Sean Sellers was sixteen years old when he would murder his parents and in a separate crime murder a clerk at a convenience store. This teen killer would be convicted on all three murders and sentenced to death and would be executed a number of years later and before the United States stopped executing teens who committed their crimes under the age of eighteen.
Sean Sellers is the only person to be executed for crimes committed under the age of seventeen since the reestablishment of the death penalty in 1977
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On Sept. 8, 1985, Sean Sellers was 16 when he shot and killed Robert Bower, a convenience store clerk in Oklahoma City. According to the testimony of Sellers’ best friend, Richard Howard, who was with him at the time of the murder, Sellers said that he killed Robert Bower because he “wanted to see what it feels like to kill somebody.”
On March 5, 1986, Sean Sellers shot and killed his mother, Vonda Bellofatto, and stepfather, Lee Bellofatto, while they slept in their Oklahoma City home. Howard testified that just after the murders, Sellers had come to his house and told him that he had killed his parents. Howard was also initially charged with first degree murder, but the state dismissed the charge and recommended that he be given a five-year suspended sentence in exchange for testimony against his friend. By his own admission, Sellers committed the murders as a practicing satanist.
Sean Sellers was the 13th execution of murderers who were under 18 years old at the time of the murder, and the first in 40 years for one who murdered at the age of 16. At the time of his trial, his defense argued Sean Sellers was addicted to the game “Dungeons and Dragons” and had no control over his actions. At the time of his execution, Sellers contended he was the victim of a multiple personality disorder.
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Former Satan worshipper Sean Sellers was executed early today with Jesus on his lips.
Sellers, 29, died at 12:17 a.m. after being injected in both arms with poisons designed to put him to sleep, stop his breathing, then stop his heart.
Sellers sang and spoke to his witnesses before falling unconscious.
“Here I come, Father,” Sellers said loudly. “I’m coming home.” He then turned to Warden Gary Gibson and said, “Let’s do it, Gary. Let’s get it on.”
Sellers then began singing, “Set my spirit free that I might praise Thee. Set my spirit free that I might worship Thee.” Those were his last words.
Earlier, Sellers began his final statement by addressing relatives of his stepfather. He said: “All the people that are hating me right now and are here waiting to see me die, when you wake up in the morning, you’re not going to feel any different. You’re going to hate me just as much tomorrow as tonight.
“When you wake up and nothing has changed inside, reach out to God and He will be there for you. Reach out to God and He will heal you. Let Him touch your hearts. Don’t hate all your lives.”
He then told his seven witnesses, “I love you all.”
Sellers’ crimes were committed in two transactions. His first victim was Robert Bower, a convenience store clerk, who died because Sellers told a friend he “want[ed] to see what it feels like to kill somebody.” Escaping detection for the first murder, six months later, Sellers killed his mother and stepfather, each with a single shot to the back of the head, making it appear the couple had been attacked by an intruder in the middle of the night.
Afterward, Sellers told a friend he thought he had done a good job feigning his innocent discovery of the bodies and described how he stood in his undershorts while firing the two shots so no blood would spatter and be discovered on his clothing.
At his state trial on three counts of first degree murder, defense counsel portrayed Sellers as the victim of Satanism and occult worship. He further argued Sellers’ addiction to the game, Dungeons and Dragons, dictated his actions and disconnected him from any consciousness of wrongdoing or responsibility. A psychiatric expert testified Sean was “legally unconscious” at the time of all three killings and therefore incapable of forming the intent required of first degree murder.
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