A marijuana trafficker convicted of kidnapping and raping a teen – and then burying her alive – was executed this week at an Indiana prison, becoming the eighth federal inmate to die this year.
Orlando Cordia Hall, 49, was put to death via lethal injection late Thursday at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, where he was pronounced dead at 11:47 p.m., the Department of Justice announced.
Court documents show Hall, who ran a marijuana trafficking operation in Arkansas with several accomplices, drove to Arlington, Texas, in September 1994 after a botched drug deal worth $4,700.
Prosecutors said Hall and his accomplices went to the man’s home because they thought he stole their money and instead kidnapped his 16-year-old sister, Lisa Rene, after she refused to let them inside.
Hall then raped the teen — an honors student and aspiring doctor — in a car and later drove her to a hotel in Arkansas, where he and his accomplices bound and repeatedly raped her, prosecutors said.
The following morning, Hall said the teen had known “too much” and took her to a park where he and another man dug a grave earlier that afternoon, but were unable to find the site.
One day later, on Sept. 26, 1994, Hall and two other men took the teen to Byrd Natural Lake Area in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where Hall placed a sheet over her head and whacked her with a shovel, prosecutors said.
“Rene screamed and tried to run away, but the men tackled her and took turns beating her with the shovel,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “After soaking her with gasoline, they dragged her into the grave and buried her alive.”
A federal jury convicted Hall in 1995 of kidnapping resulting in death and unanimously sentenced him to die by lethal injection.
In his final statements, Hall encouraged others to become followers of Islam, the Tribune-Star reported.
“Thank you for giving me this opportunity for forgiveness,” Hall said. “Thank everyone who’s here – my family and my loved ones. I love you.”
Hall also had one final message for his children.
“I’m OK,” he said. “Take care of yourself. Tell my kids I love them.”
One of Hall’s co-conspirators, Bruce Webster, was also sentenced to death, but a court vacated the punishment last year due to his intellectual disability. Three others, including Hall’s brother, cooperated at his trial and received lesser sentences.
Rene’s sister, meanwhile, said the execution capped a “very long and painful chapter” in the family’s lives, the Tribune-Star reported.
“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,” Pearl Rene said in a statement. “Ending this painful process will be a major goal for our family. This is only the end of the legal aftermath. The execution of Orlando Hall will never stop the suffering we continue to endure. Please pray for our family as well as his.”
With Post wires