Georgia executes inmate who tried suicide

Man convicted in 1998 Jones County triple murder case is denied final appeal

  • Follow Metro

JACKSON, Ga. --- A death row inmate who tried to kill himself last week by slashing his arms and throat with a razor blade was executed Monday night, amid heightened security, for the 1998 murders of a trucking company owner and his two children.

Rhode  Associated Press
Associated Press
Rhode

Brandon Joseph Rhode, 31, was put to death by lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson. He was pronounced dead by authorities at 10:16 p.m. Rhode declined to speak any last words or have a final prayer.

He was convicted in 2000 of the killings of Steven Moss, 37, his son Bryan, 11, and daughter Kristin, 15, during a burglary of their Jones County home. His co-conspirator, Daniel Lucas, was sentenced to death in a separate trial and remains on death row.

Rhode's execution had been set for 7 p.m. His attorneys applied Monday afternoon to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution. The court rejected the appeals later that night.

Rhode had previously been scheduled to be put to death Sept. 21, but the Georgia Supreme Court postponed the execution twice after he was rushed to the hospital that day after a suicide attempt.

Rhode was stabilized at a hospital and placed in a restraining chair to prevent him from pulling out the sutures on his neck or doing any other harm to himself, state attorneys said.

Defense attorney Brian Kammer countered that Rhode was put in a "torture chair" and subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Kammer urged the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday to push back the execution again so experts could evaluate whether Rhode was mentally competent to be executed, or understood why he was being punished. He said Rhode lost half his blood Sept. 21 when he cut himself, went into shock and could have suffered brain damage.

The inmate's supporters filed a separate motion urging the execution be delayed for three weeks so officials could determine how Rhode got the razor blades he used to slash himself. A federal judge rejected the appeal but ordered state prisons officials to take more security precautions to make sure he did not harm himself.

Rhode and Lucas were ransacking the Moss home in search of valuables in April 1998 when Bryan Moss saw them through a front window and entered through a back door armed with a baseball bat, prosecutors said. They said they wrestled Bryan to a chair and Lucas shot him in the shoulder.

When the intruders heard Kristin approaching the house, Rhode forced her to a chair and shot her twice with a pistol, according to court records. Rhode ambushed Steven Moss when he arrived home, shooting him with the same pistol. Lucas later shot each of the victims again to make sure they were dead, according to the records.

Rhode appealed the case several times, arguing that his trial attorneys failed to present enough evidence to persuade the jury to spare his life. Kammer argued more recently that his client should be granted clemency because doctors discovered he suffered from organic brain damage and a fetal alcohol disorder.

Each time, though, the appeals were denied.

Delay in California

SAN FRANCISCO --- California's first execution in nearly five years was pushed back almost two days Monday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to allow courts more time to consider the condemned inmate's appeals.

Albert Greenwood Brown is now scheduled to die by lethal injection at 9 p.m. Thursday, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Brown initially was scheduled for execution at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The 45-hour reprieve pushes the execution to within hours of the Friday expiration date on the state's supply of sodium thiopental, one of the drugs used in the lethal injection process.

Comments (44) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Dixieman
17411
Points
Dixieman 09/27/10 - 04:42 am
0
0
Time -- past time -- to get

Time -- past time -- to get rid of this guy. He's had 99 or whatever appeals, let justice finally be done.

1CowboyFan
0
Points
1CowboyFan 09/27/10 - 05:49 am
0
0
3rd times a charm.

3rd times a charm.

CABoatright
188
Points
CABoatright 09/27/10 - 06:08 am
0
0
This waste of air was
Unpublished

This waste of air was competent when he executed the family and competent when he stood trial...DO IT NOW and stop wasting our tax money!

greyfox
0
Points
greyfox 09/27/10 - 06:10 am
0
0
Three strikes and you're out!

Three strikes and you're out!

bentman
466
Points
bentman 09/27/10 - 06:26 am
0
0
He's on death row anyway and

He's on death row anyway and we save him from his attempted suicide only to to incur the expense of doing what he wanted done anyway.

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 09/27/10 - 07:06 am
0
0
(competent to be executed or

(competent to be executed or understands why he is being punished.) So he must understand why?/what difference does it make hes going to be DEAD!!!

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 09/27/10 - 07:16 am
0
0
Mr Rhode do you understand we

Mr Rhode do you understand we are going to kill you becouse you killed 3 people? No I do not understand. OK stop the execution until he understands.....Then Kill Him

NoCatchyName
63
Points
NoCatchyName 09/27/10 - 07:41 am
0
0
He is competent to be

He is competent to be executed if he is still alive.

Rolling Eyes
247
Points
Rolling Eyes 09/27/10 - 07:51 am
0
0
They've had ten years to

They've had ten years to establish his competency. His having a emotional meltdown and taking drastic measures shouldn't come as a surprise or be a special consideration for delaying his execution.

