it. Finally he acceded to my wishes.” Wallace was confined to a mental hospital for nearly two years and declared incompetent for trial after the crimes were committed. Then, a state judge found Wallace competent, concluding Wallace was faking incompetence. Therefore, he was permitted to make major decisions about his defense.
State records show Wallace suffered extreme emotional disturbance from a very young age and a experienced a loveless and insecure childhood. His teenage parents divorced when he was four and his mother left him in the care of his father who did not seem to love or parent him. His mother eventually left town. At one point in Wallace’s youth he recalls playing with his grandfather’s gun until his grandmother instructed his grandfather to take it from him. Wallace’s grandfather took the gun from him and drove away committing suicide immediately afterward. By age 11, Wallace was living at the Evansville Psychiatric Children’s Center. It was the first of a handful of institutions in which he would live for the next ten years. At the age of 14, Wallace was sent to a medium-maximum juvenile security prison where he says he learned to become a criminal and to exhibit violence in order to gain respect from others.
Wallace, who has spent more than 23 years on death row, maintains he is reformed and is not the same young man he was when he entered prison. Likewise, his attorney is convinced of his reform. Since entering death row, he has reinvented himself through “thousands of days and nights” in deep self-examination and devoted study of religion and philosophy. He has taught himself Greek, Arabic, and Latin studied Buddhism and other religions and says he has become a man of peace.
Even after 23 years of going through the trial and appeals process, Wallace has yet to have a jury weigh his accurate and complete aggravating and mitigating factors in order to determine whether a death sentence is appropriate. Furthermore, the man whom Indiana is now trying to execute is very different from the young man who committed the crimes. Please take a moment to write Governor Mitch Daniels asking that he commute Wallace’s sentence.
"Donald Ray Wallace: Indiana's Dead Man Walking," by Kerry Corum. (March 9, 2005, 06:38 PM EST)
UPDATE: A man convicted of killing an Evansville family, will become the subject of Indiana's first state execution in almost two years. But his victims' family wants to remember those he killed. Diana Harrington says her sister, Theresa Gilligan, was a loving mother to five-year-old Lisa and four-year-old Gregory, and that Patrick Gilligan was a good husband and always humorous. She says the last 25 years without them have been "unbearable," because the media constantly gives Wallace all the attention - not his victims.
Harrington, and the rest of the Gilligan family, is inviting the public to a prayer service Wednesday night, to focus on the loss of a family - not their killer. The service is set for 6:00 Wednesday evening, at St Theresa Catholic Church. Wallace, meanwhile, is scheduled to die by chemical injection at midnight Wednesday night, for murdering the family while burglarizing their Evansville home in 1980. Reporter Stefanie Silvey is in Michigan City, covering that end of the story. You can catch her live reports beginning on Newswatch at 5:00, and right here at 14wfie.com.
UPDATE: The defense attorney for Donald Ray Wallace says she has a 40-page clemency request - but Wallace won't let her file it. Because of that, attorney Sarah Nagy says there's nothing she can do to stop Wallace's execution by lethal injection, scheduled for just after midnight Thursday morning. Nagy says Wallace is capable, competent and clear in his wishes. Wallace was convicted in the 1980 shooting deaths of the Patrick Gilligan family in their Vanderburgh County home. Newswatch will be in Michigan City to cover the execution.
Previously: A woman whose sister was murdered by Donald Ray Wallace, is planning a prayer vigil for his victims, on the eve of his execution. Diana Harrington, Theresa Gilligan's sister, says Theresa and Patrick Gilligan and their young children Lisa and Gregory will be the focus of the prayer service - not Wallace. It will take place a few hours before Wallace's execution on Wednesday.
The vigil site will be the Evansville church where the couple was married, and where their funerals were held in January 1980. Wallace, 47-years-old, is scheduled to die by lethal injection early Thursday at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Wallace had been released from prison two months before he tied up and shot the family to death when they crashed his burglary attempt at their Evansville home.
"Remember the Gilligans; The Issue: Donald Ray Wallace Jr. will be executed after midnight. Our View: It's right to think about the victims of his crime." (March 9, 2005)
Shortly after midnight today, Donald Ray Wallace Jr. will be put to death for a crime so cruel and barbaric that few of us will ever forget it. On the night of Jan. 14, 1980, Wallace, in a burglary gone bad, shot and killed Patrick Gilligan, his wife, Theresa, and their two children, Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4, in their North Side home. And Thursday morning, for his crime, Wallace will be executed by the state.
In recent months, as his appeals ran out and his execution neared, Wallace's name, his confessions, his thoughts have dominated news about the case. Tonight, however, our thoughts will be with the Gilligans and their surviving family members and friends. At 6 p.m. today at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Evansville, a prayer service will be held in remembrance of the Gilligans, who were married at the church. Theresa's sister, Diana Harrington, said she plans to talk about the victims of the crime. "I can't stress enough how much this is not about him," she said in a Saturday story by Courier & Press staff writer Maureen Hayden. "It's about Theresa and Patrick and Lisa and Gregory and about remembering all the victims of violence." That is as it should be.
In recent years we have come to oppose the death penalty in Indiana for a number of reasons, among them the possibility that innocent people might be put to death. That is not the case with Wallace. After years of denying his guilt, and offering up conflicting versions of what happened, Wallace recently confessed to the crime in a television interview.
A little more than six hours after the start of the prayer vigil for the Gilligans, Wallace will be put to death by lethal injection at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. And with that act, a horrid chapter in Evansville history will be closed, finally.
"Wallace agrees to conditions for no autopsy," by Maureen Hayden. (March 9, 2005)
To avoid an autopsy, Donald Ray Wallace Jr. will have to signal to his executioners and allow his body to be examined after his death.
If Wallace abides by the terms of an out-of-court agreement reached Tuesday, an autopsy will not be required after the execution early Thursday. The agreement, signed by Wallace, also gives permission to prison personnel to take post-execution photographs of his body and to take blood, tissue and urine samples, if needed, to determine the cause of death was lethal injection.
Two of Wallace's attorneys, Sarah Nagy of Indianapolis and Gary Germann, an Evansville native who now practices law in Portage, Ind., reached the deal with the state. "I think it was a very fair agreement," Germann said. Under the agreement, the Indiana Department of Correction is prohibited from asking for an autopsy on Wallace's body, if all conditions of the agreement are met.
Prison officials routinely seek post-execution autopsies to protect themselves against accusations that the inmate was physically abused before death, and to provide evidence that the lethal chemical cocktail caused the prisoner's death. Under Indiana law, prison officials are obliged to minimize "cruel and unusual" punishment in the administering of the death penalty. Wallace sought to block an autopsy, citing moral and spiritual beliefs. In an affidavit filed with a court motion, Wallace cited 13 reasons for objecting to the autopsy, and cited passages from the New Testament that describe the body as God's temple that should not be destroyed. According to the agreement, Nagy will be required to sign a sworn statement after Wallace's death if the execution goes as planned. The statement will read, "Mr. Wallace was alive minutes before his execution and, at the end of my visit with him on the day preceding his execution, he had not been abused or mistreated by any current legal standard."
Wallace was sentenced to death for the 1980 murders of Theresa and Patrick Gilligan and their two small children. The family members were shot execution-style in their North Side home after surprising Wallace during a burglary.
Months ago, Wallace instructed his attorneys not to file a clemency request asking the governor to commute his death sentence to life in prison. But his court-appointed public defenders, Alan Friedman and Carol Heise of the Midwest Center for Justice in Chicago, prepared a 48-page clemency request, ready to file if Wallace should change his mind.
"Woman wants slain sister's family remembered as execution nears," by Tom Coyne. (AP Tue, Mar. 08, 2005)
Diana Harrington wants the public to remember the two young children and their parents killed 25 years ago as Indiana nears its first state execution in 21 months, not the man who killed them. She wants people to remember how her sister Theresa Gilligan was a loving mother. She wants people to remember how Patrick Gilligan was a great husband and humorous person who always had a smile on his face. She wants people to remember the Gilligans' children, 5-year-old Lisa and 4-year-old Gregory.
But Harrington doesn't want people to spend much time thinking about Donald Ray Wallace Jr., the man who is scheduled to die by chemical injection early Thursday for killing them while burglarizing their Evansville home in 1980. "The last 25 years have been unbearable," Harrington said. "Every time a newspaper article has come out it's been all about Wallace."
