Earl McGahee was sentenced to death by the State of Alabama for the murder of two women. According to court documents Earl McGahee would storm into a classroom at a nursing school where he would murder his ex wife and a fellow student. Earl McGahee would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Earl McGahee 2021 Information
|Inmate:||MCGAHEE, EARL JEROME|
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“On September 11, 1985, Connie Brown (the appellant’s ex-wife), Cassandra Lee and Dee Ann Duncan were all nursing students at George C. Wallace Junior College in Selma, Alabama. That morning, Brown, Lee and Duncan were in a class of thirty-four students in a classroom in the Science Building at the junior college. At approximately 10:00 that morning, the appellant came to this classroom and asked to see Brown. The instructor, Shelia Guidry, told Brown that she could leave the classroom. Brown left the room with the appellant and she went to the office of Joyce Howell, a secretary at the college, and asked to use the telephone. Brown appeared nervous and Howell helped Brown dial the phone numbers. Brown made calls to an elementary school and to her mother. The appellant came into the office while Brown was making the phone calls. As a result of her conversation with Brown, Howell called campus security to remove the appellant from the campus. Howell then walked Brown back to her classroom.
“While Brown was out of the classroom, Guidry had recessed the class for a short break. Brown returned to the class at the end of the break and took her seat. Many of the students were in the classroom at this time because they had remained in the room during break or they had returned from the break.
“Brown sat directly in front of Lee and to the right of Duncan. Shortly after Brown returned to the classroom, the appellant Earl McGahee appeared at the door and asked Brown to come outside. Brown refused.
“At this point, the appellant entered the classroom and shut the door. He pulled a pistol from his pants and aimed it at Brown. A shot was fired and the appellant began walking towards Brown. All of the students began fleeing the classroom. Lee was unable to leave the classroom because Brown fell across her desk and then she (Lee) was shot by the appellant. Duncan fell as she was leaving the classroom and remained on the floor and acted hurt.
“Brown struggled to the front of the classroom and fell to the floor. Earl McGahee then began kicking and stomping Brown.
“Dana Andrews was walking down a hallway in the Science Building that morning when she saw the students running out of Guidry’s classroom and heard gunshots. She went to the room to see if she could help and pushed open the classroom door. Andrews saw the appellant ‘leaning over and he had her [Brown’s] legs lifted up with his left arm and he had his right arm, he was pulling her panties off.’ (R-474).
“Ferrin Eiland, an instructor at the college, went to Guidry’s classroom when he heard the students screaming. He looked through the door window and saw Brown lying on the floor naked. Brown’s legs were propped up and parted and the appellant was kneeling between her legs. Eiland saw the appellant strike Brown twice on the chest with his fists.
“Charles Duckett, also an instructor at the college, went to Guidry’s classroom when he heard there had been a shooting. Duckett looked in the door window and saw the appellant block the door with a chair. When Duckett heard several shots, he went downstairs and told Eiland to call an ambulance. When he returned to the classroom door, he saw the appellant with a gun in his hands and his hands were bloody. Duckett asked the appellant if he could help the people who were hurt and the appellant replied that no one was hurt and then waved the gun at Duckett.
“While Dee Ann Duncan was lying on the floor pretending to be hurt, she heard Earl McGahee say to Brown, ‘Get up, Bitch’ (R. 780). He told Brown that nothing was wrong with her and he began kicking her. He then said several times, ‘give it to me like you had used to” and “you make my d_ hard’ (R-781). Duncan noticed that Brown did not have her jeans on.
“At some point, the appellant came over to Duncan and put his hands between her legs and began rubbing them. He then jerked her head up and asked her what was wrong. The appellant began striking Duncan’s head with the pistol and Duncan blacked out.
“Truett McGee testified that he went to 1410 Philpott in Selma on the morning in question to investigate an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was told by a Mrs. Redd that the appellant had taken her car. Mrs. Redd was a relative of the appellant. While McGee was investigating this incident, he received a call that there had been a shooting at the college.
“McGee proceeded to the college and went to the classroom in the Science Building. When he looked through the door window, Earl McGahee pointed a pistol at him. McGee then heard a shot. McGee told the appellant to throw out his pistol and come out of the classroom. The appellant complied and was arrested and taken into custody.
“Officer Jerry Ward of the Selma Police Department then took the appellant to a patrol car and read him his Miranda [v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966),] rights. While he was being transported to the police station, the appellant began talking. He stated, ‘Well, if the son of a bitch lives, it ain’t my fault cause I gave her a free ticket to heaven. If the son of a bitch lives it’s a miracle. It’s only because Jesus must want her to.’ (R-761, 763). The appellant further stated that things didn’t work out like he wanted them to so he ‘started busting caps’ (R. 763). He told the police that, if he had taken all the shells in the classroom that he had in the car, the police would not have taken him alive.
“When the police entered the classroom after Earl McGahee had been taken into custody, they discovered Lee, Brown and Duncan in the classroom. Brown was already dead and Lee and Duncan were injured and were transported to Selma Medical Center.
