Death Penalty Exhausted Appeals – Part 2
By Michele Hanisee
This is the second in a series of articles that focuses on the murderers on California’s death row who have exhausted all appeals. The last impediment to executions is a federal stay that is now being challenged by several elected District Attorneys and victims. Newsom’s blocking the execution of these vicious murderers is in direct violation of the will of California voters, who three times in the past seven years, have made it clear they support the death penalty.
Albert Brown was sentenced to death in 1982 for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Susan Louise Jordan. As detailed in the final decision of the California Supreme Court, his death sentence was upheld after repeated and exhaustive appeals in the state and federal courts.
Prior to his murdering Susan Jordan, Brown committed the violent rape and sodomy of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant as a result. Brown pled guilty to this crime for a probationary sentence. He was next convicted of the 1976 rape of a 14-year old girl committed after breaking into the girl’s family home. Brown was sentenced to prison in May of 1978 but was out on parole by June of 1980.
Just four months after his parole, Brown accosted Susan Jordan as she was walking to school. He dragged her body into an orange grove where he raped and killed her. He left her half-nude body laying in the orange grove, taking her identification and school books.
That afternoon, Brown called Susan’s mother, Angelina Jordan. He said “Hello, Mrs. J., Susie isn’t home from school yet, is she?” He then said “You will never see your daughter again. You can find her body on the corner of Victoria and Gibson.”
Brown called the police with the same information. As detailed in the appeal, “a police dog found Susan’s body lying face down in the orange grove, with dirt piled up on both sides of her head. The body was nude below the waist except for socks, and Susan’s bra was partially pulled out from under her blouse. Her jeans were located elsewhere in the grove. A shoelace, apparently from one of her shoes, was wrapped tightly around her neck. Homicide investigators found signs of a struggle and indications that the body had been dragged for some distance.”
The next morning, police set roadblocks around the crime scene to question people and find information about a potential suspect. Their search led them to Brown’s residence. He was arrested when he arrived home driving a car that fit witness descriptions of the car seen parked near the orange grove at the time of the murder. Inside Brown’s residence police located a telephone directory turned to the page containing the Jordan’s’ phone listing, newspaper articles about Susan’s death, and two of her missing schoolbooks. A search of Brown’s work locker turned up a semen-stained bloody track suit. At trial, three witnesses positively identified Brown as the man they saw near the grove on the day of Susan’s death. There was overwhelming evidence of Brown’s guilt.
Brown was convicted of first-degree murder and of the special circumstance of murder in the course of rape. Governor Newsom thinks Brown deserves mercy.
Tiequon Cox is on death row for first-degree murder of Ebora Alexander, her daughter, Dietra Alexander, and two grandsons, 8-year-old Damon Bonner, and 13-year-old Damani Garner, all family members of former San Francisco 49ers team member, Kermit Alexander.
As detailed in the United States Court of Appeals decision, Cox and his crime partners Darren Williams and Horace Burns, were all Rolling 60s Crips gang members. They were hired by the owner of the Vermont Club to kill a woman who was suing the nightclub because she had been shot while at the nightclub and left permanently crippled.
Early on the morning of August 31, 1984, Cox met Williams and Burns at the home of Williams’ friend, Ida Moore. Williams asked Moore if she would drive the men to “pick up some money.” Moore agreed, but said she needed to get gas. None of the three men had any money for gas so Moore paid for gas. After getting gas, Moore and her friend, Lisa Brown drove the three men in Moore’s red van to an address that Williams had written down on a piece of paper. Williams directed Moore where to drive. During the drive, one of the three men said they were going to kill everyone in the house. When Williams found the address he was looking for he told Moore to park the van down the street and keep the engine running. Unfortunately, the house he chose was two doors down from the home of the woman who was suing the nightclub. Williams and Cox exited the van and walked to the house owned by Ebora Alexander. Cox was carrying an M-1 carbine rifle concealed under a blue jacket. Williams had a revolver.
Moore and Brown heard gunshots, then observed Williams run back to the van with his revolver. They heard more gunshots and Cox also ran back to the van carrying the rifle. When Cox entered the getaway van, he stated,”I just blew the bitch’s head off.” The men directed Moore to drive them to the Vermont Club.
Ebora Alexander was shot three times in the head as she was drinking coffee in her kitchen. Pieces of her skull and brain tissue were scattered across the kitchen curtains. Dietra, Damon, and Damani were shot to death in their beds where they slept. Dietra was shot three times in the head and neck. Each of the young boys suffered a single gunshot to the head. Two other family members were in the house at the time. Neal Alexander heard screams and tried to fight off Cox who he found in the bedroom with a rifle. Ebora’s grandson Ivan, age 14, survived by hiding in a closet.
All the bullets and casings recovered at the scene of sufficient condition for comparison were matched back to the M-1 carbine rifle which was later recovered in the possession of a man who testified that he got the gun from Cox. In the course of their investigation, criminalists found Cox’s palm print on a red foot locker in the bedroom where the shooting occurred.
On the afternoon of these brutal murders, Cox, paid $3,000 in cash for a 1975 Cadillac and Williams paid cash the following day for a new car.
Williams and Burns are serving life in prison. Having lost all of his appeals, Cox is eligible to be executed.
Michele Hanisee is President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.