SCHIRO, THOMAS N. # 12
OFF DEATH ROW SINCE 08-07-96
DOB: 12-22-1960 DOC#: 13147 White Male
Brown County Circuit Court
Venued from Vanderburgh County
Defense: Michael C. Keating
Date of Murder: February
Luebbehusen W/F/28 (Schiro worked in neighborhood)
Method of Murder: manual
Summary: Schiro was an inmate at a halfway house
in Evansville for those about to be released from prison.
Schiro was serving a 3 year suspended sentence for
Robbery (C Felony). Schiro went to the home of Laura
Luebbehausen and gained entrance on the pretext that he
had car trouble and needed to use the telephone. Once
inside Schiro used the bathroom with permission, exposed
himself, and assured Luebbehausen that she need not fear
because he was "gay." During the conversation,
Luebbehausen revealed that she had been sexually abused
as a child and was a lesbian. Over the next few hours,
Luebbehausen would be raped repeatedly. Schiro then took
her to get more liquor and upon return raped her a third
time then passed out. When Schiro awoke, he found
Luebbehausen headed out the door. He dragged her to the
bedroom. When he thought she was asleep, he beat her with
a vodka bottle, then an iron, then strangled her to
death. He then dragged her body into another room and
sexually assaulted the corpse. He straightened up the
house before leaving. Leubbehausen's car was found
abandoned near the Halfway House two days later. Schiro
received the assistance of Halfway house employees in
falsifying documents showing his whereabouts, but later
confessed to a counselor, and to his girlfriend who he
visited just after the murder.
An insanity defense
was presented at trial. No less than 5 experts testified
at trial, None of which gave an opinion that Schiro was
insane at the time of the crime. The jury returned a
verdict against a Death Sentence after less than 1 hour
deliberations. Judge Samuel L. Rosen sentenced Schiro to
death anyway, noting that Schiro had constantly rocked
back and forth throughout the trial, but only in front of
Trial: Information/PC for Murder filed (02-10-81); Amended Information for DP filed (04-09-81); Venued to Brown County (04-21-81); Voir Dire (09-02-81, 09-03-81); Jury Trial 09-03-81, 09-04-81, 09-08-81, 09-09-81, 09-10-81, 09-11-81, 09-12-81); Deliberations 5 hours; Verdict (09-12-81); DP Trial (09-15-81); Deliberations 1 hour, 1 minute; Verdict (09-15-81); Court Sentencing (10-02-81).
Felony-Murder (Murder verdict left blank by jury)
Sentencing: October 2,
1981 (Death Sentence)
Judge Overrides Jury Recommendation
against Death Sentence
b (1) Rape
20 years old at the time of the murder, sick, rejected,
tormented, victim of forced beyond his control
Schiro v. State, 451 N.E.2d 1047 (Ind. August 5, 1983)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 3-2
Pivarnik Opinion; Givan, Hunter concur; Debruler, Prentice dissent.
Schiro v. Indiana, 104 S. Ct. 510 (1983)
PCR Petition filed 10-18-82. PCR denied 05-29-84 by Special Judge James M. Dixon.
Schiro v. State, 479 N.E.2d 556
(Ind. 1985) (Appeal of PCR denial by Special Judge James
Affirmed 3-1 Givan Opinion; Prentice, Pivarnik
concur; Debruler dissents (Hunter did not participate)
Schiro v. Indiana, 106 S. Ct. 1247 (1986)
Schiro v. State, 533 N.E.2d 1201 (Ind.
(Appeal of 2nd PCR denial by Special Judge John
Affirmed 3-2 Pivarnik Opinion; Shepard, Givan
concur; Debruler, Dickson dissent.
Schiro v. Indiana, 110 S. Ct. 268 (1989)
(Cert. denied) (Marshall, Brennan, Stevens dissent)
Schiro v. State, 669 N.E.2d 1357 (Ind.
1996) (Appeal of 3d PCR denial by Judge Heather M. Mollo)
Reversed 4-1 (Death Sentence vacated and
remanded to impose 60 year term of imprisonment)
Debruler Opinion; Dickson, Sullivan, Selby concur; Shepard dissents;
Schiro v. Clark, 754 F.Supp. 646 (N.D.Ind. 1990) (Petition for Habeas Writ; Writ Denied by U.S. District Court Judge Allen Sharp)
Schiro v. Clark, 963 F.2d 962 (7th Cir.
(Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, Judge Harlington Wood, Jr., Judge Walter Cummings - Afirmed)
Schiro v. Farley, 114 S. Ct. 783 (1994)
Affirmed 7-2; O'Connor Opinion; Blackmun, Stevens
(First U.S. Supreme Court Opinion of a
post-Furman Indiana death penalty case)
Scheduled to be released in 2007, Schiro was charged on May 23, 2005 in Vanderburgh County with two counts of Rape, based upon sexual assaults committed in 1980. Jury Trial is scheduled for August 28, 2006 in Clark County after a Change of Venue.
As of July 1, 2006