bruce ward arkansas death row

Bruce Ward was sentenced to death by the State of Arkansas for the murder of a store clerk. According to court documents Bruce Ward would enter a convenience store where he would sexually assault the teenager clerk before killing her by strangulation. Bruce Ward would be arrested at the scene, be convicted and sentenced to death. Bruce Ward is the longest serving death row inmate in Arkansas. His execution has been delayed due to mental health issues as he is a diagnosed schizophrenic.

Arkansas Death Row Inmate List

Bruce Ward 2021 Information

ADC Number 000915

Name: Ward, Bruce E


Sex MALE Hair Color BROWNE ye Color HAZEL Height 73 inches Weight 286 lbs.

Birth Date 12/24/1956

Initial Receipt Date 10/18/1990

Facility Varner Supermax

Bruce Ward More News

Guilt has followed a former friend of an Arkansas death row inmate for 30 years.  

The woman claims Bruce Ward nearly killed her in Pennsylvania just months before raping and strangling an Arkansas teenager to death.

She blames herself because she never pressed charges. 

For her safety, she asked that her picture and married name not be used in this story.

“I’ve had to wrestle with a lot of things since then,” Amy said. 

When she was 19, Amy took the bus to and from Pittsburgh Beauty Academy. The stop started her friendship with then 31-year-old Ward in the winter of 1988. 

“He was very attractive looking, very intelligent, very charming,” she said. 

Ward told Amy he was out on parole for a non-violent crime. She gave him a chance.

“I felt very, very safe with him,” she said.

Until one night, about half a year later, when he attacked her.

“My pants were down, he’s strangling me and all of a sudden, he just stops,” she said. 

Amy will never forget how Ward looked, like he was in a trance.

“He was just not him,” she said. “He told me, ‘I wanted to scare you. Why are you not scared?’” 

She told police but didn’t press charges.

“I didn’t want my parents to know,” she said. “I was embarrassed. I didn’t want this to be a big thing. I’m a shy person.”

Amy saw Ward one more time. When he showed up at her school and called after her, two of her friends quickly ushered her away.

“I hadn’t even thought of him in many years,” she said.

She saw him next on the Internet.

“Whatever became of him? Is he doing okay?,” she wondered. “I was hoping that maybe he had gotten some help.”

Amy wasn’t prepared for what she found. Ward was really out on parole for the murder of a 32-year-old Pennsylvania woman, Janet Needham.

“I was thinking, ‘Jesus, if he told me the truth, I don’t think I’d be stupid enough to be hanging out with this guy. This can’t be possible,’” she said. “And I just kept reading more and more.” 

She discovered he was back behind bars, this time on death row for an Arkansas woman’s murder just months after he attacked Amy.

“And then I read about Becky…,” she trailed off as she started to cry.

While 18-year-old Becky Doss was working the overnight shift at a Little Rock gas station in August 1989, Ward raped and strangled her. It was the same way he took Needham’s life and too similar to Amy’s story.

“Did I trigger something? I don’t know,” she said. 

But after seeing our interview with Doss’s mother, Amy knew she had to say something 30 years later.

“It broke my heart,” she said. “My goodness, what my mother would have gone through if that happened to me.”

As Ward continues to sit locked up so does Amy, part of her forever stuck at that bus stop.

“I feel like there’s something I could have done differently,” she said. “An innocent victim whose life was taken by somebody who should not have been there, should not have been there.” 

Ward has been on death row since 1990.

A Supreme Court ruling in 2015 paved the way for the state to resume executions for the first time in nearly ten years. Ward was scheduled to be executed that year.

Since then, different legal situations, including the use of lethal injection drug Midazolam, have put his execution on hold.
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