STEVENS, CHRISTOPHER M. # 81
ON DEATH ROW SINCE 03-14-95
DOB: 09/2/1972 DOC#: 952131 White Male
Tippecanoe County Superior Court
George J. Heid
Venued from Putnam County
Prosecutor: Robert Lowe,
Anne M. Flannelly, Delbert Brewer
Defense: Robert V.
Clutter, Jeffrey A. Baldwin
Date of Murder: July 15,
Snider W/M/10 (Neighbor of Stevens)
Method of Murder:
Summary: Stevens was convicted of Child Molesting
in Marion County in February 1993 and received a 4 year
sentence with 3 years suspended and probated. His
probation was transferred to Cloverdale, where he
returned to live with his father. Apparently, none of his
new neighbors were aware of his criminal past. Zachary
Snider, age 10, lived in the same subdivision and was
often seen in the company of the 20 year old Stevens.
Stevens attended and videotaped one of Zachary's little
league baseball games. Zachary's father eventually warned
Stevens to stay away from his son when he learned that
Stevens had taken the boy fishing. A month later, Zachary
turned up missing one afternoon. He was last seen at a
young friend's home, who was told by Zachary that he was
going to Stevens' home. In the midst of a massive local
search for Zachary, Stevens' brother reported to police
that Stevens had confessed to him that he murdered
Zachary. He then directed police to a remote location
near a bridge, where Zachary's body and bicycle were
recovered. Stevens was arrested and gave a complete
confession. He claimed that he had been having sex with
Zachary for 2 or 3 months. When Zachary came over to his
house, they performed oral sex in Stevens' room. Zachary
threatened to tell his parents about having sex and
Stevens decided he did not want to go through what he
went through in Marion County. Stevens smothered Zachary
with a pillow, then strangled him with an electrical cord
around his neck. When Zachary continued to gasp, Stevens
got a plastic garbage bag and wrapped it over his head.
He then put Zachary and his bicycle in the car, drove to
a bridge in a remote area, and threw them both over. He
returned the next morning, fearing that police would
connect him to the trash bag, removed it from Zachary's
head, and threw it out along the highway on the way home.
A similar bag was recovered by police in the area
described by Stevens. Stevens later admitted to
psychologists that he had molested 25-30 children, and
had ejaculated on Zachary when he killed him. The
psychologists concluded that he was a benign pedophile
and was a serious danger to society. (This case later
resulted in Zachary's Law, IC 5-2-12, establishing Sex
Sentencing: March 14,
1995 (Death Sentence)
b (1) Child Molesting, Victim less than 12, On Probation
confession to Police, 20 years old at murder, parents
divorced when he was a child, father jailed for molesting
his stepsister, mother jailed for drug dealing, mental
Health treatment for depression in 1992, average
intelligence with good insight, manipulative, shallow,
poor impulse control
Stevens v. State, 691 N.E.2d 412 (Ind. December 31, 1997)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 5-0
Shepard Opinion; Dickson, Sullivan, Selby, Boehm concur.
Stevens v. Indiana, 119 S.Ct. 550 (1998) (Cert. denied).
PCR Petition filed 12-01-98. PCR denied 09-14-99 by Tippecanoe County Superior Court Judge George J. Heid.
Stevens v. State, 770 N.E.2d 739 (Ind. June 26, 2002).
(Appeal of PCR denial) Conviction and Sentence Affirmed 5-0.
Dickson Opinion; Shepard, Sullivan, Boehm, Rucker concur.
Stevens v. Indiana, 124 S.Ct. 69 (2003) (Cert. denied).
01-17-03 Notice of Intent to File Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus; Motion for Stay
11-03-88 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana.
Christopher M. Stevens v. Daniel McBride, Superintendent (4:03-CV-00005-AS)
Judge Allen Sharp
For Defendant: Alan Rossman, Cleveland, OH, Kathy Lea Stinton-Glen, Zionsville, IN
For State: Stephen R. Creason, Deputy Attorney General (S. Carter)
01-13-05 Writ of Habeas Corpus denied.
Stevens v. McBride, ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (N.D. Ind. January 13, 2005)
U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp, Northern District of Indiana, denied the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, rejecting claims of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel.
AWAITING DECISION ON APPEAL TO THE 7TH CIRCUIT U.S. COURT OF APPEALS.
Panel: Judge Kenneth F. Ripple, Judge Daniel A. Manion, Judge Diane P. Wood. (05-1442)
BRIEFS FILED AND ORAL ARGUMENTS HEARD ON 02-07-06.
As of July 1, 2006