That is why instead of traveling to the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City on Wednesday, where Wallace will be put to death shortly after midnight, she plans to attend a prayer service at Evansville's St. Theresa Catholic Church, where Theresa and Patrick Gilligan were married and where their funerals were held in January 1980. "My place is to with the people who have supported us for 25 years," Harrington said by telephone from her Louisville, Ky., home. "There's so much hurt that is still out there, there's so much anger that is still out there," she said. "Hopefully what we're going to be able to do at the prayer service is to begin to heal and start to remember the good memories and to start smiling again and put the anger aside."
Harrington and her husband Ted were married just 10 days when her older sister's family was brutally murdered. Authorities say Wallace shot Patrick Gilligan and beat him with a barbell and shot Theresa twice. He tied the children with a vacuum cord and shot them.
Wallace was sentenced to death on Oct. 21, 1982, more than two years after the murders. Harrington said watching Wallace go through court appeals over the years has been painful. "I don't think if the execution had taken place a day after or 14 years later or now, it's never going to really replace my family," she said. "As far as closure goes, it's just going to be another chapter."
Harrington said she's tired of hearing Wallace say from prison he's a reformed man. "He hasn't done anything. The only thing he's accomplished in the past 23 years is he's protested for table rights, more TV privileges, more phone privileges, better cell conditions, better food," she said. "My question for him is: if you're such a changed person then why didn't you try to help anyone? Even from death row he could have done something to let people know how bad the life of crime was or how horrible death row was."
Wallace has exhausted his appeals and has not sought clemency from Gov. Mitch Daniels. Indiana's most-recent state execution was in June 2003, when Joseph Trueblood was put to death for the 1988 murders of a Lafayette woman and her two young children. He would become the 12th person executed by state officials since Indiana's death penalty was reinstated in 1977.
Harrington said people didn't have to know her sister or family to remember them on Wednesday. "All you have to do is look in the mirror. It's everybody," she said. "You can imagine it. You're 30 years old and you have two kids, that's the prime of your life. So really all you have to look in the mirror and that's who my family was."
"Wallace executed after 23 years on death row." (March 10, 2005)
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- The attorney for a man put to death early Thursday for the 1980 slayings of an Evansville couple and their two children said his family hoped his execution would bring "peace and healing" to the victims' relatives. Donald Ray Wallace, 47, died by chemical injection at 12:23 a.m. CST at the Indiana State Prison after exhausting his appeals for his 1982 death sentence.
In his final statement, Wallace, who did not seek clemency from Gov. Mitch Daniels, said, "I hope everyone can find peace with this."
Wallace was sentenced to death for the January 1980 killings of Theresa Gilligan, her husband, Patrick, and their children, Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4. He bound and shot the victims to death after they surprised him as he burglarized their Evansville home.
At a prayer service held Wednesday night at the same Evansville church where the Gilligans wed, Theresa's sister, Diana Harrington, told about 200 people that Theresa and Pat Gilligan would have appreciated the turnout. She said the couple's "children with their wonderful manners and beautiful smiles would have welcomed you all." Several in the crowd dabbed their eyes as tears ran down their faces. "Let us not forget to pray for Donald Wallace whose life has become entwined with ours," said Susan Stern, one of Patrick Gilligan's sisters.
Wallace's family issued a statement through his attorney, Sarah Nagy, shortly after his death saying they oppose the death penalty. "Don felt this way and so do we. In spite of this, it was his wish that peace and healing may finally come to everyone that has been affected by this case and everyone that's been touched by his life," Nagy said. About two dozen people protested outside the prison. Three Indianapolis police officers were on hand to show their support of the death penalty.
Inside the prison, Wallace spent his final hours relaxing and watching television, after earlier meeting with two friends, prison officials said. Wallace's death ends a long-running appeals process that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which late last year declined to hear the case. By state law, the governor can grant clemency to any prisoner, with or without a formal request. Jane Jankowski, a spokeswoman for Daniels, said Wednesday the governor had reviewed the case but did not intervene.
Wallace is the 12th person executed by the state of Indiana since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977. The last person executed was Joseph Trueblood on June 13, 2003, for the 1988 murders of Susan Bowsher of Lafayette and her children, 2-year-old Ashelyn Hughes and 1-year-old William E. Bowsher. Then-Gov. Joe Kernan granted clemency last July to Darnell Williams, the first time in 48 years that an Indiana governor granted clemency in a capital case. Kernan said it would be unfair to execute Williams when a mentally retarded accomplice got a life sentence. Kernan also granted clemency in January to Michael Daniels, an Indianapolis man convicted of murdering an Army minister in 1978.
A second execution is scheduled for this year. Bill J. Benefiel, 48, is scheduled to be executed April 21 for the 1987 torture-slaying of Dolores Wells, 18, of Terre Haute.
"Murder tale comes to end for prosecutor; 23 years ago, Stan Levco helped get conviction," by Bill Engle. (March 10, 2005)
Today's execution of Donald Ray Wallace Jr., closed a chapter in the professional life of the one man whose life was intertwined with Wallace's. That man is Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco, who as deputy prosecutor tried Wallace in 1982 and was involved in about 10 appeals in the case.
"It's hard to believe it's over," Levco said from an Indianapolis hotel today. He was Indianapolis today for any last-minute stay of executions. "It has kind of a surreal quality to it," Levco said. "I've been working on this case for roughly 24 years. This is a case I've basically had all my professional life."
Levco said he was sad Wallace had been executed but added that he believed in his heart that it was the right thing to do. "I do have the sense that he deserved to be executed. It was the right thing to do considering the crime he committed," Levco said. "But I don't take any pleasure in it. "This is not a happy occasion for me."
Levco said he prosecuted Wallace as a juvenile when the 17-year-old Wallace stole a car in 1975. "I remember walking him back to my office, just the two of us talking casually," Levco said. Then the two men's lives became entwined when Wallace was arrested for the January 1980 murder of Patrick and Theresa Gilligan and their two children, Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4.
Eleven years ago, Wallace wrote Levco several letters, including one lengthy, thoughtful, yet wildly ambiguous letter. "There's nobody in my entire career who has written me a letter like that," Levco said. "In essence, he said he didn't know for sure if he was talking me out of the death penalty or what he was doing. But, he wrote, there were just a lot of things he wanted to say."
The letter haunted Levco, just as he has been haunted by the case. "Again, it's hard to believe it's over. I've been having that feeling for a year or two," he said. "I certainly do have a sense of sadness. But it was passed time. It should have happened years ago. "If I had the power to stop it -- and I have had that power over the years -- I would not have," Levco said.
But there is no closure, no justice in this case for Levco. "If justice was served, the Gilligans would be alive," he said. "Still, in some small measure, the criminal justice system has worked, however incredibly slowly.''
Levco said he has exchanged letters with Theresa Gilligan's sister, Diana Harrington of Louisville, Ky., who spoke at a prayer service remembering the victims in Evansville Wednesday. "So it's over for me," Levco said. "But for the family, they will never be over it. It will always be there. And maybe it will be for me for a time. The last group I spoke to in Evansville I talked about this case. The next group I talk to I will probably talk about this case. "It's been there somewhere in my mind for the last 24 years."
Inside the story
Stan Levco, as a young deputy prosecutor, convicted Donald Ray Wallace of slaying a family of four in Evansville, corresponded with him from prison even as he fought his appeals in court and, now, as Vanderburgh County's elected prosecutor, awaited Wallace's execution, which occurred early today.
Levco was also a weekly columnist back then on the editorial page of the now-defunct Evansville Press, which was edited by Dale McConnaughay, current Viewpoints editor of the Palladium-Item.
"Patrick Gilligan's sister asks mourners to forgive," by Maureen Hayden. (March 10, 2005)
Twenty-five years ago, Susan Stern was filled with anger toward the man who shot her brother and killed his family. Anger turned into hatred for the gunman who snuffed out four innocent lives.
It took years of prayer before she could find a way to forgive, but in the hours before the killer's execution, she asked a crowded church of mourners to include him in their pleas to God. "Let us not forget to pray for Donald Ray Wallace tonight, whose life forever crossed with ours,'' said Stern in a tearful request. "Let us pray that he'll find the forgiveness that only God offers."
