2 May 1995 – Keith Zettlemoyer

In a stark role reversal, an execution-style murderer was executed today in 1995.

The first person to ever get a lethal jab of toxins by the State of Pennsylvania was Keith Zettlemoyer. He earned it for slaying a key witness who was due to testify against him.

Zettlemoyer kidnapped and killed Charles DeVetsco just a week before his trial date. But the irony is that Zettlemoyer was caught anyway and had up for murder instead, which begs the question, why did he bother bumping him off?


Whatever the motive, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. Naturally, he appealed the decision on a number of occasions, driving the courts to outright refuse him, even to go as far as to say any further appeals would be rejected, indeed, ‘deemed frivolous, lacking in probably cause and not taken in good faith’.

Of course, that didn’t stop Zettlemoyer appealing again. After all he nothing left to lose and the ultimate was at stake ā€“ his life.

Damning evidence

It didn’t help Zettlemoyer’s defence that he was found heavily armed at the scene of the crime and the victim had been found shot twice in the back and twice in the neck.

Similarly, DeVetsco was found around an hour’s drive from his house with no personal effects on him ā€“ no keys, no money, no ID ā€“ all of which suggested he was there under duress.

But Zettlemoyer pinned his appeal argument on the fact that he was unfairly represented. However, the courts rejected his pleas, and he was finally pumped full of lethal drugs today in 1995.

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One Response to “2 May 1995 – Keith Zettlemoyer”

  1. Keith Zettlemoyer did drop his appeals in 1995 and went to his execution voluntarily.

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