Friday, March 18, 2005

Execution Date Set for Earl Richmond - May 6th, 2005

Earl Richmond DOC# 0343602

Richmond was found guilty of the November 2nd, 1991 first-degree rape and the first-degree murder of Helisa Hayes. While at the home of his victim, defendant had "forceful" sex with Helisa, beat her, and strangled her to death. Defendant then took Helisa’s son Phillip into the bathroom, where defendant strangled him with the electrical cord of a curling iron and stabbed him numerous (at least 20!) times in his head and body with a pair of scissors. After killing Phillip, defendant went into Darien's bedroom, sat her up on her bed, and strangled her to death with a curling-iron cord. Ms. Hayes’ father, William Stewart, discovered the bodies of his daughter and two grandchildren on November 4th when, after having not heard
from Ms. Hayes for two days, he became concerned about her safety. During this initial interview, Richmond told police that he had not been to Ms. Hayes’ home during the weekend of the murders. Moreover, Richmond sought to shift attention from himself. Richmond became a suspect when his sister, Andrea Knight, informed police that she had dropped Richmond off near Ms. Hayes’ home on the early morning of November 2nd after they and others attended an all night house party. In light of this information, police requested a suspect rape kit from Richmond, which revealed, through DNA evidence, that the semen found inside of Ms. Hayes’ body belonged to Richmond. Richmond, after initially denying any involvement in the murders of Ms. Hayes and her two children, confessed to having committed the murders.

In the opinion of Dr. John D. Butts, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, the adult victim died as the result of strangulation. She had numerous blunt-force injuries; tears, scrapes, and bruises; abrading of the skin in the entrance to her vagina; and blood over a portion of her brain beneath a bruise on her scalp. Defendant's first-degree rape conviction properly supports his conviction for the first-degree murder of the adult victim under the felony murder theory.

While defendant may have consumed alcohol and cocaine prior to the murders, there is little evidence of the degree of his intoxication at the time of the murders. The evidence, however, suggests that defendant methodically killed everyone in the house, leading one victim into the bathroom and sitting another on the edge of the bed. He also tried to hide his crimes by pouring alcohol on the adult victim's genitals and taking with him the scissors he had used to stab one of the child victims. Such behavior is indicative of a capacity for premeditation and deliberation.

While awaiting trial on these charges, Richmond was charged in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey with the April 4, 1991 murder of Lisa Ann Nadeau, an army dispersing clerk at the Fort Dix military base. On May 28, 1993, Richmond was convicted of Ms. Nadeau’s murder and subsequently sentenced to a term of life imprisonment.