It was a painful request to make. Twenty-five years ago, Wallace murdered Stern's only sibling, Patrick Gilligan, along with Gilligan's wife, Theresa, and the couple's two young children, Lisa and Gregory, in the family's North Side home. Yet forgiveness was the theme of the prayer service at St. Theresa Catholic Church, called A1 to remember the Gilligan family.
Stern echoed the prayers of Diana Harrington, the sister of Theresa Gilligan. "It's time for healing," said Harrington. "There have been many tears, heartaches and much loneliness that have followed us through the years. We're all too familiar with our tremendous loss." Moments before she spoke, Harrington's sons, Sean, 24, and Ryan, 21, read a well-known passage from the Old Testament which begins: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Harrington and her husband, Ted, asked those gathered at the church where the Gilligan family's funeral service had been held to turn their tears into laughter by remembering the Gilligans' lives.
"It's our memory of what made these people important to us, of the shared love, laughter, kindness and triumphs that preserve their life within us," said Ted Harrington, who married his wife 10 days before the slayings. "It is a gift they left us and one we should nurture and never forget." Those who came to pray with the relatives of the victims shared poignant stories before and after the hourlong service. Among those who attended was Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman, who, as a young deputy prosecutor, helped put Wallace on Indiana's death row. Pigman, there with his wife, Debbie, recalled that one of their own children was the same age as Gregory Gilligan, only 4. Leading the service was the Rev. Ted Tempel, a former pastor at the church. Tempel married Patrick and Theresa Gilligan in the church and baptized their two children. It was Tempel who accompanied police to the home of Theresa's parents, Dorothy and Larry Sahm, on the night of the murders to deliver the news. Tempel choked back tears as he led those at the service through the rosary, a recitation of prayers that recalls the last hours of the life of Jesus, his death and resurrection. Recalling the "Agony of the Garden" in which Jesus pleads to God to spare his life, Tempel reminded mourners that Jesus turned to God with his fears and tears, knowing that he alone could save him. "In remembering our fears and tears we shed over the agony of the Gilligans' deaths, we can turn to God again tonight for the comfort we need," Tempel said.
He recalled the cornerstone of the Gilligans' Christian faith. "We believe death was not the end of life for the Gilligans."
"Letters describe killer's mind-set; Donald Ray Wallace Jr., who's due to be executed Thursday, says he went into frenzy after family of 4 interrupted a burglary," by Richard D. Walton. (March 6, 2005)
Convicted murderer Donald Ray Wallace Jr. faces his death this week saying he's no monster, 25 years after he wiped out an Evansville family in what he called "a frenzied blur."
In letters to a sibling of one of his victims, Wallace graphically described how he bound and killed Theresa Gilligan; her husband, Patrick; and their two young children. Five-year-old Lisa and 4-year-old Gregory, who just returned from watching a Charlie Brown TV special at their grandparents' house, were shot in the back of their heads. "Neither of the children cried out," Wallace wrote to Diana Harrington, Theresa's sister.
Two weeks after the January 1980 murders of the family, Harrington scrubbed blood from the walls of the death house. Now, she awaits the 47-year-old Wallace's execution Thursday at the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City with no sense of vengeance. She doesn't hate Wallace. "I despise what he did," she said.
Barring a reprieve from Gov. Mitch Daniels, which seems increasingly unlikely, Wallace will become the 12th person executed in Indiana since the death penalty was restored in 1977. He's been on Death Row for more than 22 years. Wallace would be the first person put to death since Joseph Trueblood was executed in June 2003 for the 1988 murders of a Tippecanoe County woman and her two children.
As the end nears for Wallace, survivors and authorities look back on his crime and try to understand the killer, who many agree is among the brightest people they've known. "There aren't very many people in the world who I can talk to about Plato's 'Republic' . . . and Pascal's theorem," said Sarah Nagy, Wallace's lawyer. "I can have those types of discussions with Mr. Wallace."
Raised by neglectful parents, Wallace was in counseling by age 10. A counselor warned about "serious emotional problems which are expressed in hostile, aggressive behavior." At 13, Wallace was sniffing glue and smoking marijuana.
His killing spree was partly happenstance. The Gilligans returned home as Wallace was inside burglarizing the residence. In his correspondence with Harrington, Wallace said at first he had no intention of harming the family, only to restrain them so he could escape. Spotting a vacuum cleaner, he used the cord to bind the victims. But Patrick Gilligan slipped the knot and came after Wallace, the killer wrote. In the struggle for Wallace's pistol, Gilligan was shot in the head. "Then everything else just went to hell," Wallace wrote. "Everyone was shot within 10 seconds after Patrick -- drugs, panic, insanity. . . . It all happened too fast." Wallace, thinking he had missed Theresa with his first shot, fired another bullet into her.
He later recalled in a letter that Theresa was brave. "Her thoughts weren't for herself but only to comfort and calm the children." Wallace said that after he shot Patrick Gilligan, Theresa's husband fell to his hands and knees. Out of bullets, Wallace looked around for another weapon to finish him off. "I was already in an insane state of mind, and he moaned as if in great pain," Wallace wrote. "And the sound of it was terrible, and I think the only thought I held in my mind at the time was to stop the terrible accusation in that sound. My eyes seized upon the weights." Using a barbell, he bludgeoned Patrick Gilligan. After the rampage, Wallace felt sick. "I was ill in a way I had never been ill before," he wrote.
Wallace's detailing of the crime was sought by Harrington, who said she had been haunted for years by questions. "Was Pat the first one? Was my sister? Did the kids go first? Did my sister have to watch the kids (die)?" In a recent TV interview, Wallace said he deserved to die, regretted the killings and was a changed man from the 22-year-old who committed the murders. "I would like people to know I'm rational," he told WTHR (Channel 13), The Indianapolis Star's news-gathering partner. "I'm not a raving maniac. I'm not hostile, that I'm not whatever you think a murderer is supposed to be." He added, "You live and grow and mature, and for the most part we become better people."
Nagy says she believes her client, who refused a request from The Star for an interview, feels real shame and remorse. Still, Wallace has fooled people before, said Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco, who as an assistant prosecutor made the case against Wallace. Levco says he's been told Wallace has a near-genius IQ. As the case went to trial, he said, Wallace managed to convince a psychiatrist that Wallace was insane. Despite his intelligence -- Wallace once referred to reading a biblical passage in the original Greek -- Levco says he believes Wallace's crime still warrants the death penalty.
Against his lawyer's advice, Wallace has refused to seek clemency from the governor. Daniels recently said that while he has moral reservations about the death penalty, he believes it is appropriate for the most extreme crimes in which guilt is clear. A spokeswoman for the governor said Friday that Daniels has been briefed on the Wallace case. Daniels declined to comment.
Wallace, in his letters to Harrington, has said that he relives the tragedy. He called it "six shots that still ring in my ears." To Harrington, who was married in the Gilligans' house 10 days before the murders, the killer's claims that he's a changed man do nothing to ease the pain. "Too little, too late," she said.
Timeline for killer's final hours Convicted killer Donald Ray Wallace Jr. is scheduled to be executed early Thursday at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. According to a prison spokesman, this is the plan for Wallace's final hours: • 8 a.m. (CST) Wednesday: Visitors who have been approved by Wallace are allowed to see him. • 4:30 p.m.: Visiting ends and Wallace is taken to the cell area. He is given a set of clothes and takes a shower. Wallace then goes to a room adjacent to the execution room, and the people he has named as spiritual advisers are allowed in. A phone is available if Wallace wants to make calls. • 10 p.m.: The spiritual advisers leave. • Midnight, the first of three execution teams enters the area. The first team wheels a gurney into an empty room next to the execution room. It retrieves Wallace and straps him onto the gurney. He is handcuffed and shackled in leg irons. The gurney is taken into the execution room and placed against the north wall. Its wheels are locked. Replacing this group is the intravenous team. Catheters are placed in Wallace's arm and a drip of saline solution is begun. A project manager or an assistant reads the execution warrant. Wallace is asked if he has any final statements. Someone picks up a phone. It's a direct line to the prison command center, which is in contact with the governor's office and the courts. The question is asked: Is there a stay of execution? If the answer is no, the "proceed" order is given and the injection team is activated. Three chemicals are sequentially administered. The first is sodium pentothal, which causes a deep sleep. The second is pancuronium bromide, which causes paralysis of the diaphragm, lungs and muscles. The final drug is potassium chloride, which stops the heart.
