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Thursday, November 20, 1997
Suspected serial killer executed for 1982 West
By MICHAEL GRACZYK / Associated Press Writer
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A suspected serial killer who buried
bodies in the West Texas oilfields where he worked was executed
Wednesday night for abducting and fatally stabbing a woman more
than 15 years ago in an attack that also left her daughter dead.
Michael Eugene Sharp, 43, was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m.,
eight minutes after a lethal dose of drugs was released into his
In a final statement, Sharp praised God and asked for forgiveness.
He also expressed love to family and friends.
"I would like to tell the surviving victims here, society,
my family and friends, that I ask that they forgive me for anything
I have done. I beg for your forgiveness," he said.
"I would like to ask the Lord, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness
and say that despite my circumstances, I have been blessed by
Sharp nodded to an adjacent witness room and a woman whose
mother and sister he had slain, and he nodded toward five friends
who watched from another small room a few feet away.
He asked that the wall separating the two witness rooms be
"brought down and ... and that we put this incident in the
past and behind and build a future."
Sharp was the 35th condemned killer to receive lethal injection
in Texas this year, adding to a state record for executions in
a single year.
Winkler County District Attorney Mike Fostel said he's confident
Sharp was responsible for killing five people and said the former
oil rig tool pusher told investigators "he'd give me five
more graves if I got off my high horse and quit trying to seek
the death penalty."
"I never negotiated with him," Fostel said this week.
" I had no regard for him then. I have no regard for him
now. I'm not the kind of prosecutor that says death penalty in
every case, but Mike Sharp is a cold-blooded serial killer. He
would still be killing if he was out. It's time for him to die.
It's past time for him to die."
Sharp was convicted of abducting at knifepoint Brenda Kay Broadway,
32, and her two daughters, 8 and 14, from a car wash in Kermit,
just south of the Texas-New Mexico border, on June 11, 1982. They
drove in Sharp's pickup truck into the desert in adjacent Ector
County where the mother and daughters were sexually assaulted.
Ms. Broadway and her younger daughter, Christie Michelle Elms,
then were stabbed to death. The older daughter, Selena, escaped,
hid in some mesquite trees and wandered naked for eight hours
and five miles before finding help at an oil rig.
The bodies of her mother and sister were found in shallow graves.
The older daughter's description of Sharp's winged horse tattoo
on his chest led to his arrest several days later in Sweetwater.
She also testified at Sharp's murder trials where a jury took
37 minutes to decide he should die for her mother's death. Sharp
received a life term for her sister's murder.
Selena Kelly, now 30, is married, has a son and is living in
Florida. She said she wanted to be in the death chamber to see
Sharp get his "just desserts."
"He's gone and off the streets and for that I'm thankful,"
she said after watching Sharp die. "For my mom and my sister's
sake, I felt I owed it to them to see it through to the end. And
it's the end."
Sharp already had been known to West Texas authorities. At
the time of his arrest, he was on parole for almost three years
after serving 2-1/2 years of a 15-year term for aggravated robbery
and theft in Ector County.
Sharp also was linked to but never charged with three other
murders in the area, including two members of his oil rig crew
-- William McNew, 27, and Tammy Davis, 20 -- clubbed to death
with a shovel in February 1982, and the disappearance three months
later of a pregnant 18-year-old Odessa woman, Blanca Guerrero.
The bodies of McNew and Ms. Davis were found buried near a
rig where Sharp worked. Six months after Mrs. Guerrero disappeared,
Sharp led authorities to her decomposed remains buried under a
He refused to take responsibility for her death. He also refused
to discuss with reporters any of the other killings or disappearances
of people from the area from late 1981 through the spring of 1982.
Sharp insisted, however, he turned his life around after finding
God on death row. He gained notoriety among death penalty opponents
as a founder of Lamp of Hope, an organization dedicated since
1991 to seeking compassion and forgiveness for condemned killers.
It now claims some 700 members around the world.
"If he was for real, he would go ahead and give up the
other graves he offered to me ... just so the families would know,"
Fostel, the prosecutor who sent Sharp to death row, said. "You
don't change overnight. I've rarely seen anyone who went to the
pen for any length of time that didn't start claiming that they
found religion about the time they want something or someone to
cut them a little slack."
Another Texas inmate, Charlie Livingston, is set to die Friday
for a 1983 robbery-murder in Houston. At least three more executions
are scheduled for December.
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