Donald Whatley was sentenced to death by the State of Alabama for the murder of Pete Patel. According to court documents Donald Whatley met Pete Patel at a bar and the two would leave together. After leaving Donald Whatley would beat Pete Patel to death. Donald Whatley would flee to Texas and would murder a woman Shelia Overstreet who was trying to help him. Donald Whatley would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Donald Whatley 2021 Information
|WHATLEY, DONALD DWAYNE
|HOLMAN DEATH ROW
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A Mobile judge Thursday ordered the execution of Donald Whatley for the December 2003 slaying of downtown motel owner Pete Patel.
Circuit Judge Joseph “Rusty” Johnston read aloud from an 11-page order, announcing he was following the “advisory verdict” handed down by a jury in November.
After finding Whatley guilty of capital murder, the jury voted 10-2 in favor of capital punishment.
No one spoke Thursday but Johnston.
In a previous hearing, Patel’s relatives and prosecutors asked for the death penalty and a sister of Whatley’s asked that his life be spared.
Whatley, 34, who watched the proceedings through a pair of thick glasses, declined to say anything Thursday.
As Johnston announced his decision, it appeared to take Whatley a moment to absorb what the judge was saying.
Slowly, as he sat deathly still, Whatley’s jailhouse pallor flushed into red.
Some members of Patel’s family bore nearly imperceptible smiles as the death sentence was announced.
On his way back to a holding cell afterward and with his back to the gallery, Whatley waved his cuffed hands above his head as some members of his family quietly wiped tears from their eyes.
With half a dozen security officers dispersed around the courtroom, Johnston carefully took everyone through the course of Whatley’s life and crimes.
Johnston noted that during the trial a pathologist described “19 pages of injuries” inflicted on the diminutive, 43-year-old victim, including beating, choking and being run over by his own car.
Whatley claimed he met Patel at a downtown bar and that they had gone together to a spot beneath the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge to have sex.
During the trial, prosecutors inexplicably showed jurors a photograph of a condom found near Patel’s body but later acknowledged it was not used by either Whatley or Patel.
Johnston noted Thursday that a cigarette found at the crime scene contained Whatley’s DNA.
After Whatley killed Patel and fled to Jefferson County, Texas, the judge noted, a woman named Sheila Overstreet “provided him a roof over his head” and Whatley “responded to Ms. Overstreet’s kindness by … cutting her throat” and murdering her.
The judge also noted Whatley’s claims to have “turned his life over to Christ.”
If so, Johnston said, “this is miraculous and commendable and may assure him everlasting life.”
The judge said that while incarcerated in the Mobile County Metro Jail, Whatley posed a constant physical threat to fellow inmates, whom the convicted killer looked down on.
Johnston said he believed Whatley would always pose a danger to other people.
The “possibility of future crimes,” the judge said, was “a valid factor” in determining whether Whatley should live or die.