My Crime Library

Alpha Stephens Georgia Execution

Alpha Stephens

Alpha Stephens was executed by the State of Georgia for a robbery murder. According to court documents Alpha Stephens would shoot and kill the victim when he and Claude Sampson were robbing his sons home. Both Alpha Stephens and Claude Sampson would be arrested. Claude Sampson would be sentenced to life without parole however would take his own life in 1982. Alpha Stephens who had a long criminal record was sentenced to death. Alpha Stephens would be executed by way of the electric chair however it would take additional jolts to end his life. Alpha Stephens would die on December 12 1984

Table of Contents

Alpha Stephens More News

Double-murderer Alpha Otis Stephens was executed in Georgia’s electric chair today with two 2,080-volt surges 10 minutes apart, shortly after he tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrist.

Prison officials said one surge of electricity was expected to carry out the execution order and Stephens was ‘brain dead’ after the first surge.

But witnesses saw Stephens’ fingers move and his head rolled back and forth after the first surge.

‘It was almost like he was trying to wake himself up,’ said reporter Lee Howell. ‘Then he started breathing. We counted 23 breaths and they were deep breaths. It was obvious he was alive.’

Stephens, who received his first jolt at 12:18 a.m. and his second at 12:28 a.m., was pronounced dead at 12:37 a.m. EST.

The wooden electric chair at Georgia’s Diagnostic and Classification Center had been tested five times this week. Although officials only planned to give Stephens one jolt, they insisted ‘there apparently was no malfunction.’

The 39-year-old career criminal with 19 felony convictions cut his wrist in the final hours after he had been shaven to prepare for the execution. Prisons spokesman John Siler said the cut was not life threatening.

‘Oh Jesus, no way,’ said Siler. ‘It has gotten out of hand. He had smuggled a small disposable razor in and had a small cut, a slight scratch on his left wrist.

‘It was minor — very little blood. It was hardly life threatening.’

Siler said it was not known how Stephens got the razor.

‘We are looking at that now,’ he said. ‘He had just been shaved. He must have smuggled it in.’

Stephens made no final statement, but wrote his last victim’s son earlier this week asking to be forgiven.

Stephens, who received his first jolt at 12:18 a.m. and his second at 12:28 a.m., was pronounced dead at 12:37 a.m. EST.

The wooden electric chair at Georgia’s Diagnostic and Classification Center had been tested five times this week. Although officials only planned to give Stephens one jolt, they insisted ‘there apparently was no malfunction.’

The 39-year-old career criminal with 19 felony convictions cut his wrist in the final hours after he had been shaven to prepare for the execution. Prisons spokesman John Siler said the cut was not life threatening.

‘Oh Jesus, no way,’ said Siler. ‘It has gotten out of hand. He had smuggled a small disposable razor in and had a small cut, a slight scratch on his left wrist.

‘It was minor — very little blood. It was hardly life threatening.’

Siler said it was not known how Stephens got the razor.

‘We are looking at that now,’ he said. ‘He had just been shaved. He must have smuggled it in.’

Stephens made no final statement, but wrote his last victim’s son earlier this week asking to be forgiven.

Stephens, who began his criminal career at age 16 with an auto theft, was sentenced to death for the 1974 execution-style slaying of Roy Asbell, who caught Stephens and an accomplice robbing his son’s home.

The Rev. Charles Asbell said Stephens wrote him and ‘asked that I would forgive him and I did.’ But he added: ‘He chose to be wicked; he chose to be sinful. I feel the sentence should be carried out.’

Stephens became the 31st convict executed in the nation since 1976. His attorneys made two last-ditch appeals Tuesday to the Supreme Court and his final plea was denied at 11:22 p.m.

The Rev. Murphy Davis, a Presbyterian minister and director of Southern Prison Ministry in Atlanta, spent more than five hours with Stephens before the execution.

‘This is not justice,’ she said. ‘This is just an easy way for the state to answer its problems

She said Stephens was an abused child ‘who was on his own from about the age of six.’

Stephens, who had a childhood of poverty and was known as ‘Sonny Boy,’ had a final meal of fried shrimp, french fries, tossed salad, Coke and pecan pie. He was not visited by his family or his common-law wife and teenage daughter.

The last meal Stephens had outside prison was a $40 steak, champagne and beer dinner in Savannah in August 1974 just hours after he robbed and killed the elder Asbell with two point-blank shots through the ear.

Asbell was slain just two days after Stephens escaped from the Houston County Jail with a hacksaw he bought from a trusty for $20.

Claude Sampson, Stephens’ accomplice in the Asbell robbery-murder, was sentenced to Georgia’s State Prison in Riedsville and committed suicide there in 1982.

Stephens, who spent most of his life in prison, also had been sentenced to five life terms fo crimes ranging from killing country store owner Louise Mercer in 1973 to armed robbery and kidnapping.

After killing Asbell and leaving his body in an abandoned house used to store hay, Stephens then fled to Savannah in the dead man’s car, picked up a woman and they shared a nine-course dinner at a hotel restaurant.

But Stephens drank so much champagne and beer he passed out on a park bench. He was arrested when police awakened him and the .357 magnum that killed Asbell fell from his coat.

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1984/12/12/Double-murderer-Alpha-Otis-Stephens-was-executed-in-Georgias-electric/6160471675600/