Thursday, May 14, 2009

Co-defendant in Arizona killings says he, not Skillicorn, committed the crime

Pitch Weekly's blog features a statement from prisoner James Betts, who says that he and not Dennis Skillicorn, killed two people in Arizona. It has already been established that Skillicorn's co-defendant in the Missouri case that led to his conviction, is the one who committed the murder here, and not Skillicorn.

Betts' letter is included in the materials sent to Gov. Jay Nixon, as Skillicorn's lawyers attempt to convince the governor to grant clemency to their client. Skillicorn is scheduled to die next Wednesday. The statement includes this passage:

There was a home invasion. I got stupid and killed a guy. They (Frank and Dennis) didn't know it was going to happen. We drove to a house to rob it, and when Dennis saw that there was someone at home, he convinced me to leave the house. But I drove back, I was drunk and crazy, and I went back to the house. Dennis was scared of me. I had a gun, a shotgun. At first it was under my seat, I was driving and Dennis was in the back seat. Frank Brooks was riding in the passenger seat next to me. He testified against Dennis and me and he is out of prison now. Dennis didn't testify against me. He was a follower, he wouldn't have done it.

Dennis wanted to leave Howell's house, but I wouldn't let him. When I came outside and said that I had killed the owner of the home, Dennis went white as a sheet. I made Dennisgo in and check to make sure that the man was dead. I don't know why I did that to him. He'd never seen a dead person before. Dennis didn't say a word for the entire ride back to Kansas City, about an hour and a half. When we got back to Kansas City, Dennis left. I didn't see him again until after we were arrested. He was really scared.

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