Texas Execution Information Center

Michael Perry

Michael James Perry, 28, was executed by lethal injection on 1 July 2010 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of three people.

On 24 October 2001, Perry, then 19, and Jason Burkett, 19, went to the Montgomery home where Sandra Stotler, 50, lived with her 17-year-old son, Adam. As Perry later confessed, he and Burkett decided that they needed one or two new vehicles. They knew that Adam Stotler's parents had "a lot of money" as well as "a newer Camaro and Isuzu Rodeo." They devised a plan to ask to spend the night at the Stotlers and then steal the Camaro while they were asleep. Driving Burkett's girlfriend's truck, they went to the home at about 7 p.m. Mrs. Stotler told them that Adam would not be home until around 9 p.m.

They started driving away, but then decided to go back and steal the car while only Mrs. Stotler was home. They parked the pickup down the street and walked back to the house. Burkett knocked on the door and asked to use the phone while Perry snuck into the house through the garage, with the shotgun. Perry hid in the laundry room and knocked on the back door. When Mrs. Stotler came to answer the door, he shot her with the shotgun. She fell to the floor. When he saw that she moved, as if trying to get up, he shot her again. He and Burkett then grabbed some blankets and sheets off the bed to cover the body. Burkett ran down the street and got the truck and loaded the body into it with the blankets and sheets. Perry wanted to steal the Camaro, but was unable to find the keys. They drove away in the truck, disposed of the body at Crater Lake, then drove to Conroe and picked up Burkett's girlfriend, Kristen Willis.

The group drove back to the Stotler's gated community. They didn't know the code to open the gate, but they knew Adam would be coming home soon. While they were waiting, they devised a plan to tell Adam that a friend of theirs had shot himself while they were hunting squirrels, and they needed his help. Adam then arrived in the Isuzu Rodeo with his friend, Jeremy Richardson, 18. After Perry and Burkett asked Adam for help, they drove out to a wooded area, while Adam and Jeremy followed in the Rodeo. The four boys got out of their vehicles and walked into the woods while Willis stayed in her truck. Adam then suggested that they look for the friend from a different road, so he and Perry drove away in the Rodeo while Burkett and Richardson stayed in the woods.

According to Perry's confession, Adam parked the Rodeo, and the two of them got out. Burkett then approached them with the shotgun, alone. Burkett asked them if they heard gunshots, for he fired his shotgun several times to signal his location to them. Burkett told Adam he would take him to where the others were. Perry walked back to the Rodeo while Adam went with Burkett. Perry saw Burkett shoot Adam, then he covered his eyes and heard another shot. He uncovered his eyes and saw Burkett shoot Adam a third time. Perry then walked over to Adam's body and pulled his car keys out of his pocket. Burkett and Perry drove the Rodeo back to where Willis was waiting. She became upset with them and drove home. Burkett drove Perry back to the Stotlers. Perry grabbed Adam's wallet from the Isuzu and took the keys to the Camaro off of his key ring. He then drove the Camaro away. The boys then went home, smoked some cigarettes, got cleaned up, and went out to a club.

On the morning of 26 October, Perry was driving the stolen Camaro when police spotted him committing traffic violations. After a high speed chase, Perry wrecked the Camaro and fled on foot. He was apprehended and booked as Adam Stotler, whose wallet he was still carrying. He was then released on bond.

On 27 October, Sandra Stotler's body was found in Crater Lake at 4:30 p.m.

On 30 October, a Montgomery County sheriff's corporal spotted the stolen Rodeo at a truck stop, with three occupants. The vehicle struck the corporal in the course of fleeing, but the officer was able to shoot out a rear tire. The vehicle crashed. Perry and Burkett fled on foot, carrying a shotgun. They climbed a fence and ran to a nearby apartment complex, where police arrested them and recovered the shotgun. Perry, who had a deep cut on his arm from the crash, was taken to a hospital for treatment. Officers questioned him at the hospital and obtained the confession related above.

At his trial, Perry claimed that police coerced the confession from him and ignored his request for a lawyer. "I had a gun shoved in my face," he testified. "At the time, there was quite a bit of excitement. I was under the influence. My arms hurt pretty bad and I was real scared ... my condition in my mind state was that I am going to tell [the detective] anything he wants to hear to get him away from me, to get out of this situation, and that's what I did."

Perry had been diagnosed with personality and conduct disorders as a schoolchild. He ran away from home while in junior high school and became a drifter. He supported himself by stealing and selling pills and other items.

Continued on Page 2