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Women Behind Bars EpisodesSeason 2    

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  • Denise Holsinger & Vanessa Crawley
    The first of these stories features Denise Holsinger who was convicted, along with her boyfriend Michael Clagett, in the fatal shooting of four people at the Witchduck Inn. Denise had recently been fired from her job there as a bartender/waitress. Although Clagett admitted to being the shooter and begged to be given the death penalty, he claimed it was all Denise's idea. Virginia's law in 1995 protected Denise from the possibility of the death penalty because she did not pull the trigger. Michael got the death penalty and was executed. Denise is serving four life sentences at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia. She volunteers for jobs that will help others, such as transcribing books into Braille for the blind. Denise has no contact with her three children or her ex-husband, and still insists that she was not the mastermind that Clagett made her out to be. When Vanessa Crawley's husband Chris threatened her if she didn't find someone for them to rob, Vanessa went along with his plan. She allegedly lured Al Roberts into their car on the pretense that he would be given a ride home with the intention of selling Chris and his two friends marijuana. Vanessa claims she stayed in the car and watched in horror as Chris allegedly pulled Roberts out of the car, robbed him and shot him five times point blank. Both Vanessa and Chris were charged with murder but Chris plead guilty and was sentenced to 60 years. Vanessa's trial took place two and half years after the crime. She was given a guilty verdict and a 33-year sentence. She is still married to Chris and writes to him from prison. Vanessa harbors regrets but holds out hope that she can come home soon.

  • Dolly Mae Clapp & Shaniqua Brown
    The first of these two stories features Dolly Mae Clapp who pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in 2006. Dolly, her pimp, Harold Bonner, and several other prostitutes, allegedly tortured and killed Mechelle Hicks who was trying to escape from Bonner's residence. Clapp then helped dispose of the body. Sentenced to 15 years, Dolly maintains she had nothing to do with the murder, and that her only crime was not calling the authorities when she should have. Shaniqua Brown lived in the projects in Brownsville, New York. On the evening of October 15, 2002, 19-year-old Shaniqua ordered food from a Chinese restaurant as part of a bungled robbery scheme. The plan was for two of Shaniqua's male friends to rob the deliveryman and, in exchange, Shaniqua would keep the Chinese food. But during the course of the robbery, the deliveryman, 36-year-old Jian Chun Lin was fatally shot by the two friends. Because Shaniqua was an accomplice in the robbery, she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Eligible for parole in 2017, Shaniqua harbors regrets about her actions.

  • Jackie Alexander & Heather Frango
    The first of these two stories features Jackie Alexander who is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of her roommate and confidant, Thomas Hammond. Hammond's body was found scorched in the trunk of his car, the morning after his murder. Alexander and 16-year-old Derek Wilkes stabbed and tortured the neighborhood good-Samaritan for three hours before he finally died. Jackie's defense attorney argued that an abusive past led Jackie to snap when threatened by Hammond, despite the fact that Thomas helped to support Jackie for almost 10 years. The 48-year-old mother will spend the rest of her life in a nine by six cell. Because of good behavior, Jackie is currently working the highest paid job in jail. She washes laundry for one dollar a day. Hammond's sister Charlotte says she has forgiven Jackie. Heather Frango's two-and-a-half-year-old son, Jonathan was mauled to death by the family pit bulls, who were said to be tied up outside the house. One night after one of the animals gave birth to a litter of puppies, they were allowed to sleep inside. That morning, little Jonathan wandered out of his parent's bed to get a bowl of cereal. Moments later, Heather urgently dialed 911 and screamed for help as her son lay bleeding and dying. The prosecution claims Heather and James were smoking marijuana and did not hear or help the child during the attack. After the investigation, Heather's and James' house was condemned because of the poor living conditions. The couple faced 60 years in prison but were sentenced to only three. Heather is scheduled to be released from Fluvanna Correctional Center in June 2009.

  • Gena Shaughnessy & Deborah Rolle
    The first of these stories features Gena Shaughnessy who always had problems learning in school. But she somehow managed to graduate high school and have two children. Then she met and married Rick Shaughnessy, with whom she had two more children. In 2003, their 10-month-old baby died; Gena turned to drugs and her marriage to Rick fell apart. While in the process of divorcing her husband, Gena moved in with his friend, 39-year-old James Gusich. She did, however, maintain a relationship with her husband Rick. On October 11, 2003 Gena was with Rick that evening delivering pizza. She claims she left him at 9:30 p.m. The next day, police found Rick's body with multiple stab wounds in an alley. Both Gena and Gusich were arrested. James plead guilty and was offered a reduced charge of second-degree murder and a sentence of 20 years in prison. Gena chose to stand trial, claiming she had nothing to do with the murder. The jury found Gena guilty of first-degree murder and solicitation. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison. She still maintains she is innocent. Deborah Rolle, who was convicted in the murder of her estranged husband, Allen Agonovic, and is serving a life sentence in Florida. In 1999, after a bitter divorce in which she believed that her husband was abusing her youngest daughter, he was given custody of their children. On March 4, Allen and the two children visited Deborah in her home, where Deborah shot and killed Allen. Six weeks after his death, Deborah was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. At her trial, Deborah claimed self-defense but the jury convicted her of second-degree murder. She still maintains she acted in self-defense.

