STROUD, PHILLIP A. # 97
OFF DEATH ROW SINCE 05-25-04
DOB: 12-30-78 DOC: #932249 Black Male
St. Joseph County Superior Court
Prosecutor: John M. Maciejczyk, Michael J. Tuszynski
Judge William T. Means
Defense: Philip Skodinski, James F. Korpal
Date of Murder: September 14, 2000
Wayne Shumaker W / M / 59 (No relationship to Stroud)
Corby Myers W / M / 30 (No relationship to Stroud)
Lynn Ganger W / M / 54 (No relationship to Stroud)
Method of Murder:
Shooting with .9mm handgun
Wayne Shumaker, Corby Myers, and Lynn Ganger were building a loft in a pole barn at an upscale home Lakeville, Indiana when Stroud and 3 men from Detroit (Wade, Carter and Seabrooks) came to burglarize the house. After one of the workers came out of the barn, Stroud decided they needed to be killed because he may have seen the license plate on their car. Instead of fleeing the scene, they went to the barn, where Stroud ordered the men tied up and robbed. Stroud then shot each victim in the head with a Tech .9 mm semiautomatic handgun. Stroud and accomplices then returned to the home to finish the burglary. In statements later given to police, Stroud claimed that his only role was as a lookout and that he was not involved in the killings. Another accomplice, Ronald Carter of Detroit, has testified that Stroud was the shooter, as did 2 friends of Stroud who said Stroud admitted to them he shot the workmen. The men were told about the house, the valuables in it, and how to bypass the burglar alarm in order to get in, by 18 year old Charity Lynn Payne, who had once dated a member of the family. Payne cooperated by testifying at trial and later received 151 years imprisonment. Wade received 55 years and Carter 45 years. DNA from dog feces found outside the house matched the DNA in feces on the Nike athletic shoes police took from the apartment of Stroud's girlfriend.
At the time of the murders, Stroud was released on bail for charges of Dealing in Cocaine, for which he was later convicted on 01-16-02 in the St. Joseph Superior Court and sentenced to terms of 50 years imprisonment in Cause # 71D08-9907-CF-0414, and 20 years imprisonment in Cause # 71D08-9907-CF-0410.
Trial: Information/PC for Murder filed (09-18-00); Motion for Speedy Trial (10-02-00); Amended Information for DP filed (11-09-00); Voir Dire (02-20-02, 02-21-02, 02-22-02, 02-26-02, 02-27-02, 02-28-02, 03-01-02, 06-24-02, 06-25-02, 06-26-02, 07-01-02, 07-02-02, 07-03-02, 07-05-02, 07-09-02, 07-10-02); Jury Trial (07-11-02, 07-12-02, 07-13-02, 07-15-02, 07-16-02, 07-17-02, 07-18-02, 07-19-02); Deliberations over 2 days; Verdict (07-20-02); DP Trial (07-22-02, 07-23-02, 07-24-02); Verdict (07-24-02); Court Sentencing (09-04-02).
Conviction: Murder (3 counts), Burglary, Robbery (2 counts), Attempted Robbery
Sentencing: September 4, 2002 (Death Sentence, Death Sentence, Death Sentence, 20 years, 20 years, 20 years, 20 years - Consecutive)
b (1) Burglary, Robbery; b (8) 3 Murders
21 years of age.
Disadvantaged childhood; Rarely saw father.
Mistreated by Mother's boyfriends.
Abandoned by Mother.
Caring towards younger half-brother.
Emotional hardship on family and friends.
Stroud v. State, 809 N.E.2d 274 (Ind. May 25, 2004).
Convictions Affirmed 5-0; DP Vacated 5-0
Opinion by Sullivan; Shepard, Dickson, Rucker and Boehm concur.
(DP vacated on grounds that jury was improperly instructed that verdict was only a “recommendation.” Remanded for new “penalty and sentencing phases. Rucker and Boehm concurred with separate opinion, noting that “accordingly” in new statute does not compel Judge to follow jury recommendation for death)
05-24-05 Citing a severe breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, lead defense attorney James F. Korpal allowed to withdraw.
For State: Frank Schaffer, James Fox, Deputy Prosecutors
07-11-05 Stroud entered a guilty plea pursuant to a Plea Agreement and was sentenced by St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge William T. Means to Life Without Parole, and consecutive sentences of 20 years (Burglary), 20 years (Robbery), 20 years (Robbery), 20 years (Attempted Robbery).
As of July 1, 2006