the north face kids jackets arrested near Tech campus for double murder
on Thursday, despite last minute efforts by his legal team to halt his execution for two murders committed in 2006.
According to a statement by Morva’s legal team, Virginia Gov. The request was based off of an article in The Guardian that suggested the drugs that would be used to kill Morva might cause more suffering than intended.
“The reprieve was requested after new information came to light raising concerns that Virginia’s lethal injection protocol did not act as intended, and therefore had resulted in a lingering and tortuous death,” said Rob Lee, attorney for William Morva, in a statement to the press. “We believed a reprieve was appropriate to allow time for further investigation to ensure that the Commonwealth carries out future executions including Mr. Morva’s in a manner that avoids unnecessary pain and suffering.”
Lisa Kinney, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Corrections, told the Washington Post that the execution happened with no complications.
“When asked if he had any last words, Mr. Terry McAuliffe has declined William Morva’s petition for clemency.
According to a press release, the governor’s office conducted a review of Morva’s petition and the facts surrounding the case. McAuliffe said in the statement that the diagnosis of delusional disorder that Morva’s lawyers claim is inconsistent with the findings of experts during the trial. Additionally, the Virginia Department of Corrections staff that has monitored him has not reported evidence of severe mental illness.
“At the conclusion of that review, I have determined that Mr. Morva was given a fair trial and that the jury heard substantial evidence about his mental health as they prepared to sentence him in accordance with the law of our Commonwealth,” McAuliffe said.
“I personally oppose the death penalty; however, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this Commonwealth regardless of my personal views of those laws, as long as they are being fairly and justly applied. Thus, after extensive review and deliberation consistent with the process I have applied to previous requests for commutation, I have declined Mr. Morva’s petition. I have and will continue to pray for the families of the victims of these terrible crimes and for all of the people whose lives have been impacted.”
Dawn Davison, senior staff attorney for the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center (VCRR), which has been representing Morva, released a statement shortly afterward. Davison contested whether the trial experts had been thorough enough in their investigation. The VCRRC also says the Virginia Department of Corrections did not conduct a mental health evaluation of Morva while in prison.
“William apparently will go to his grave never having received treatment for his chronic psychotic disorder,” Davison said. “Sadly, when he is executed, he will understand it to be the natural but horrific ending to a campaign of persecution that has been waged against him for fifteen years. Such is the power of delusions that even the prospect of imminent death cannot dispel them.
Morva escaped from a Montgomery County hospital on Aug. 20, 2006, after attacking a sheriff’s deputy and shooting an unarmed hospital guard. He then fled to Blacksburg, where he shot a sheriff’s corporal on the Huckleberry Trail. The hunt for Morva caused Virginia Tech to cancel classes and, in a controversial move spawned by a reported hostage situation, evacuate Squires Student Center.
However, after Morva was captured on Aug. 21, 2006, questions have lingered about his mental health. Morva’s defenders say that he suffers from delusional disorder and has no conception of what he did or the implications. Prosecutors say that his mental state was fairly presented to the jury that sentenced him to death in 2008.
On Aug. 19, 2006, William Morva, awaiting trial on attempted robbery charges, told Montgomery County Jail personnel he needed medical attention after spraining his leg and wrist in a fall. He was transported by Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Quesenberry to Montgomery Regional Hospital (now LewisGale Montgomery Hospital) early the next morning.
Morva was already acting strangely when the two arrived at the hospital. Quesenberry had Morva in waist chains but nothing on his arm, owing to the supposed injury. According to Quesenberry’s later testimony, Morva kept disobeying orders and tried to walk on the deputy’s right side, the side on which his pistol was holstered. A nurse at the hospital noted Morva walking normally despite his leg injury.
Quesenberry allowed Morva to use the bathroom after he was treated. Once inside, Morva removed a metal toilet paper holder from the wall. When Quesenberry went in to check on Morva, he struck the deputy with it, fracturing his face. Morva took the unconscious deputy’s semi automatic pistol.
Morva don think that anyone in this courtroom except for a very small handful of people do have any empathy or compassion because I think the people in here are sick with grief. William Morva
after hearing death sentence
While trying to escape, Morva was confronted by Derrick McFarland, a hospital security guard who was unarmed at the time. According to the Roanoke Times, McFarland was a father of two who loved to tinker. The night of Aug. 19, he had called his wife, Cindy McFarland, to tell her about three partial motorcycles that he wanted to buy to build a new bike out of.
McFarland stretched out his hands by his side with palms facing Morva in an apparent attempt to surrender. Morva shot him in the face.
When the doors of the hospital emergency room did not open, Morva fired five shots into it. He then fled in the direction of Hilltop, shedding his orange jail jumpsuit on the way.
On the morning of Aug. 21, Morva was spotted on the Huckleberry Trail near the southern edge of campus. Corporal Eric Sutphin, a 13 year veteran of law enforcement, responded. Sutphin was a father of two and a decorated member of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. In 2003, he was shot and wounded while pursuing a suspect who had just shot and killed an officer with the Christiansburg Police Department.