"Wallace makes public confession," by Maureen Hayden. (March 2, 2005)
For 25 years, convicted killer Donald Ray Wallace Jr. has given life to an urban legend that someone else was responsible for the 1980 murders of Patrick and Theresa Gilligan and the couple's two young children. Now, with just days left to live, Wallace, 47, has publicly confessed to the crime, saying he alone shot and killed the Gilligan family. But he also says he didn't intend to kill the family and "panicked" after he felt threatened by Patrick Gilligan.
In the only media interview granted in the days before his execution, Wallace says he tied up all four family members when they came home while he was burglarizing their house. "What happened that night was a moment of utter madness," Wallace told a reporter with an Indianapolis television station.
"It was panic, because my original intention was not to kill anyone, it was to get the situation under control, and Patrick attacked, which I can't blame him for. I would, too, if I were in his position. Once the shooting started, all hell broke loose." Wallace's televised confession is similar to a private confession he made 13 years ago to Diana Harrington, sister of Theresa Gilligan, in which he confesses to killing her family.
In prior public statements, and in private statements made to his family members and his attorneys, Wallace said an unnamed accomplice broke into the Gilligan home and shot the family while he was burglarizing a house next door. He also told his family that he made up the confession he sent to Harrington in 1992.
Wallace has told a variety of stories about what happened Jan. 14, 1980. In a polygraph exam Wallace took in 1987, which he passed, he said Theresa and the children were already dead when he walked into their home to check on his accomplice. Wallace said Patrick Gilligan had been shot, but was not dead, so he struck him in the head twice with a set of barbells.
Wallace's attorneys paid for the polygraph, but never used it. In an interview with the Evansville Courier & Press in 1987, Wallace told a similar story, insisting the unnamed accomplice shot the Gilligans.
Wallace's story began to change in 1992, though, after Harrington wrote him a letter on death row. His confession to her was first reported by WEHT-News25 in 1996. Harrington told Wallace she was haunted by thoughts of her sister begging for her children's lives, and had imagined Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4, had been forced to watch their parents be murdered.
"As to how it (the murders) happened has always been a mystery to me," Harrington wrote in her 1992 letter to Wallace. "... I find it hard to piece together, that if he (Patrick) was shot first, why he was hit with barbells afterwards. His death was almost harder than Theresa's and the kids because of the closed casket. I thought for years that since his body was unidentifiable by facial recognition, he would eventually show up. I hoped that it was another person, or that no one was in the casket. ..." Wallace wrote back, in detail. He told Harrington that he'd tied up each member of the family in an effort to control the situation.
"Just as that was completed, Patrick slipped his bonds and attacked," Wallace wrote to Harrington. "I don't know if he was extraordinarily brave, or if he didn't trust that his family wouldn't be hurt, or both. In the struggle over the pistol, Patrick was shot in the head and fell to his hands and knees. Then everything else just went to hell. Everyone was shot within 10 seconds after Patrick ... drugs, panic, insanity ... it all happened too fast to understand." Wallace again privately confessed to being solely responsible for the crime in a letter he sent to a retired Indiana University professor in May 2000. "The family whose house I was burglarizing returned home through the only door opened," Wallace wrote. "Threat, strike. I went on autopilot. It was almost like watching a horror film that some maniac had written ... I shot them all."
"Last Words," by Anne Ryder/Eyewitness News.
Michigan City, March 2 - Twenty-three years on death row have given Donald Ray Wallace nothing but time, time to consider how the kid in a cowboy hat became a pariah, how an evil act is born and whether it ever dies, even when he does.
The house where it happened on Aspen Drive looks much the same as it did 25 years ago. But the pain is still fresh. "It was like yesterday," says Diana Harrington. 'When I remember Pat and Theresa (Diana's sister) and the kids I remember them and there's this glimmer of good memories and then it smacks you in the face of what happened." A family of four, the Gilligans, were bound with vacuum cleaner cord and murdered with six shots to the head and a barbell by the man they caught burglarizing their home.
For 25 years Harrington has carried the burden of wondering about the last moments of her sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. "Did the children watch? Was my sister first? Was there a lot of pain? It's like going to the dentist and the dentist says its only going to hurt for a couple of seconds, those seconds last for eternity." It didn't take long to find the killer, Donald Ray Wallace, a 22-year-old drug addicted burglar with a violent past. His arrogance and intellect made him a lightning rod. He has a near genius IQ. "I think he's brilliant." Stan Levco prosecuted the case. "Not one of the most intelligent murderers or intelligent criminals, one of the most intelligent people. His words are perfect. He says the perfect words."
"I'm on death row. All the machinery of the state is grinding to kill me." Wallace's words are poetic, written in letters from prison where he has now spent more than half his life. "I watch birds fly over. Sometimes I can hear dogs barking and children playing somewhere beyond our wall that terminates our rec yard. And all these things are wondrous to behold." Wallace, now 47, has never given an interview. This is his first and his last.
Why? "I would like people to know I'm rational. I'm not a raving maniac. I'm not hostile, that I'm not whatever you think a murderer is supposed to be."
Anne Ryder: Are you saying that here a new man has grown?
Wallace: Yeah, I'm saying that. I was a dope fiend. I had no moral center. I had no spiritual center. I had no rational center. It's a simple fact of life. You live and grow and mature and for the most part we become better people.
Wallace, for the first time publicly, is taking full and sole responsibility for what happened on Aspen Drive January 14, 1980.
Wallace: Who wants to be responsible for this? Who wants to look in the mirror and say you did that, you know, you.
Ryder: How do you explain why, why this happened?
Wallace: What happened that night was a moment of utter madness. It was panic, because my original intention was not to kill anyone, it was to get the situation under control, and Patrick attacked, which I can't blame him for. I would too if I were in his position. Once the shooting started all hell broke loose.
Ryder: Why the kids? How do you kill kids?
Wallace: It was almost like watching a movie or something, like I became completely disconnected from everything that was going on. It's like a dream, or nightmare. I can't tell you why. I've asked myself a million times why. I don't know. I can't say why.
Ryder: Diana Harrington says his apology is always an implied apology.
Wallace: If she wants it here, I do say that I am eternally sorry for what I did to your family. I wish I could take it back, but I can't. I can't change the past. This line from Omar Khayam keeps coming back to me time and time again in my life. Something to the effect of, "The hand of history having writ, moves on, and all your tears can't call back one word of it.
Ryder: And you have shed tears?
Wallace: I have shed tears.
Ryder: Have you suffered?
Wallace: Yeah, I have suffered a lot, but I wouldn't give my own back for anything because it's the suffering that sort of leads you to truth.
In prison Wallace has read 4,000 books, learning Greek, Latin and some Hebrew and Arabic.
Ryder: Where are you on God?
Wallace: I believe there's only one creator of the universe. There's only one person that judges in the end. Only one architect of all that is. Whatever you call him, I call him God.
And he calls death row his monastery.
Wallace: The person I was 25 years ago has long since been dead. I got rid of him.
Ryder: You wrote, "Life is a pearl beyond price."
Wallace: I had to understand that to understand what I had taken from the people I killed, and having come to that, I'm ready to give my life now.
He sat on death row for so long because he exhausted every appeal and with each new attorney came mounds of evidence to wade through. It sat on one judge's desk seven years.
What happens to turn a kid in a cowboy hat into a killer? Wallace has a genius IQ and some thoughts on the matter. He says he's changed and wants to reach kids headed down his path before he dies next week.
"I was a runaway train. I was waiting for the wreck." Wallace is picking up the pieces of his life, just in time to lose it. He'll die by lethal injection at the Indiana State prison next week.
Wallace says he's just a shadow of the young man who arrived in 1982; the arrogant, angry, drug addicted burglar who murdered a family of four.
"It's just one moment, one crazy insane moment that I wished for all these years I could take back."
January, 1980, Patrick and Teresa Gilligan, five-year-old Lisa and four-year-old Greg surprised Wallace when they arrived home during a burglary. He tied them in vacuum cleaner cord and shot them execution style.
"You can't really put closure on such a tragedy as this." Diana Harrington now wears her late sister's ring, the one Wallace stole.
She and her husband Ted have moved from Evansville, but, like the city, can't put the murder behind them. "He asked why Evansville still thinks of him as a demon. Why shouldn't they?"
"Imagine trying not to change in 25 years. You can't do it. Life instructs you." In prison, Wallace has become a scholar of philosophy, language and religious study.
Anne Ryder: What have you learned about yourself?
