Former drug dealer Orlando Hall, 49, was executed in Indiana Thursday for the Sept 1994 murder of Lisa Rene
Lisa Rene was kidnapped from her home, gang-raped over two days, beaten and buried alive as revenge after her two brothers stiffed Hall on a $4,700 marijuana deal
Four men kidnapped the teen from Arlington, Texas when they didn’t find the brothers at home and took her across state lines to Arkansas
Hall and another accomplice, Bruce Webster, were ultimately tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder
Hall´s brother, Demetrius Hall and another accomplice, Steve Buckley received lesser sentences in exchange for their cooperation at trial
His execution was put on hold after judge raised concerns about drug being used, but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling after six hours, and Hall was put to death
His last words were ‘I’m OK’ and ‘take care of yourselves, tell my kids I love them’
A former drug dealer convicted of kidnapping, raping and burying alive a 16-year-old girl as revenge in a botched drug deal has been executed in Indiana.
After almost 25 years on death row, Orlando Hall, 49, was put to death by lethal injection late Thursday for the 1994 murder of Lisa Rene.
Rene was kidnapped at gunpoint from her home in Arlington, Texas by a group of men and taken to Arkansas where she was murdered as revenge for a botched $5,000 marijuana deal.
Hall became the eighth death row inmate executed since the Trump administration restarted federal executions in July, ending a 17-year break.
A judge’s stay of execution over concerns about the execution drug gave Hall a reprieve, but for less than six hours. After the Supreme Court overturned the stay, he was put to death just before midnight.
Hall, was a changed man in prison according to his lawyers. Hall passed a final message to his family.
‘I’m OK,’ he said in a final statement, then adding, ‘Take care of yourselves. Tell my kids I love them.’
Hall was among four men convicted in the abduction and death of Lisa Rene in 1994.
According to federal court documents, Hall was a marijuana trafficker in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who would sometimes buy drugs in the Dallas area.
On Sept. 24, 1994, he met two men at a Dallas-area car wash and gave them $4,700 with the expectation they would return later with the marijuana. The two men were Rene´s brothers.
Instead, the men claimed their car and money were stolen. Hall and others figured they were lying and were able to track down the address of the brothers´ apartment in Arlington, Texas.
When Hall and three other men arrived, the brothers weren´t there. Lisa Rene was home, alone.
Court records offer a chilling account of the terror she faced.
‘They´re trying to break down my door! Hurry up!’ she told a 911 dispatcher. A muffled scream is heard seconds later, with a man saying, ‘Who you on the phone with?’ The line then goes dead.
‘She was studying for a test and had her textbooks on the couch when these guys came knocking on the front door,’ retired Arlington detective John Stanton Sr. recalled.
Police arrived within minutes of the 911 call, but the men were gone, with Rene. Stanton still winces at the near-miss of thwarting the crime in its early stages.
‘It was one that I won´t ever forget,’ Stanton said. ‘This one was particularly heinous.’
The men drove to a motel in Pine Bluff. Rene was repeatedly sexually assaulted during the drive and at the motel over the next two days.
On Sept. 26, Hall and two other men drove Rene to Byrd Lake Natural Area in Pine Bluff, her eyes covered by a mask.
They led her to a grave site they had dug a day earlier. Hall placed a sheet over Rene´s head then hit her in the head with a shovel.
When she ran another man and Hall took turns hitting her with the shovel before she was gagged and dragged into the grave, where she was doused in gasoline before dirt was shoveled over her.
A coroner determined that Rene was still alive when she was buried and died of asphyxiation in the grave, where she was found eight days later.
The crime took place just days before Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill into law by Bill Clinton, massively expanding use of the death penalty.
Three other men, including Hall´s brother, received lesser sentences in exchange for their cooperation at trial.
Hall was damned by testimony given by two participants in the crime, his brother Demetrius Hall and co-conspirator Steven Beckley in exchange for prison sentences.
Hall and another co-defendant Bruce Webster, were ultimately tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder.
Speaking at trial, Prosecutor Paul Macaluso declared: ‘You can live your whole life and have a myriad of experiences and never know that evil exists.
‘Then you meet someone like Orlando Hall. He’s proof positive of it.’
Webster is still in jail after his death sentence was vacated by a judge after his lawyers successfully argued that mental disability made him ineligible.
Hall’s lawyers had appealed the sentence on the basis that he was convicted by an all-white jury, arguing that racial bias played a role in sentencing.
They also argued that missteps by Hall’s attorneys during preparation for his initial trial meant the jury didn’t see evidence – including a long history of family abuse – that may have moved them to save his life.
None of the appeals were successful.
‘We have been dealing with this for 26 years and now we´re having to relive the tragic nightmare that our beloved Lisa went through,’ Rene’s older sister, Pearl Rene, said in a statement, adding that the family ‘are very relieved that this is over.’
Bruce Webster, also was sentenced to death, though a court last year vacated the sentence because Webster is intellectually disabled.