According to court documents Willie Pye would abduct Alicia Lynn Yarbrough from her home. She was brought to a remote location where she was sexually assaulted and murdered
Willie Pye would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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MAJOR OFFENSE: MURDER
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: GA DIAG CLASS PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: DEATH
Willie Pye Case
Willie Pye had been in a sporadic romantic relationship with the victim, Alicia Lynn Yarbrough, but, at the time of her murder, Ms. Yarbrough was living with another man, Charles Puckett.
Pye and two companions, Chester Adams and Anthony Freeman, planned to rob Puckett because Pye had heard that Puckett had just collected money from the settlement of a lawsuit. Pye was also angry because Puckett had signed the birth certificate of a child whom Pye claimed as his own.
The three men drove to Griffin in Adams’ car and, in a street transaction, Pye bought a large, distinctive .22 pistol. They then went to a party where a witness observed Pye in possession of the large .22. Just before midnight, the three left the party and drove toward Puckett’s house. As they were leaving, a witness heard Pye say, “it’s time, let’s do it.” All of the men put on the ski masks which Pye had brought with him, and Pye and Adams also put on gloves.
They approached Puckett’s house on foot and observed that only Ms. Yarbrough and her baby were home. Pye tried to open a window and Ms. Yarbrough saw him and screamed. Willie Pye ran around to the front door, kicked it in, and held Ms. Yarbrough at gunpoint. After determining that there was no money in the house, they took a ring and a necklace from Ms. Yarbrough and abducted her, leaving the infant in the house.
The men drove to a nearby motel where Pye rented a room using an alias. In the motel room, the three men took turns raping Ms. Yarbrough at gunpoint. Pye was angry with Ms. Yarbrough and said, “You let Puckett sign my baby’s birth certificate.”
After attempting to eliminate their fingerprints from the motel room, the three men and Ms. Yarbrough left in Adams’ car. Willie Pye whispered in Adams’ ear and Adams turned off onto a dirt road. Pye then ordered Ms. Yarbrough out of the car, made her lie face down, and shot her three times, killing her. As they were driving away, Pye tossed the gloves, masks, and the large .22 from the car.
The police later recovered these items and found the victim’s body only a few hours after she was killed. A hair found on one of the masks was consistent with the victim’s hair, and a ballistics expert determined that there was a 90 percent probability that a bullet found in the victim’s body had been fired by the .22. Semen was found in the victim’s body and DNA taken from the semen matched Pye’s DNA. When Willie Pye talked to the police later that day, he stated that he had not seen the victim in at least two weeks. However, Freeman confessed and later testified for the State.
The evidence was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to find proof of Pye’s guilt of malice murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, armed robbery, rape, and burglary beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (99 SC 2781, 61 LE2d 560) (1979). The evidence was also sufficient to authorize the jury to find that Pye’s commission of kidnapping with bodily injury, armed robbery, rape, and burglary were aggravating circumstances which supported his death sentence for the murder.