Wallace: I've learned that I don't want to hurt anybody. I don't want to be superior to anyone. I don't want to do any evil to anyone. There are two forces in life. On one hand you have love and hope and on the other hand you have fear and mistrust. Love and hope, they take chances. Love is brave. It wants to see people redeemed. So if you believe in a loving God and a hateful adversary, which one of those belongs to whom?
Ted Harrington calls Wallace "a mass murderer and he needs to be remembered that way."
The Harrington's say Wallace never gave their relatives a second chance.
"Theres only one person who will be able to judge him," says Diana.
Ryder: People in Evansville say this man is a con man, a manipulator, he has no conscience.
Wallace: That's convenient. They're getting ready to kill me, so it would be better if that were the case. But as for being a con man, to what end? What do I gain at this point? As I leave this world, to anyone I've hurt, I am sorry for what pain I caused you. This is sincere. It's absolute.
Wallace was in trouble early, a kid without a rudder passed among his relatives, acting out by age 10. "If (I) would have only once turned around and looked at the future and saw how wide it was, then my life would have been completely different."
Ryder: Were you a monster?
Wallace: No, I became something pretty bad. I was scared to death and fear is such a powerful thing. It can make you cringe and paralyze you, but if you really go with it it becomes like a war engine. It makes you really dangerous.
He cloaked himself in a tough guy mantra during a stint in prison at age 17. "Don't think, don't try to talk your way out of it. Strike hard, strike fast and don't stop till you win or you're dead. That's the condition you find me in January 14, 1980 with this deadliness full of drugs. The result was probably inevitable."
He says he's concerned about kids who are like he was. "Even if just one person turns away from what happened to me, good."
Ryder: Do you believe in hell and if not hell, where does atonement come in?
Wallace: I just know I've done everything I can here and now to try to atone for what I did and become a better human being, and whatever befalls me (on) the other side, I leave that to God.
"I'm just gonna miss him so much." His half-sister Kathleen knows the burden of growing up Wallace in Evansville. "There goes the murderer's sister. I will always love him. I always have and I always will and I don't care what anyone else things of him."
Wallace: That's one of the curious things about the death penalty. When the state kills me you're doubling the amount of misery.
Ryder: Have you thought about what you're going to say?
Wallace: Yeah, I think that's part of why I'm doing this interview too, so I can get all the saying out of the way and just leave time for the dying.
But Wallace says he dies with a reverence for what he truly stole that January night 25 years ago. "Life is an incomprehensibly wonderful gift. No matter what happens. No matter how bad things seem, is it not good to be alive?
And isn't every moment as good as a brand new beginning if you want it to be?"
Wallace, after availing himself of 23 years of appeals, is not seeking clemency.
Asked whether he deserves to die, he said, "I leave that to God."
This murder still hits a nerve in Evansville. Twenty-five years later there is much anger and pain.
The Gilligan's relatives will lead a prayer service in Evansville the night of Wallace's execution. He is to die at midnight the morning of March 10.
What happens to turn a kid in a cowboy hat into a killer? Donald Ray Wallace junior has a genius I-Q and some thoughts on the matter. He says he's changed and wants to reach kids headed down his path before he dies next week. Eyewitness News reporter has corresponded with him from seven for seven years from death row. Wallace chooses to make his last words through this interview with Eyewitness News. "I was a runaway train. I was waiting for the wreck" says death row inmate Donald Ray Wallace. Donald Ray Wallace is picking up the pieces of his life, just in time to lose it. He'll die by lethal injection at the Indiana State prison next week. Wallace says he's just a shadow of the young man who arrived in 1982--the arrogant, angry drug addicted burglar who murdered a family of four. Wallace continues, "Its just one moment-one crazy insane moment that I wished for all these years I could take back." January, 1980. Patrick and Teresa Gilligan, 5 year old Lisa and 4 year old Greg surprised Wallace when they arrived home during a burglary. He tied them in vacuum cleaner cord and shot them execution style. "You can't really put closure on such a tragedy as this" says the Diana Harrington the sister of one of the victims. Diana Harrington now wears her late sister's ring, the one Wallace stole. She and her husband Ted have moved from Evansville, but, like the city, can't put the murder behind them. "He asked why Evansville still thinks of him as a demon, why shouldn't they?" says Harrington. "Imagine trying not to change in 25 years. You can't do it. Life instructs you." Wallace reflects. In prison, Wallace has become a scholar of philosophy, language and religious study. Anne Ryder: What have your learned about yourself?
Wallace: I've learned that I don't want to hurt anybody. I don't want to be superior to anyone. I don't want to do any evil to anyone. There are two forces in life. On one hand you have love and hope and on the other hand you have fear and mistrust. Love and hope-they take chances. Love is brave. It wants to see people redeemed. So if you believe in a loving god and a hateful adversary, which one of those belongs to whom?
Ted Harrington the brother-in-law of the victims says "He's a mass murderer and he needs to be remembered that way." The Harrington's say Wallace never gave their relatives a second chance. Diana: There's only one person who will be able to judge him. People in Evansville say this man is a con man, a manipulator, he has no conscnience. Wallace: That's convenient. They're getting ready to kill me so it would be better if that were the case but as for being a con man-to what end. What do I gain at this point.
As I leave this world, to anyone I've hurt, I am sorry for what pain I caused you. This is sincere. Its absolute. Wallace was in trouble early a kid without a rudder passed among his relatives acting out by age 10. Wallace: If would have only once turned around and looked at the future and saw how wide it was then my life would have been completely different. Anner Ryder: Were you a Monster?
Wallace:No I became something pretty bad. I was scared to death and fear is such a powerful thing. It can make you cringe and paralyze you but if you really go with it it becomes like a war engine. It makes you really dangerous.
He cloaked himself in a tough guy mantra during a stint in prison at age 17. Wallace: Don't think don't try to talk your way out of it, strike hard, strike fast and don't stop till you win or youre dead. That's the condition you find me in January 14th 1980 with this deadliness full of drugs. The result was probably inevitable. He says he's concerned about kids who are like he was. Wallace: Even if just one person turns away from what happened to me-good. Anne Ryder: Do you believe in hell and if not hell where does atonement come in?
Wallace: I just know I've done everything I can here and now to try to atone for what I did and become a better human being. And whatever befalls me the other side. I leave that to God. Kathleen Wallace Mason, his half sister says, " I'm just gonna miss him so much." His half sister Kathleen knows the burden of growing up Wallace in Evansville. Kathleen Wallace: There goes the murderer's sister. I will always love him. I always have and I always will and I don't care what anyone else things of him.
Donald Ray Wallace: That's one of the curious things about the death penalty. When the state kills me you're doubling the amount of misery.
Anne Ryder: Have you thought about what you're going to say?
Wallace: Yeah I think that's part of why I'm doing this interview too so I can get all the saying out of the way and just leave time for the dying.
But Wallace says he dies with a reverence for what he truly stole that january night 25 years ago.
Wallace: Life is an incomprehensibly wonderful gift. No matter what happens. No matter how bad things seem, is it not good to be alive? And isn't every moment as good as a brand new beginning if you want it to be?
Wallace after availing himself of 23 years of appeals is not seeking clemency. He is schedule to die at 12:01 a-m next Thursday.
Asked whether he deserves to die--he said--I leave that to God.
The Harringtons will spend that evening at a prayer service for the victims in Evansville.
Sunday, March 6, 2005 - After nearly 25 years of public silence, the father of convicted killer Donald Ray Wallace Jr. contacted the Evansville Courier & Press, wanting to express his thoughts about the pending execution of his son. Here is a copy of the letter written by Donald Ray Wallace Sr., to Courier & Press reporter Maureen Hayden.
I have wanted to write you for some time, and now that I'm sitting in front of my computer I don't know where to start. I have so many emotions running through me that it's unbelievable.
I have had many of my friends say to me that they can't imagine what I'm going through. I tell them, —Just picture in your mind that the state is going to kill one of your children this week and that's about as close as you will ever come to knowing how I feel.“
If it were not for God, my church family and friends I would have succumbed to this tragedy long ago. There is no one on this earth who feels more compassion for the Gilligan family than I and my family. What my son did was a horrible crime, but my son is my son and I love him like any parent would love their child. I know what people would say to that: —It wasn't your family he murdered. You don't know what the Gilligan family went through.“
Well, let me fill you in on a few things. In 1989, there was a young mother, her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year old-son murdered in Mount Vernon, Ind. That young mother was my niece. She and the babies spent a lot of time at our home. Those babies had to watch their mother being raped and stabbed to death. The house was then set on fire, when the firemen came inside they found my niece, Stacy, laying on the floor with her son Jordan's head laying on her shoulder. He died from smoke inhalation. Her daughter Tea was lying on her bed, her little 3-year-old body was burned beyond recognition. The fire was started under her bed.
