Tennessee Executes Stephen West for 1986 Rape and Murders

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Tennessee Executes Stephen West for 1986 Rape and Murders

West maintained that whereas he raped the 15-300 and sixty 5 days-mature sufferer, his confederate killed the women folks


Aug 15, 2019 7 PM

Stephen West

Stephen West has been carried out within the electrical chair 33 years after he was once sentenced to lack of life for the 1986 murders of Wanda Romines, 51, and her 15-300 and sixty 5 days-mature daughter, Sheila, close to Knoxville. West, who suffered from extreme psychological sickness, was once additionally convicted of raping {the teenager}, and whereas he confessed to that crime he maintained that his confederate stabbed the mum and daughter to lack of life. 

The curtains opened at 7: 15 on Thursday night, revealing West, who thought to be if it would per likelihood presumably be crying, sitting within the electrical chair. Warden Tony Mays requested West if he had any final phrases. He replied by referencing scripture.

“Throughout the beginning, God created man,” mentioned West, pausing as he continued to cry. “And Jesus wept. That’s all.”

After West’s final commentary, members of the execution crew mounted a helmet to his head and positioned a masks over his face. At 7: 19, West’s physique jolted upward from the chair as a result of the precept most trendy of electrical energy was once administered. His physique returned to the chair for a subject of seconds, sooner than rising as quickly as once more with a second jolt of electrical energy.

West was once pronounced tiresome at 7: 27 p.m. 

In West’s petition for clemency, his attorneys write that then-17-300 and sixty 5 days-mature Ronnie Martin had tried so far Sheila Romines and was once humiliated when she rejected him. They’re saying Martin coerced West, who was once 23 years mature on the time, to rape Sheila sooner than Martin stabbed the women folks to lack of life. The attorneys additionally present that West was once tried first, and that his jury by no blueprint heard a tape recording of Martin admitting that he was once the one who had killed the two victims. Additionally they write that Martin threatened to salvage West and his then-pregnant spouse killed if West did not help restful concerning the crimes. Martin in a roundabout diagram pleaded responsible to 2 counts of first-level waste and is on the second serving a life sentence.  

Two of the surviving jurors from West’s trial, each of whom had on the initiating voted for the lack of life sentence, on the spot his attorneys they supported clemency in his case. Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday afternoon that he would not pause the execution.

West was once born in a psychological establishment, the place his mom had been despatched after she tried suicide whereas pregnant with him. As a youthful boy he was once abused. His aunt witnessed his mom’s violent outbursts and is quoted describing them in a court docket submitting from final 300 and sixty 5 days.

“I got here down,” she mentioned. “[West’s sister] Patty got here out to salvage some meals for Steve, and [West’s mother] began swearing at them, and he or she ran in there and supreme slung Steve up in opposition to the wall; grabbed him by his ft. There was once blood, and he began throwing up.”

Prison officers were treating West for excessive mental illness for years, giving him worthy antipsychotic tablets that one psychiatrist described in a court docket submitting as “chemical straitjackets.” In an in depth 2002 psychiatric consider, Dr. Richard Dudley writes that, in his perception, West “was once struggling from a psychological dysfunction” on the time of the killings that despatched him to lack of life row. Dudley additionally says West’s “psychological dysfunction was once of the shape that can had been related to his safety through the guilt allotment of his trial and likewise related as mitigation through the penalty allotment of his trial.” West’s psychological successfully being was once not mentioned throughout his trial. 

West’s appropriate type crew launched a commentary after the execution:

We’re deeply upset that the Declare of Tennessee has lengthy earlier ahead with the execution of an individual whom the Declare has recognized with extreme psychological sickness; an individual of deep faith who has made a apparent impression on these round him for just a few years; and a person that by overwhelming proof did not commit these murders nonetheless has alternatively taken non-public duty for his involvement in these crimes. We do not assume the choices of the courts and in a roundabout diagram the Governor coronary heart of consideration on the forgiving and merciful residents of this Declare.

Division of Correction spokesperson Dorinda Carter additionally learn a commentary from Eddie Campbell, the nephew of the late Jack Romines, husband and father to the victims. 

As for the execution of Mr. Stephen West, I am deeply sorry that any of his household needed to wade through this type of depraved abilities. I hope that he has made peace with God and has with out a doubt requested God for forgiveness for this type of surprising crime that he was once a part of. One of the worst issues about this execution of Mr. West is that Mr. Ronnie Martin was once not additionally integrated within the an identical punishment. Our household has suffered very deeply over the past 33 years through your whole appeals that we mediate is amazingly unfair for someone to want to wade through, when your whole proof on the planet was once there for the case to be over in 24 hours not to mention 33 years. I worth there are diversified households going through a pair of of the an identical feelings and punishment that my household and I salvage needed to abilities very needlessly. One factor in our Judicial machine must be accomplished to position a pause to all this pointless struggling for households of extended justice. I final want that my Uncle Jack Romines, the daddy and husband of the two members that imply essentially the most to him in his life and was once so brutally murdered on March 17, 1986, might salvage lived lengthy ample to know that the Declare of Tennessee within the waste introduced justice in part for his loss. Uncle Jack handed away with a big coronary heart assault on February 25, 2008, he was once solely 69 years mature and needed to reside alongside along with his spouse and daughter for the final 22 years of his life, nonetheless on the spot me almost every day how he ignored them. I spotted that 1 day or 22 years with out a liked one is depraved ample, nonetheless having to wade through your whole reminders of the Court docket of Appeals and not mental if justice will ever arrive or not is sweet too mighty for victims households to want to deal with. I final hope and pray that our Judicial machine in Tennessee will steal into consideration the feelings of the victims’ households which might be quiet residing on this type of depraved direct and try and carry a quick and upright justice to not solely the households, nonetheless to the Declare of Tennessee as successfully. Most of our household is now deceased, nonetheless I salvage forgiveness in my coronary heart for Mr. West and Mr. Martin, nonetheless I do not mediate that justice must be uncared for. On behalf of my Uncle Jack Romines and the ultimate members of our household I hope this commentary would possibly per likelihood be printed in its entirety and not final in elements. 

West is the fifth Tennessee prisoner to be carried out since August 2018, and the third of those males to rob {the electrical} chair. But yet another execution is scheduled for this 300 and sixty 5 days — Lee Corridor’s on Dec. 5 — and two are on the second scheduled for 2020. The inform of Tennessee has not killed this many prisoners at this stroll because the 1940s. 

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Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders
Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders
Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders
Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders
Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders

Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders

Tennessee Executes Stephen West For 1986 Rape And Murders