“Lee arrived at the hospital with multiple (five) gunshot wounds to her body. When she arrived at the hospital, Lee had no palpable blood pressure, she had suffered some blood loss and she was paralyzed from the waist down. Lee was resuscitated with fluids and given two pints of blood. Surgery was performed on Lee to repair an injury to her spleen. One of the gunshots caused an air leak in Lee’s lungs but surgery could not be performed on the lungs because Lee’s condition was not stabilized. After surgery, Lee’s family requested that Lee not receive any more blood transfusions because she was a Jehovah’s Witness.
“Lee died on September 21, 1985[,] as a result of complications from the gunshot wounds, i.e., meningitis and adult respiratory distress syndrome. Medical experts testified that the fact that Lee did not receive any more blood transfusions after her family’s request did not contribute to her death because they were able to compensate for any blood loss by other means.
“Duncan suffered a depressed skull fracture but survived. As a result of her injury, she lost the ability to taste and smell.
“An autopsy performed on Brown revealed that she died as a result of repeated blows to the face and head which resulted in multiple fractures to the skull and subsequent injury to the brain. Dr. Allen Stillwell, a forensic pathologist, testified that these injuries would be consistent with Brown’s being hit with the butt handle of the gun and being stomped with a foot. He further stated that Brown had been strangled. Brown also received blunt trauma injuries to her upper abdomen area as well as two gunshot wounds to her left arm. However, these injuries were of a non-fatal nature. Stillwell found no evidence in Brown’s body of recent sexual activity.
“Lonnie Ray Hardin, a firearms and toolmarks expert with the Department of Forensic Sciences, testified that the bullets removed from Lee’s and Brown’s bodies by Dr. Stillwell were fired through the same .357 Magnum gun which the appellant threw out of the classroom. The hammer of this gun was found on the floor in the classroom. Hardin testified that it would take a considerable amount of force to dislodge the hammer from the gun. The State then rested its case.
“The appellant’s first three witnesses were the psychiatrists who examined him at the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility and who served on the Lunacy Commission.
“Drs. Omar Mohabbott, Marino S. Tulao and Kamal Nagi all testified that, based on their examinations of this appellant McGahee, they found him competent to stand trial. Drs. Tulao and Nagi stated that they also found the appellant to be sane at the time these offenses were committed. Dr. Mohabbott testified that he did not examine the appellant concerning his sanity at the time of these offenses.
“Elizabeth Marie Sapala, a private psychiatrist appointed to assist the defense, testified that, although she found the appellant to be competent to stand trial, she believed the appellant lacked the capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of law at the time of this offense. She stated that Earl McGahee was unable to resist the rage inside of him due to several stress factors, i.e., the appellant’s unemployment, his financial situation, his divorce from Brown and subsequent custody disputes over their child, his problems with his mother and his substance abuse.
“The appellant testified that he first met Brown when she was pregnant with her first child, Anwon, whom the appellant later adopted after he and Brown were married. Brown and the appellant became friends and later married on September 12, 1980. The appellant testified that the marriage took place because Brown told him she was pregnant but the appellant later learned that she was not pregnant. Brown then became pregnant and had a child by the appellant, named Earl Jerome McGahee, Jr. The appellant and Brown lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, because the appellant was in the Coast Guard and was stationed there. While there, the appellant pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge and received counseling. He testified that Brown treated him badly when they lived in New Orleans. She would invite relatives to stay with them for long periods of time without his permission. He found his wife at home one day dressed in a nightgown and a man was in the house. One day the appellant came home and Anwon ran up to him and called him “Daddy.” Brown told Anwon to get away from the appellant because he wasn’t Anwon’s father. The appellant stated he got mad and accidentally hit Anwon. Brown left the house with the two children and had the appellant arrested for cruelty to a juvenile. The appellant pleaded guilty to that charge and served twelve months and twelve days in jail.
“Brown returned to Selma after the appellant was arrested. She divorced the appellant and took back her maiden name, Brown.
“When Earl McGahee was released from jail, he returned to Selma and lived with his mother while attending George C. Wallace Junior College. In July of 1985, the appellant’s mother ‘kicked him out of the house’ and filed reckless endangerment charges against him.
“On the day in question, the appellant went to his mother’s house to talk to his sister. As he was leaving, he noticed the keys to his mother’s car. He took the keys and drove the car to the college. He then went to Brown’s classroom and asked her to get Earl, Jr., out of school so that he, the appellant, could see him. Brown called the school and then told the appellant he couldn’t take Earl, Jr., from the school.
“The appellant then went back to his mother’s car and got her gun. He went to the classroom to see Brown but she would not talk to him. He pulled the pistol from his pants and said, ‘What about now?’ (R. 968). Brown jumped up and the appellant pulled the trigger. The appellant then ‘went upside her head’ with the pistol and kicked her in the head. He stated he removed Brown’s clothes because she had disgraced his name and he wanted to disgrace her. He denied making sexual advances toward her.
“The appellant testified that he didn’t mean to shoot Lee and he hit Duncan because he panicked.
“The State presented several witnesses on rebuttal, including a clinical psychologist, to refute the appellant’s allegations that he was insane at the time these offenses were committed.”