Court sets January execution date for man who killed trooper
In Indianapolis, the Indiana Supreme Court has set a Jan. 19 execution date for a New Albany man convicted in the 1993 slaying of an Indiana State Police trooper.
Norman Timberlake, 59, will be executed by lethal injection at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, where he has been on death row for 11 years. He was condemned to die for the Feb. 3, 1993 shooting death of Master Trooper Michael Greene.
Greene, 43, was shot once in the chest during a traffic stop on Interstate 65 on Indianapolis' northwest side. According to court testimony, Greene pulled his cruiser over near a car parked along I-65 because he saw Timberlake's companion urinating along the highway.
Prosecutors said that when Greene tried to handcuff one of the intoxicated men, he was shot and killed by Timberlake.
A jury convicted Timberlake in Greene's murder in 1995 and he was sentenced to death.
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Timberlake's death sentence in 1997, and 4 other moves to overturn the conviction have been turned down in state and federal courts.
Timberlake's execution could be stayed if he appeals the conviction to federal courts or the U.S. Supreme Court, the Indiana Attorney General's office said.
2 chances remain for man to avoid execution Jan. 19----Governor or judge could spare life of Timberlake in killing of trooper
Norman Timberlake likely faces an uphill battle in his bid to win clemency from Gov. Mitch Daniels, but the death row inmate maintained his innocence Monday to the state Parole Board.
Norman Timberlake last week petitioned the governor for clemency before his execution.
During the process, the five-member state Parole Board conducts a two-part clemency hearing and votes on a recommendation. Gov. Mitch Daniels then decides whether to uphold the death penalty or commute the sentence but is not bound by the board's vote.
The 1st part of the clemency hearing took place Monday at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.
• Jan. 16: Conclusion of the clemency hearing, 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Indiana Government Center South, 302 W. Washington St., Indianapolis. Attorneys for both sides will present arguments, and family members and others will testify. At 2:30 p.m., the Parole Board will vote on its recommendation.
• Jan. 19: Unless Daniels grants clemency or a federal court orders a delay, Timberlake will be executed shortly after midnight.
His execution looms on Jan. 19, and he has 2 chances to avoid that outcome. Daniels could commute his sentence, or a U.S. District Court judge in Indianapolis could rule in his favor on two pending lawsuits contesting his death sentence.
During a clemency hearing Monday at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, several Parole Board members expressed skepticism about the 59-year-old inmate's assertion that he was wrongly convicted.
"If I was 10 feet away when it happened, I can't help nothing," Timberlake told the board.
A Marion Superior Court jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death for the 1993 murder of Indiana State Police Master Trooper Michael E. Greene, who died during a traffic stop on I-65 in Indianapolis.
"It's open and shut," said Michael Greene, 32, the trooper's son. "The evidence is overwhelming. It's not like it hinges on DNA or something like that."
Greene, who lives in Lebanon, watched a live video feed in Indianapolis with other family members and State Police officers.
On Jan. 16, they will get a chance to testify to the board during the final part of the clemency hearing in Indianapolis. Afterward, the 5-member board will vote on a recommendation to the governor. 6 death sentences have been carried out since Daniels became governor in 2005. He has rejected 3 clemency requests and has overruled the board's advice once.
He commuted Arthur Baird II's sentence to life in prison in 2005, but he noted "a unique circumstance" in the mentally ill inmate's case -- some jurors and family members of the victims supported clemency.
That is not the case with Greene's family.
Timberlake's other hope is in the courts. One federal suit argues Timberlake is too mentally ill to be executed, and the other says Indiana's lethal injection procedures don't prevent unnecessary pain during an execution.
Judge Richard L. Young hasn't ruled in either case.
Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court denied Timberlake another appeal on the mental illness claim. A court-appointed psychiatrist found Timberlake understood the reason for his execution, despite Timberlake's saying that prison officials were using a computer-operated machine to make him hear voices and feel pain.
Prosecutors said Timberlake shot Greene, 43, when the trooper tried to handcuff Tom McElroy, who was traveling with Timberlake and had an open arrest warrant.
But on Monday, Timberlake said he sat on the hood of a car while McElroy spoke to Greene. "Then I heard a scuffle and a pop," he said.
Board members asked why he later grabbed the gun and why he went to a bar instead of calling police. He said he was scared.
McElroy, who received a time-served sentence for his involvement, has since died.
If the execution goes forward, a new state law will let the victim's family members witness it.
Greene's daughter, Shannon Davis, 35, watched Timberlake on the TV screen Monday, the 1st time she had seen him since the trial.
"He just makes me angry," said Davis, who lives in Rensselaer. "I don't want to see his face. He's still living and breathing."
(source: Indianapolis Star)
Practice safe sex.....Marry a death inmate...You'll never get none
Norman Timberlake execution stayed-- January 17, 2007
The Indiana Supreme Court today stayed the Norman Timberlake execution that had been scheduled for Friday. The court acknowledged similarities in issues raised by the Timberlake case and those in the Panetti v. Quarterman case currently before the US Supreme Court.
A death row inmate convicted of fatally shooting a state trooper during a traffic stop was found dead in his cell on Saturday, 10 months after being spared execution.
An Indiana State Prison guard found Norman Timberlake, 60, of New Albany, unresponsive in his cell during a head count shortly after midnight, prison spokesman Barry Nothstine said. Attempts to revive him failed.
''Timberlake was sitting upright watching television but did not respond to verbal communication from an officer,'' Nothstine said in a news release.
Timberlake appeared to have died from natural causes, and an autopsy was planned for Tuesday, Nothstine said.
The prison spokesman said he was unaware of any medical conditions that might have contributed to Timberlake's death.
A state psychiatrist who examined Timberlake last year found that he suffered from chronic paranoid schizophrenia, but it was unclear Saturday whether that played a role in his death.
Timberlake was convicted of shooting Master Trooper Michael Greene once in the chest in Indianapolis in 1993. Greene, 43, had stopped when he saw Timberlake's companion urinating along Interstate 65. A jury convicted Timberlake 2 years later.
Indiana State Police had no comment on Timberlake's death, and Greene's family expressed relief that the case had finally come to an end, said 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten.
''They're glad it's over,'' Bursten said after speaking to the slain trooper's son, Mike Greene.
Timberlake was scheduled to die by chemical injection last Jan. 19, but 2 days ahead of the execution date, the Indiana Supreme Court blocked the sentence because a similar case from Texas also involving a mentally ill prisoner had come under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court ultimately blocked the Texas execution.
During an appearance before the Indiana Parole Board on his request for clemency ahead of his scheduled execution, Timberlake said he has been hearing voices since 1997 from someone who identified himself as Satan.
Dr. George F. Parker, a psychiatrist who examined Timberlake for the state last year, said he suffered from chronic paranoid schizophrenia and believed he was tortured by a computer-driven machine operated by prison officials.
(source: Associated Press)
Practice safe sex.....Marry a death inmate...You'll never get none
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