Yes, I know what the Gilligan family has gone through. The Harringtons think they will find closure with my son‘s death but they won't. All they will find is that another life was taken needlessly.
I know there are many people in the Evansville area who can't wait to see Don executed and his soul burn in hell. Well, sorry folks, Don gave his life over to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has asked God's forgiveness and received it. My Bible says that God is faithful and just to forgive sin when asked for with humility.
I have never seen Don more at peace than he is right now. He knows that when the state kills him, he will reside in the house of the Lord forever, praise God.
Christians will understand what I just said. People with hate in their heart will not. You see, while half of the community was wanting to see him executed the other half was praying for his soul. I guess we'll have to call it a draw.
He will be executed, but prayer saved his soul from the eternal damnation of hell. Christians don't condone what he did but they prayed for his soul, that's what Christian' do. You see, you can't hate someone you‘re praying for.
My son and two daughters decided that I should not attend the execution. They didn't think I could stand to watch my son die. I agreed with them, I don't think I could watch it either. I can't even imagine in my wildest imagination why so many people want to watch my son die. That's the last thing in the world I would want to do, is to watch another human die. All these people are as sick as the ones committing the crimes.
Sincerely, Donald Ray Wallace, Sr.
"Wallace 'at peace' awaiting death," by Maureen Hayden. (February 9, 2005)
With 30 days to go until the eve of his execution, death row inmate Donald Ray Wallace Jr. has told state prison officials he's "at peace" with his coming death.
Prison officials began meeting with Wallace, 47, this week to start planning the logistics of how he'll spend the final weeks, days and hours of his life, scheduled to end shortly after midnight on March 10. "He says he's more at peace with himself than ever before,'' said Barry Nothstine, a spokesman for the Indiana State Prison, where Wallace was recently transported. "He says he's ready."
The Indiana State Prison, in Michigan City, houses the death chamber. Wallace was sentenced to death 23 years ago for the 1980 murders of Theresa and Patrick Gilligan and their two children, Lisa, 5, and Gregory, 4. Until his appeals ran out last month, he'd kept death at bay.
Since 2003, Wallace and the state's 23 other death row inmates have been housed at the nearby Maximum Control Facility in Westville, while the Michigan City death row housing undergoes a $4.5 million renovation. Wallace was recently transported back to Michigan City, alone, after the Indiana Supreme Court set his execution date early last week.
Wallace now lives in a single-person cell, about 15 feet by 9 feet, isolated from the prison's general population. A prison counselor visits him daily, a guard stands outside his cell 24 hours a day and prison officials, including Nothstine, have begun near-daily visits to work out the logistics of Wallace's last days. Among the tasks Wallace must complete in coming days is the selection of up to 10 people who will witness his execution, and a list of family and friends who may visit him daily up until the day before his scheduled execution. The names of the witnesses and visitors will remain confidential, Nothstine said. Wallace may also select a spiritual adviser to be with him in his final hours, and may plan the menu of his choice for his last "special meal" that will be served March 8, shared with up to 10 people and paid for by taxpayers. He can select food from one of four restaurants near the prison; the only thing banned from the meal is alcohol.
In 1995, Indiana moved from a "last meal" to a "special meal," served two days before the execution. Offenders had told prison officials they weren't hungry in the 24 hours before their death, and some health officials also raised concerns about allowing prisoners to eat heavy meals just hours before their executions, because it could increase the chance the condemned could choke or gag when the first of three chemicals, sodium pentathol, an anesthetic agent, is injected. Wallace also has been bombarded with media requests in recent weeks, and may grant interviews up until seven days before his execution, Nothstine said.
Wallace v. State, 486 N.E.2d 445 (Ind. December 6, 1985)
Defendant was convicted before the Vigo Circuit Court, Hugh D. McQuillan, J., of four counts of murder and was sentenced to death, and defendant appealed. The Supreme Court, Pivarnik, J., held that: (1) although defendant, initially found not competent to stand trial, was restrained under procedures for involuntary civil commitment the court had authority to institute fourth competency hearing on motion of the State; (2) evidence of uncharged offenses did not mandate mistrial; (3) alleged discovery violation by the State was not prejudicial; (4) one victim's mother was not a "victim" for purpose of victim statement requirement of presentence report; and (5) death penalty was not arbitrarily or capriciously applied. Affirmed and remanded. DeBruler, J., concurs in result and dissents with separate opinion, in which Prentice, J., concurs.
Defendant-Appellant Donald Ray Wallace, Jr., was found guilty by a jury in the Vigo Circuit Court of four Counts of Murder. The death penalty was sought on grounds that the killings were knowingly done in commission of a burglary and that Defendant had killed more than one person. The jury found Defendant guilty and recommended the death penalty in all four cases. The trial court judge subsequently agreed with the findings of the jury and sentenced Defendant to death. Nine issues are presented for our consideration in this Direct Appeal as follows:
1. Rulings by the trial court in regard to Defendant's competency to stand trial; 2. Denial of motion for change of venue from the judge; 3. Permitting a state witness to testify when that witness was incompetent; 4. Denial of motions for mistrial following references in the testimony to Defendant's past criminal record; 5. Alleged improper search and seizure of items from automobile driven by Defendant; 6. Denial of Defendant's request to have certain questions asked of police officer witnesses; 7. Alleged improper testimony of rebuttal witness; 8. Error in presentence report; 9. Constitutional infirmity of Indiana's Death Penalty Statute.
The facts tend to show that on January 14, 1980, Indiana State Trooper, Thomas Snyder, was called to the home of Ralph Hendricks which had been reported burglarized. In connection with the investigation, Trooper Snyder went to the Gilligans' house, next to Hendricks' house, to inquire whether the residents therein might have seen or heard anything unusual. The window to the Gilligans' back door was broken. Snyder checked inside the house and discovered four dead bodies in the family room. They were Patrick and Teresa Gilligan and their two children, ages four and five. Mrs. Gilligan had her hands tied behind her, and the two children were tied together. Coroner, David Wilson, M.D., testified that the cause of all four deaths, as listed on the inquests, was brain damage from gunshot wounds.
The evidence also showed that Defendant Donald Ray Wallace, Jr., was seen driving a blue Plymouth automobile on the night in question. This automobile belonged to Richard Milligan. Milligan and Milligan's girlfriend, Debbie Durham, were known to have committed several prior burglaries using this same automobile. However, Richard Milligan was in jail on burglary charges this particular night. Witnesses recalled seeing this automobile in the neighborhood about the time the murders occurred. Donna Madison was at the home of her sister, Debbie Durham, the night in question. Earlier that evening she witnessed Wallace driving the blue Plymouth. Between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Wallace returned to Debbie's home, and Donna heard him ask for matches. He found a cigarette lighter, and Donna saw him in the backyard burning the jacket he had been carrying over his shoulder upon arrival. Neighbor Sherry Grayson saw a fire at the same time and saw a man with shoulder length hair, which was characteristic of Wallace, standing by it. Officer John Crosser recovered the remains of the jacket and other items found on the ground. Among these items were a set of wedding rings without stones in them and some fragments of glass. State Police Specialist Oliver examined the glass and found the pieces fit into a pattern matching the hole in Gilligans' window. On the evening in question, Defendant Wallace and Debbie Durham had Carl Durham take pictures of them with many of the items taken from the Gilligan and Hendrick residences. The pictures, also showing money and pistols connected with these burglaries, were admitted into evidence.
Debbie Durham gave Serologist William Kune the blue jeans worn by Wallace the night of the crime, upon which Kune found type AB human blood. Wallace had blood type O, but Mrs. Gilligan and one of the children had blood type AB. Kune also found type B blood on a brown cotton glove, identified as one of a set Wallace wore while burglarizing homes. Mr. Gilligan had type B blood.
