Death row inmate who killed five, including pregnant woman, says he wants to be executed

Alabama murderer gives up appeals and asks to be executed so that victims’ families have ‘justice’ said Derrick Dearman (Greene County Sheriff's Department)
Alabama murderer gives up appeals and asks to be executed so that victims’ families have ‘justice’ said Derrick Dearman (Greene County Sheriff's Department)

An Alabama death row inmate has requested to be executed in order to help the families of his victims get closure.

Derrick Dearman, 35, made the admission to CNN during a phone interview from the William C Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. He pleaded guilty to capital murder charges in August 2018. A jury later sentenced him to death.

He was convicted of killing five people: Shannon Melissa Randall, 35; Robert Lee Brown, 26; Justin Kaleb Reed, 23; Joseph Adam Turner, 26 and Chelsea Marie Reed, 22, who was five months pregnant.

According to the outlet, Dearman broke into a home in Citronelle, Alabama in 2016 and separately attacked the people inside with an axe, a pistol and a shotgun. The man had been at the home days before the murders helping scrap a trailer.

At least one occupant, Ms Randall, said his behaviour made her uncomfortable and she didn’t want the man around her infant son who was three months old at the time.

He left the residence and went to the home he shared with his then-girlfriend, Laneta Lester, in George County, Mississippi, located roughly 15 minutes from the other address. According to court records obtained by the outlet, Dearman took methamphetamine that evening and started abusing Ms Lester.

She fled the property, going to the Citronelle home, where her brother, Mr Turner, lived. Dearman returned to the residence but was asked to leave. He reportedly went back three more times in the same evening, leading the brother to alert police.

The outlet reported that police patrolled the area outside the home but stopped around 3am due to a shift change. The man later returned a fourth time on foot.

When he broke inside, he woke up his girlfriend and brought her outside of the home to speak to her. He reportedly refused to leave and demanded that the woman stay and talk with him. He then left and returned with an axe that he found in a nearby tree.

That’s when he entered the home and swung the weapon at the occupants sleeping inside.

Dearman pulled a pistol from one of the victims and fatally shot them. Once the attacks were over, he went back to all of the victims and shot them. The man then left the house with his girlfriend and the infant, who was sleeping in bed with his parents when they were murdered.

After he came down from his high, he drove to Mississippi and took his girlfriend and the baby to the police, turning himself in.

The inmate’s father persuaded him to turn himself in to the police once he’d learned about what happened. The man stayed at his father’s home after the attacks. Dearman said he’d realised he’d have to pay for the crimes he committed with his life after being in jail and “talking to God”.

“From my point of view, there’s nothing that I could ever say or do that will make this right,” he told CNN. “I feel like I personally have a debt for the crimes that I committed. That’s the only way that I could ever show that I’m truly remorseful, that I truly do have a conscience.”

He wants “justice to be delivered,” he continued, adding “It’s the right thing to do.

Dearman was charged with six homicides, including the death of Ms Reed’s fetus, in accordance with the state’s fetal homicide law.

Earlier this month, the man told NBC News that he’d mailed letters to Republican Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall alerting them of his decision to drop his case.

Two months ago, the Alabama Supreme Court voted to deny his sentence appeal and upheld the convictions. The inmate said he had tried to appeal his sentence for the sake of his family.

“They said, ‘Derrick just give us a few years in this appeal process’”, he told NBC News. “‘We deserve that, it’s our right as your family to fight for your life,’ and I said ‘OK.’ That was almost six years ago, and I feel like I’ve given them the fair chance”.

At least one relative of the victims has said that he forgives Dearman.

Robert F Brown told a Mobile, Alabama circuit court in September 2016, “I can’t bring my son back. I forgive this guy because he don’t know no better. I feel for his family.”

NBC News reported that Dearman has chosen to be put to death by lethal injection.

“Now it’s time for the victims and their families to get the justice they rightly deserve to start the closure,” he told the outlet. “I have laid many nights thinking, what would I say to any of them if I ever had the chance, the opportunity to say something?

“That’s part of the reason I’ve made my decision to have my sentence carried out. Words don’t have any weight in this situation,” he continued. “The only thing I would say is that everyone that was hurt by the actions to forgive me, not for myself, but for them. That way, they will free their heart up to be able to truly heal.”