According to court documents Thomas Baal would rob Frances Maves as she was checking her shuttle bus. When she was only able to give Baal a twenty dollar bill he became upset and stabbed her to death
Thomas Baal would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Thomas Baal would be executed by lethal injection on June 3 1990
Thomas Baal Case
Thomas Baal, who killed a woman in a robbery because she had given him only $20, was executed by lethal injection early today after opposing his parents’ legal effort to keep him alive.
The 26-year-old convicted killer was pronounced dead nine minutes after a mixture of three lethal drugs was pumped through tubes into his arms at 7:05 A.M. as he lay strapped on a table in the old gas chamber at the Nevada State Prison.
The warden, Pete Demosthenes, said the condemned man’s last words to him were ”Send my love to my mama and my papa.”
The execution came hours after the United States Supreme Court voted, 5 to 4, to cancel a Federal appeals court ruling blocking the execution. The execution was Nevada’s 5th and the nation’s 129th since the Supreme Court cleared the way for states to resume use of the death penalty in 1976.
The condemned man, who stabbed a bus driver to death in Las Vegas in the 1988 robbery, was described as relieved after hearing of the High Court’s decision.
”He was glad it was finally going forward, and he started to make phone calls to friends and relatives,” said a prison spokesman, Glen Whorton.
The Supreme Court voted just after midnight to cancel a stay granted Saturday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. The stay had been requested by Edwin and Doris Baal of Mesa, Colo., over their son’s objections.
The appeals court had held that a lower Federal court in Reno had erred in not holding an evidentiary hearing on the competency of Mr. Baal, who had a history of mental problems. The Justices who voted to erase the stay and allow the execution were William H. Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White and Anthony M. Kennedy. Voting to keep the stay were Justices Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan Jr., Harry A. Blackmun and John Paul Stevens.
Mr. Baal was placed on the table 25 minutes before the injection started. He looked through viewing windows at the 24 witnesses and spoke to one of them, Dan Seaton, the Deputy District Attorney for Clark County, who had prosecuted him for the murder
Mr. Seaton said he could not tell what Mr. Baal was saying, even though the convict slowly mouthed a few words. After that, the condemned man appeared to talk to himself and then closed his eyes as the injection started.
The Supreme Court was asked by the Nevada Attorney General’s office to cancel the stay. The prosecution’s petition included a statement from Mr. Baal saying he was not insane or incompetent and adding, ”I want to have this execution over with so that I can pay my debt.”
His parents said they were shocked that prosecutors went to their son’s cell at the Nevada State Prison to get the statement.
Inmate’s Brain Damage
The parents contended that Mr. Baal’s long-term mental problems and brain damage prevented him from making a rational decision about his appeals.
Last week, when one stay of execution was issued, Mr. Baal had threatened to escape and commit more crimes if sent to a mental institution instead of being executed
The victim, Frances Maves, 34, died Feb. 26, 1988, after being robbed and stabbed as she was checking her shuttle bus at the Hughes Air Terminal in Las Vegas.
In his confession, Mr. Baal said that she gave him $20 when he demanded money but that he demanded more, and a struggle ensued. ”You shouldn’t have done that,” he said in the confession. ”Now you pay. I sentence you to death.” She was stabbed repeatedly and died hours later.