William Madison, brother of Debbie and Donna, came to Debbie Durham's home the evening in question and saw the Defendant come in. Defendant, wearing a gun in a holster, showed William Madison a briefcase with a couple of guns in it. Defendant also had in his possession a CB, a police scanner, and some rings. That same night Defendant attempted to sell to Randy Rhinehart some guns, a CB, and a scanner. Several witnesses testified that Debbie Durham displayed to them pieces of jewelry, which were later traced to the Gilligans. Debbie gave one of the rings to Officer O'Risky. It was identified by Dorothy Sahm, Teresa Gilligan's mother, as belonging to Teresa. A jeweler that had sized the ring and kept pictures of it also identified it as belonging to Teresa. There was a great deal of property in addition to that recited above which was found in Wallace's and *450 Durham's possession and which was traced to the Gilligans. Much of the property recovered that night was also traced to the Hendricks' residence. Entry was gained in both of the homes by putting tape on the window and then breaking it in, in a manner that reduced the sound of breaking glass. Wallace and Milligan were known to gain entry for purposes of burglary in this manner.
Friends of Defendant, Mark Boyles and Anita Hoeche, testified they received a phone call on January 15th from Defendant who said he was in trouble and in need of a ride. While riding in the car, Defendant told them he had gotten too greedy the night before. He said he had broken into one house and never should have gone to the next house because he got caught there. He told them after he got caught a man in the house was giving him trouble, and he had to tie up the entire family. He said the little girl was crying and screaming, and it was bothering him. He felt he could not let the children grow up with the trauma of not having parents, and he did not "want to see the kids went [sic] through the tragedy of seeing their parents being killed," so he killed them also. (Record at 5083.) He said the woman was screaming, and he had to shut her up. Later that night Defendant, while hiding in the attic of Hoeche's house, was arrested.
Wallace's statements coincided with those given by Debbie Durham. Debbie Durham testified that when Wallace visited her on January 14th, around 9:30 p.m., he immediately took his clothes off and gave them to her so he could change. On his blue jeans there was a piece of fleshy-whitish-red matter. Debbie asked what it was, and Wallace stated it had to be a piece of brain because he had shot the residents, who had caught him, in the head. He told her a man had come in from the garage and surprised him. They struggled, and Wallace made him bring in the rest of the family. He said he tied up the man, made the woman tie up the children, and then Wallace tied her up. He shot the man in the head after possibly breaking the man's neck in the struggle. He said he then shot the woman twice. The children were crying for the mother, so he shot each one of them once. He said he shot the adults because they could identify him.
Defendant raises several issues concerning his mental competency to stand trial. Four hearings were held before the trial judge found Defendant was competent to understand the proceedings and assist his counsel in his defense. Defendant claims the trial judge's finding was error. The first hearing was instituted by the trial judge during a pretrial motion because the judge detected in Defendant's demeanor reasonable grounds to believe that he lacked competency to proceed. The court notified the parties of his concern and then appointed two psychiatrists, Dr. Larry Davis and Dr. John Kooiker, to examine Defendant. Their subsequent reports stated their opinions that Defendant was incompetent to proceed with trial because he was suffering from acute paranoid schizophrenia.
At a hearing held in May, 1980, the doctors described elaborate delusions expressed by Defendant of plots against him. He had told the doctors about his belief that the CIA and Masons were attempting to place him before a firing squad to prevent his release of secret matters, including information on the Iranian hostage situation. He expressed concern about others plotting against him, including his attorney and court personnel. He imagined radio-listening devices were planted in his cell and in the room where the psychiatrists interviewed him. He expressed suspicion of the psychiatrists and of all those with whom he came in contact. The appointed doctors concluded Defendant was unable to assist counsel at the time or to participate in and understand the trial proceedings. Each stated Defendant's apparent condition would be very difficult to feign. The State's two witnesses, Defendant's cellmate and a member of the Sheriff's department, testified Defendant displayed these *451 mannerisms only at selective times, the implication being Defendant was feigning the psychosis. After taking the matter under advisement, the judge found, in a May, 1980 Order, that Defendant was incompetent to stand trial. In that Order the judge stated that despite evidence to the contrary, his decision was based on an overwhelming evidence of incompetency given by the doctors.
Later, pursuant to Ind.Code § 35-36-3-3 (Burns Repl.1985), the Superintendent of Logansport State Hospital certified to the court that Defendant had now attained competency to stand trial. His certification was based upon a Dr. Matheu's opinion. However, the hearing scheduled pursuant to this certification was continued when Drs. Davis and Kooiker opined that Defendant needed further evaluation and treatment. After several ensuing months of treatment with Thorazine, Dr. Kooiker reported that Defendant had become oriented with time, place, and person. Both psychiatrists considered Defendant competent at this point to stand trial.
However, at the second hearing Defendant appeared too heavily sedated from the medication. The psychiatrists testified that Defendant's dosage of psychotic medication could be modified such that he would maintain competency, but not experience the sedative side-effects. Over Defendant's objection, the court ruled that Defendant's competency depended upon an adjustment in his medication, and ordered Defendant back to Wishard Hospital for further treatment. However, by the next and third hearing on January 16, 1981, Drs. Kooiker, Davis, and Moore opined Defendant was incompetent to proceed with trial. All three psychiatrists testified Defendant was again suffering from symptoms of schizophrenia and that the suggested modified treatment from the previous hearing had failed. One of the psychiatrists characterized Defendant as a chronic liar, but the general consensus of the doctors was that Defendant was not feigning the psychosis. Dr. Moore testified that if Defendant was faking, he was "one of the best damn actors he had ever seen." (Record at 114.) Once again, the court found Defendant incompetent to stand trial and ordered him committed under Ind.Code § 16-14-9.1-10 (Burns Repl.1983).
Seven months later, in February, 1982, the State moved for another competency hearing, informing the court it could produce evidence that Defendant had been faking his psychosis. The court indicated he would hold another hearing, stating he had suspected Defendant had been feigning his mental illness. On June 16, 1982, over Defendant's objection, another competency hearing was held.
The State produced at the hearing several witnesses and documentary evidence purporting to show Defendant feigned his mental illness from the beginning. More specifically, the State introduced letters Defendant had written to Debbie, his girlfriend, during the time between his arrest and the first pretrial court appearance at which his competency was put in issue. These letters indicated a full understanding of what he was doing and were intended to show he purposefully feigned incompetency to delay his trial and frustrate the State's attempt to have him sentenced to death. In the letters he discusses Debbie's loyalty to him, their sex lives, and his feelings toward his attorney. He wrote he had a higher I.Q. than his attorney and so was planning to hire an attorney from San Francisco with the assistance of his uncle. His uncle would furnish the money for an attorney with the reputation for gaining acquittals for persons charged with murder. He said he was studying from materials furnished to him by a friend who was a professor from a local law school. His studies concentrated on suppression of evidence and the art of cross-examination. He indicated he was becoming very well informed on these subjects so that he would be in a position to attack the State in court and frustrate their case. Defendant also told Debbie, who was in jail on a burglary charge herself, that she would not have to worry if she went to the Women's Prison because he had connections in the prison that would get her special consideration.
He expressed in the letters a knowledge of the legal system and the procedures he was facing and would face in his desire to undermine the system. Notably, no reference is made to the delusions which convinced his psychiatrist of his incompetency except in the last letter written just before the first pre-trial hearing. This letter was written in his psychotic style, referring to the secret service and Masons being after him. The trial judge suspected it was written in preparation for the upcoming hearing and fit into Defendant's plan to launch his incompetency plan.
A former jailmate of Defendant testified that sometime in February or March, 1980, Defendant told him he was using the Masons story to get out of going to trial and stated Defendant would act psychotic only when non-prisoners were present. Two jailmates from Vigo County, Lofston and St. John testified that during 1980 Defendant would act perfectly normal unless the doctors were around. Defendant told him he was fooling the psychiatrist by telling them he was collaberating with the Germans. Lofston testified that sometimes the Defendant would give his medication to Lofston and other inmates, which would make them drowsy. St. John testified Defendant told him he was pretending to be crazy to evade trial. Defendant told St. John he saved up his medication for a hearing so he would be extremely drowsy in the courtroom.
