Saturday, June 30, 2012

Florida Child Killer Nears Execution Date

Crack-Fueled Murderer Awaits Justice Nearly 15 Years After His Crimes
Article edited by John Brown's Bones on June 30th Dayth 2012
RAIFORD, FL. - Florida man, Jason D. Stephens, has been sitting on death row for 15 years for a series of shootings and robberies that ended when Stephens murdered a 3-year-old child. Stephens was convicted and sentenced to Death for the murder Robert Sparrow III, a child of crack dealers, in 1997.

On June 2nd 1997, Jason Stephens and several accomplices broke into the home of Robert Sparrow, Jr. According to Stephens, he went with his accomplices to the Sparrow home under the guise of buying crack. He claimed that the Sparrows did not know about his group's plans to commit a robbery.

Stephens came into the home carrying a 9-mm firearm and was standing next to 3-year-old Robert Sparrow III and Consuelo Brown, Sparrow’s mother. Brown confronted Stephens, who hit her in the face with the firearm. Stephens then shot a bullet into the floor to prove that the firearm was loaded and demanded money and marijuana.

Stephens told all of the hostages, which included Robert Sparrow III, Robert Sparrow Jr., Consuelo Brown, Kahari Brown, Tracey Williams, Derrick Hosea Dixon and Tammy Cobb, to lie on the ground, and then made the hostages crawl to the bathroom. David Cobb, Robert Sparrow Jr.’s half brother and his friend, Roderick Gardener, arrived at the home during the commission of the robbery and were forced into the bathroom with the other hostages. Items taken from the men included the keys to Gardener’s mother’s green Kia.

Stephens showed the hostages his ID and said that he was taking Robert Sparrow III with him for ‘insurance.’ He said that he would leave Robert Sparrow III somewhere if he was not followed. Stephens then left with Robert Sparrow III in the green Kia because his accomplices would not let him in their car with the child.

Stephens and and the accomplices pulled over less than one mile away and left Robert Sparrow III in the car in a sunny area around 2:30 in the afternoon. The car was not found until after 9 o’clock that night. Three-year-old Robert Sparrow III was found dead in the green Kia.

Stephens claimed that the Sparrow was alive when he left him in the car. A doctor presented by the defense testified that Robert Sparrow III died from hyperthermia due to being in the hot car for the extended period of time. In contrast, the medical examiner testified that Sparrow died from asphyxiation, which included either strangulation or suffocation.

Stephens refused to name his accomplices, however Horace Cummings turned himself into authorities as one of the accomplices. The police never apprehended the other accomplices. Cummings was sentenced to one Life sentence and eight 30-year sentences on January 16th of 1998 after turning State's Evidence and testifying against Stephens.

Stephens, who was also given two Life sentences for two other crack-fueled shootings including shooting a man repeated who has simply cut in him off in traffic in 1996, was given the Death penalty in August 7th of 1997. In February of 2011, Stephens most last Appeal was denied. He awaits an execution of sentence by the State of Florida depending on the duration of any final legal proceedings.

Would you like to tell Inmate Stephens how you feel about his crime or crimes like his own? Please, write to this convicted child-murderer at Death Row at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida using the following information which he has provided to a prison pen pal program:

Inmate #124493 Jason Stephens
Union Correctional Institution
7819 N.W. 228th St.
Raiford, FL 32026


References:
Florida Capital Court Case, Inmate #124493 Jason Stephens
Florida Dept. Of Corrections, Inmate #124493 Jason Stephens
About.com, Florida Death Row Inmates