This event should take place as soon as possible, family and friends of victims as well as his own must be an emotional wreck and exhausted. Let them put closure to this entire episode.

mgr
0
Points
mgr 09/27/10 - 08:17 am
0
0
I was in Macon when this

I was in Macon when this happened and it was awful that him and his friend killed each child and their Dad as the returned from school and work. It's obvious they both knew damn well what they were doing.It's unimaginable what the mother had to walk into that day, and live with the rest of her life.

peonynut
2
Points
peonynut 09/27/10 - 08:44 am
0
0
Should have let him bleed

Should have let him bleed out.

Quack Quack Quack
1325
Points
Quack Quack Quack 09/27/10 - 09:04 am
0
0
He's trying to get over on

He's trying to get over on the system. THREE last meal requests. Let him eat beans...

RoadkiII
6807
Points
RoadkiII 09/27/10 - 02:15 pm
0
0
I propose the inmates be

I propose the inmates be given longer, sharper razor blades.

Dixieman
17411
Points
Dixieman 09/27/10 - 03:50 pm
0
0
Triple murderer finally gets

Triple murderer finally gets poetic justice on third try to execute. Ga Supreme Court just denied another stay application, hope this will now end it.

follower
92
Points
follower 09/27/10 - 05:31 pm
0
0
In just over 25 minutes,

In just over 25 minutes, he'll know whether there's an eternal judgement.

KSL
143947
Points
KSL 09/27/10 - 06:06 pm
0
0
Too bad he was successful in

Too bad he was successful in costing Georgia taxpayers, (and we are), in his last ditch effort to postpone his execution.

Dixieman
17411
Points
Dixieman 09/27/10 - 06:09 pm
0
0
5...4...3...2...

5...4...3...2...

AWyld1
3
Points
AWyld1 09/27/10 - 06:09 pm
0
0
I think they should give him

I think they should give him bigger and sharper razors.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/27/10 - 06:14 pm
0
0
Hopefully this guys worm food

Hopefully this guys worm food by now. What a sorry excuse for a human being. Who is so evil that they kill kids?

Indigo
4
Points
Indigo 09/27/10 - 06:41 pm
0
0
I suppose he thought the

I suppose he thought the stunt would get him off the hook. If he wanted to kill himself, he'd have done it.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 09/27/10 - 06:43 pm
0
0
Figured this would have been

Figured this would have been updated by now. Is he dead or not?
His lawyer is doing what they do, fighting for his client till the very end, even though it makes no difference. He knew years ago what he did, why he was being put to death. A suicide attempt changes nothing mr lawyer. Nice try though!

Dixieman
17411
Points
Dixieman 09/27/10 - 07:06 pm
0
0
Postponed or not? Wha???

Postponed or not? Wha???

Connor Threlkeld
998
Points
Connor Threlkeld 09/27/10 - 07:12 pm
0
0
AP rewrote their article to

AP rewrote their article to clarify that the new appeal to the Supreme Court put things on hold again. Sorry for the confusion.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 09/27/10 - 07:15 pm
0
0
Since he is mentally ill give

Since he is mentally ill give him a months supply of his medication as self meds for him to keep in his cell to administer himself and maybe he will take them all at once and not know he killed himself.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 09/27/10 - 07:17 pm
0
0
Ok, someone with knowledge of

Ok, someone with knowledge of the law and how it work's. Please tell me that this is IT!! That there are no more appeals after this one?? Let the man die for his crime committed and the family have some kind of peace!!

KSL
143947
Points
KSL 09/27/10 - 07:20 pm
0
0
If he wanted to kill himself,

If he wanted to kill himself, why didn't he just wait for the lethal injection?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/27/10 - 07:43 pm
0
0
The title of the article

The title of the article keeps changing and half the posts don't make sense.

I'm glad the appeal was denied. May he rot in, well, you know where. I hope it's good and hot and he pays for his crimes every second.

Connor Threlkeld
998
Points
Connor Threlkeld 09/27/10 - 07:30 pm
0
0
And now, as of 8 p.m., the

And now, as of 8 p.m., the Supreme Court has denied the appeal...

msjen50
0
Points
msjen50 09/27/10 - 07:34 pm
0
0
It's time for him to meet his

It's time for him to meet his maker....satan

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 09/27/10 - 08:00 pm
0
0
Well of course it changes. Ty

Well of course it changes. Ty Connor for keeping us updated!
Now, the man will meet his maker.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mayor's race historic, controversial

Hardie Davis is still waiting to take office after winning a mayoral race that featured no white candidates and saw one of his opponents drop out the day before the election.
Search Augusta jobs