Several of the staff members from Logansport State Hospital, where Defendant had been for most of the preceding two years, testified in the same manner. Robert Cosgray testified that when Defendant first came to the hospital he acted psychotic but shortly thereafter admitted to Cosgray that he was feigning his mental illness. Defendant later denied this statement and told Cosgray that it was Cosgray's word against his. He said he would rather spend his life in the hospital than go to the electric chair. William Hardesty testified Defendant exhibited his psychosis early in 1980, but later Defendant told Hardesty that he liked to "beat people at their own game." (Record at 1770.) Further, Defendant told Hardesty that the longer he drags this out the less chance the State had of convicting him. (Record at 1770.) Others at Logansport, James Campbell, Deborah Illes, Wilma McLaughlin, Richard Younce, and William Conn, each testified that during the two years of Defendant's hospitalization they saw Defendant's alleged psychotic delusions manifested very rarely. He appeared to have psychotic delusions perhaps once or twice, and then only when Dr. Keating was present or about to enter the room. Several of the staff members stated that Defendant gave them a contrasting impression; he was a sharp pool and card player.
There were also letters introduced into evidence from Defendant's friend, Cathy Kellams. He had written her from September, 1980 to March, 1981. The letters reveal no psychotic symptoms and include only a discussion of an upcoming hearing on "this insanity shit." (Record at 1677.) Kellams testified that she also received one letter from Defendant in which he threatened her if she testified against him, but she stated she did not have the letter and could not produce it. After hearing all of this evidence, the trial court concluded that Defendant was faking his psychosis and that he was in fact competent to stand trial. Defendant later asked the trial court to order that all of his medication be withdrawn from him, but the trial court found this to be a medical matter and denied the motion.
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This Court must now decide whether the death penalty is appropriate considering the nature of this offense and the character of the offender. At the commencement of the sentencing hearing the court recited for the jury the possible aggravating and mitigating factors. Following trial, the jury recommended the death penalty.
The court then found that the State had proved beyond a reasonable doubt the aggravating factors provided for in Ind.Code § 35-50-2-9 (Burns Repl.1985), that each of the murders was committed during the perpetration of a burglary, and that Defendant had murdered more than once. Although the court did not list each possible mitigating factor and dispose of it, he found that there were absolutely no mitigating factors to be weighed against the aggravating ones. The trial court's findings are amply supported by the record. As to its finding that no mitigating factors existed, the presentence report as well as the evidence at trial showed Defendant had a significant criminal history. Although evidence was adduced at sentencing that Defendant suffered from an insecure and loveless childhood, there was no evidence that he suffered from extreme mental disturbance. The evidence was clear that the four victims in no way participated in or consented to Defendant's conduct. Although Defendant attempted to show that an accomplice committed the murders while he was committing a burglary in a neighboring house, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. There was substantial evidence that Defendant committed these acts without the aid of anyone else and that he was not under someone else's domination. *464 All circumstances further showed that Defendant appreciated the wrongfulness of his act, demonstrated by his detailing the deed to many others, his expressions that he was clever enough to and had "beat the system," and his having his picture taken with items from the Gilligan and Hendricks homes for the purpose of sending them to his friends in prison. He not only appreciated the wrongfulness of his acts but showed no remorse and, furthermore, considered his acts creditable accomplishments. There is overwhelming evidence here sufficient to convict this defendant of these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt and to prove the aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt. No reasonable person could find that the death penalty in this case was arbitrarily or capriciously applied or that it is unreasonable or inappropriate. We therefore affirm the trial court in all things, including the imposition of the death penalty. This cause is remanded to the trial court for the purpose of setting a date for the death penalty to be carried out. GIVAN, C.J., and SHEPARD, J., concur.
DeBRULER, J., concurs in result and dissents with separate opinion in which PRENTICE, J., concurs.
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Wallace v. State, 553 N.E.2d 456 (Ind. 1990)
Defendant, previously convicted of four counts of murder, appealed from an order of the Vigo County Circuit Court, Robert Howard Brown, J., which denied postconviction relief. The Supreme Court, Pivarnik, J., held that: (1) postconviction judge did not abuse his discretion in allowing hybrid representation at defendant's insistence; (2) court did not abuse its discretion in denying appointment of social psychologist to determine whether informing jurors of their advisory role in death penalty sentencing scheme was likely to diminish their sense of responsibility for penalty recommendation; (3) court's refusal to qualify attorney as expert on subject of ineffective assistance of counsel in capital cases did not prejudice defendant; (4) jury instructions were not improper; and (5) defendant was not denied effective assistance of counsel. Affirmed. DeBruler, J., concurred in part and dissented in part, and filed opinion in which Dickson, J., concurred.
Wallace v. State, 640 N.E.2d 374 (Ind. 1994)
After petitioner's murder conviction was affirmed on direct appeal, 486 N.E.2d 445, and denial of first petition for postconviction relief was affirmed, 553 N.E.2d 456, petitioner sought postconviction relief for a second time. The Vigo Circuit Court, Dexter L. Bolin, Jr., J., denied petition, and petitioner appealed. The Supreme Court, Givan, J., held that: (1) all matters except competency of postconviction counsel were adjudicated in direct appeal or during proceedings on first petition, and (2) counsel was not ineffective. Affirmed. DeBruler and Sullivan, JJ., concurred in result and filed separate opinions.
Wallace v. Davis, 362 F.3d 914 (7th Cir. March 26, 2004). (Habeas)
Background: After defendants' state convictions for murder and imposition of the death sentence were affirmed on appeal, 486 N.E.2d 445, and defendant's bids for collateral relief were rejected by state court, 553 N.E.2d 456, 640 N.E.2d 374, defendant petitioned for federal writ of habeas corpus. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 2002 WL 31572002,, J., denied petition, and defendant appealed.
Holdings: The Court of Appeals, Easterbrook, Circuit Judge, held that:
(1) sentencing court's listing of defendant's prior arrests and convictions in the court's written explanation for imposing the death sentence was not error, and
(2) counsel's alleged failure to present more mitigating evidence at defendant's sentencing did not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel. Affirmed. Williams, Circuit Judge, concurred and filed opinion.
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The written explanation for the sentence does mention criminal history but clearly separates this from the aggravating factors. The judge made thirteen numbered findings. Five are pertinent, and we reproduce them:
2. The aggravating circumstances alleged were: A. That the Defendant committed the murder of each victim by intentionally killing the victims while committing or attempting to commit Burglary. (I.C.35-50-2-9(b)(1). [The statutory references in the sentencing judge's findings are to the 1979 version of Indiana's Code, which was in effect at the time of his murders.]
B. That the Defendant committed three other murders, regardless of whether or not the Defendant had been convicted of the other murders, in three instances in each count. (I.C.35-50-2-9(b)(8)).
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8. The Court finds that the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that two aggravating circumstances exist that warrant the imposition of the death penalty:
A. That the Defendant, Donald Ray Wallace, Jr., murdered Patrick Gilligan, Theresa Gilligan, Lisa Gilligan and Gregory Gilligan while committing the crime of Burglary on the 14th day of January, 1980, in Vanderburgh County, State of Indiana. (I.C.35-50-2-9(b)(1)).
B. That the Defendant, Donald Ray Wallace, Jr., murdered Patrick Gilligan, and then murdered Theresa Gilligan, Lisa Gilligan and Gregory Gilligan; that the Defendant, Donald Ray Wallace, Jr., murdered, in order, after the murder of Patrick Gilligan, Theresa Gilligan, Lisa Gilligan and Gregory Gilligan. (I.C.35-50-2-9(b)(8)).
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10. That the aggravating circumstances set forth in paragraph eight above outweigh any mitigating circumstances offered under I.C. 35-50-2-9(c)(7).
11. The Court has considered the Jury's recommendation to impose the death penalty, and bases the sentence here given on the same standard as required of the Jury, that being that:
A. The State has presented beyond a reasonable doubt that two of the aggravating circumstances exist with the murders of Patrick Gilligan, Theresa Gilligan, Lisa Gilligan and Gregory Gilligan within I.C. 35-50-2-9(b)(1) , and I.C. 35-50-2-9(b)(8) all as set forth in paragraph eight; and
B. That any mitigating circumstances that exist within I.C. 35-50-2- 9(c)(7) are out-weighed by the aggravating circumstances;
12. In addition to the requirements of I.C. 35-50-2-9, this Court further finds: A. That Donald Ray Wallace, Jr. has recently violated the conditions of parole [by killing the Gilligan family while on parole from a prior sentence] .... B. That Donald Ray Wallace, Jr. had a long history of serious criminal conduct [list with 26 entries follows].
It is hard to see how the judge could have been clearer.
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