Mitchell Sims was sentenced to death by the State of South Carolina for a double murder during an armed robbery. According to court documents Mitchell Sims would force two employees of a Domino’s Pizza into the back of the restaurant where he would torture and shoot Gary Melke, 24, and Christopher Zerr, 24. Christopher Zerr would die immediately and Gary Melke would be able to identify Mitchell Sims as the killer before dying. Mitchell Sims is also under a death sentence in California for the murder of John Harrington and another armed robbery. Mitchell Sims would be arrested and sentenced to death in both South Carolina and California
Mitchell Sims 2021 Information
Location: California Death Row
Admission Date: 06/28/1989
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District Attorney Steve Cooley asked the Los Angeles Superior Court today to order the execution of two long-time Death Row inmates with a court-approved single-drug protocol currently used in other parts of the country.
In motions filed by Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, the court was asked to order the executions of Mitchell Carleton Sims, 52, and Tiequon Aundray Cox, 46, each of whom have been on San Quentin’s Death Row for a quarter of a century.
Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox were tried and convicted of first-degree murder by juries. The jurors in each case also found the special circumstances alleged against each defendant to be true. The same juries recommended that each die for their crimes. Judges reviewed the jury recommendations and agreed, formally sentencing each man to death. Each killer appealed the conviction and sentence. Every appellate court turned them down,” the District Attorney said in a written statement.
It is time Sims and Cox pay for their crimes,” he added.
“I am joining with the California District Attorneys Association and other District Attorneys throughout California in asking the Superior Courts throughout the state to hold these killers responsible for the innocent lives they took so many years ago.”
In the motions filed with the court, Hanisee asked that the executions be ordered using a single-drug method or that the warden at San Quentin show cause why the death penalty by lethal injection should not be imposed.
Executions in California have been on hold for years.
The most recent stay was granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after the Riverside County District Attorney obtained an execution date for condemned inmate Albert Greenwood Brown.
The stay was based on allegations that a three-drug protocol that California used for executions put the condemned at risk of pain and suffering.
Sims was sentenced to death on May 7, 1986, after being convicted of murdering a Domino’s pizza deliveryman in Glendale on Dec. 8, 1985.
Sims was found guilty in the strangulation and drowning of 21-yaer old John Steven Harrigan.
Police found Harrigan’s hog-tied body submerged in the motel-room bathtub.
A washcloth had been stuffed in his mouth and a pillowcase tied over his head.
Sims was also is charged with two counts of robbery and attempted murder in an assault against two of Harrigan’s co-workers at the Brand Boulevard pizza establishment later that night.
Sims, a disgruntled pizza delivery driver, had fled the restaurant where he worked in Hanahan, S.C., after murdering two co-workers.
He fled to California with his girlfriend, who also was convicted and is serving a life sentence.
Sims was also sentenced to death in the South Carolina murders.
Cox, a Rollin 60s gang member, slaughtered a grandmother, her daughter and two grandchildren – one 8 and the other 13 – on Aug. 31, 1984.
Armed with a .30 caliber military rifle, Cox shot the grandmother three times in the head and went on to execute her grandsons as they slept in their beds. The 24-year-old mother of the two boys woke up and screamed before Cox shot her dead.
A 14-year-old male cousin hid in a closet, which saved his life.
Hanisee noted in her motions filed today with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has acknowledged at various court hearings – one as recent as Feb. 14 of this year – that it is fully capable of performing a single-drug execution.
“It is time to enforce the law of the state and carry out the death sentences that have been returned by juries, imposed by trial judges and affirmed by our appellate court system,” Cooley added.