John Esposito was sentenced to death by the State of Georgia for the murders of three elderly people. According to court documents John Esposito and his girlfriend Alicia Woodward would beat to death a ninety year old woman and then a week later beat to death an elderly couple in Oklahoma, John Esposito would be sentenced to death
John Esposito 2021 Information
EYE COLOR: BLUE
HAIR COLOR: BROWN
MAJOR OFFENSE: MURDER
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: GA DIAG CLASS PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: DEATH
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The evidence adduced at trial, including testimony recounting Esposito’s confession to federal authorities, showed that on September 19, 1996, Esposito’s co-conspirator, Alicia Woodward, persuaded Lola Davis to give her a ride from a parking lot in Lumberton, North Carolina. Woodward directed Davis to a nearby location where Esposito entered Davis’ automobile. Esposito and Woodward then forced the elderly Davis, without the use of any weapons, to drive to a nearby parking lot and to move to the passenger seat of her automobile. John Esposito removed one thousand dollars and Davis’ checkbook from her purse, and Woodward drove Davis’ automobile to a local bank where she cashed a check for three hundred dollars that she and Esposito had forced Davis to write. Woodward and Esposito then drove Davis to a remote location in Morgan County, Georgia, where Esposito led Davis into a hayfield, forced her to kneel, and beat her to death with tree limbs and other debris. John Esposito and Woodward then drove in Davis’ automobile to Alabama where they disposed of Davis’ automobile and purse. Davis’ automobile was shown at trial to contain fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints matching Esposito’s and Woodward’s. Saliva on a cigarette butt found in the automobile was shown to contain DNA consistent with Esposito’s DNA.
Evidence presented during the sentencing phase showed that, after murdering Davis, Esposito and Woodward traveled to Oklahoma, abducted an elderly couple, illegally obtained money using the couple’s bank card, and then drove the couple to Texas where Esposito beat them to death with a tire iron. An FBI agent also testified during the sentencing phase that Esposito had described his and Woodward’s plan to abduct and murder yet another elderly woman for money.
We find that the evidence adduced at trial, viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Esposito was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted and that statutory aggravating circumstances existed.2
2. Esposito contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress a confession he made to two FBI agents during an interview conducted on the night of his arrest. We find no error.
Testimony heard by the trial court showed that John Esposito and Woodward were observed unlawfully possessing a BB gun in Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park by a park ranger. Esposito was uncooperative when instructed to lay down the gun, and the park ranger called for assistance. Park rangers determined that the automobile Esposito and Woodward were driving had been reported missing under suspicious circumstances and that there was a warrant for their arrest. At approximately 3:00 p.m., a park ranger informed Esposito that he was under arrest and gave the warnings required by Miranda v. Arizona.3 As each portion of his Miranda warnings was read, Esposito stated “yeah” and nodded affirmatively. Esposito was then asked if he understood his warnings, but, before he answered, the park ranger stated that he had no questions for Esposito. Persons who observed Esposito testified that he did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Later that evening, two FBI agents arrived at the jail where Esposito and Woodward were being held, interviewed Woodward first, and then interviewed Esposito from 11:35 p.m. until 12:22 a.m. According to testimony by one of the FBI agents, Esposito was asked before being questioned if he remembered and understood the warnings he had received earlier that day, particularly the warning that he was not required to speak with authorities. Esposito responded that he was willing to make a statement.
The lapse of eleven and one half hours between Esposito’s receiving his Miranda warnings and making his confession did not render the confession inadmissible.4 Esposito’s reliance on Riley v. State5 is misplaced, as we have explicitly held that Riley is not applicable to adults.6 Upon our review of the record, we conclude that the trial court’s findings of fact were not clearly erroneous, and, upon our de novo application of those findings of fact to the law, we conclude that the trial court’s legal conclusion regarding the confession’s admissibility was correct.7
Alicia Woodward 2021 Information
EYE COLOR: BROWN
HAIR COLOR: SLT&PEP
MAJOR OFFENSE: MURDER
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: PULASKI STATE PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: LIFE