Indiana Death Row



DOB: 12-22-1960 DOC#: 13147 White Male

Brown County Circuit Court
Judge Samuel R. Rosen

Venued from Vanderburgh County

Prosecutor: Jerry A. Atkinson

Defense: Michael C. Keating

Date of Murder: February 5, 1981

Victim(s): Laura Luebbehusen W/F/28 (Schiro worked in neighborhood)

Method of Murder: manual strangulation

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 the jury.

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).

Conviction: Felony-Murder (Murder verdict left blank by jury)

Sentencing: October 2, 1981 (Death Sentence)
Judge Overrides Jury Recommendation against Death Sentence

Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Rape

Mitigating Circumstances:
20 years old at the time of the murder, sick, rejected, tormented, victim of forced beyond his control

Direct Appeal:
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) (Cert. denied)

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 M. Dixon)
Affirmed 3-1 Givan Opinion; Prentice, Pivarnik concur; Debruler dissents (Hunter did not participate)
Schiro v. Indiana, 106 S. Ct. 1247 (1986) (Cert. denied)

Schiro v. State, 533 N.E.2d 1201 (Ind. 1989)
(Appeal of 2nd PCR denial by Special Judge John Baker)
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. 1992)
(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 dissent
(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

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