  • Alicia Williamson & Patricia Donnelly
    The first of these stories features Alicia Williamson, who was charged with the murder of Robert Atkins, Jr., her roommate of nine days. Alicia and Atkins cultivated a phone relationship through an online dating site. Then Atkins invited Alicia to move in with him to get a fresh start in a new city. But nine days after moving in with him, Alicia stabbed Atkins 27 times. Although she claims it was self-defense, Alicia was convicted and sentenced to 10-12 years in prison. She is scheduled to be released in 2013. As a result of her good behavior, Alicia is currently working as a housekeeper in the governor's mansion. She says she is deeply sorry about what happened. 23-year-old Patricia Donnelly was desperate to come up with the funds to spring her common law husband from jail. At a swingers club in Dallas, Texas, she picked up 43-year-old Cary Ray Taylor, and offered him sex for money. After bringing Taylor to her apartment, she tied him to a couch and strangled him with her bra. Then she allegedly participated in dumping his body into a ravine. She was stopped by police while driving Taylor's car, and after five days, confessed to the killing. She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Patricia takes full responsibility for her actions, and regrets her crime.

  • Donna Buchanan & Marion Faye Cason
    The first story features Donna Buchanan who, on the night of October 6, 2000, stabbed her boyfriend, Charles Gouveia, 54 times. Donna was 37 years old and Charles was 80. Donna claimed the murder was committed in self-defense and that she had endured years of physical and mental abuse from Charles. The police's theory was that Donna, who had a long history of drug abuse, killed Charles in a drug-induced rage. Buchanan accepted a plea deal for second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. On January 2, 2003, 2-year-old Serinity Miller died from injuries consistent with child abuse: multiple bruises to the head and body and suffocation. Her mother, 24-year-old Marion Faye Cason denied being at home when the baby died and claimed that she had left her daughter with her alleged roommate, 40-year-old convicted child abuser Frederick Stegall. Both Stegall and Cason were later arrested for first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect. Stegall took a plea of second degree murder and is serving 19 years on prison. Marion chose to stand trial, where medical experts placed her at the scene at the time of death. A jury found Marion guilty on all counts. Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, she still maintains she is innocent.

  • Jessica Gentry & Shannon Buard
    The first of these two stories features Jessica Gentry, who was charged with capital murder in connection with the robbery and slaying of her adoptive grandmother. Jessica's boyfriend Shawn Barclay and their friend, Drew Alexander, allegedly smothered Carolyn Joyce Thomas while Jessica stayed in her room. The three wrapped Thomas in garbage bags and dumped the body in a creek bed under a bridge. The two friends pleaded guilty to murder but Jessica chose to go to trial. She was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. She deeply regrets her actions. On a warm spring day in 1998, Shannon Buard fatally shot 19-year-old Shawana Moss in a courtyard in an apartment complex in Dallas, Texas while neighbors were playing a dice game. Shannon had pulled the trigger in a rage against losing her last $3 in the game, and Ms. Moss was in the line of fire. Although she confessed to the shooting, Shannon explained that she did not intend to kill the victim. After refusing a plea bargain, Shannon was convicted of first-degree murder in a jury trial; she was sentenced to 85 years in prison and given a $10,000 fine. Although she had agreed to be interviewed on camera for this series, she subsequently declined.

  • Karen Mullally & Linda Pillius
    The first of these two stories features Karen Mullally who, in 1995, was charged with setting a fire that killed the two sleeping children of her alleged lesbian lover. She was convicted of arson and two counts of second-degree manslaughter. Although Karen had a previous history of arson, she had never been charged, and claims, to this day, that she is innocent. In 2004, Linda Pillius fatally stabbed a man she had been living with. She told police she had been drinking beer and taking cocaine. Although she claimed self-defense, she pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter, and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. She had previously served four years in prison for second-degree attempted murder. Linda says that she feels guilty for what she did and deserves her time in prison.

  • Angela Turner & Sharon Mabry
    The first of these two stories features 27-year-old Angela Turner who was found guilty of fatally stabbing an 18-year-old woman after an argument in a storage shed near a friend's home. The two women met in a mental health facility and had recently become roommates. Angela's alcohol blood level was three times the limit for drunk driving shortly after being arrested for the stabbing. Her trial lasted only one day and she was sentenced to life in prison. Sharon Mabry, a prostitute, madam, and ex-informant for the police was convicted of felony murder and three counts of robbery in the death of her estranged pimp/boyfriend. While passing time on crack in a drug house, Sharon devised a plan to get the money she needed to support her habit, and allegedly recruited two people to help her. Suspect Anthony O'Garro pled guilty to murder but would divulge the identity of the person who pulled the trigger. Sharon maintains that she is innocent.

  • Lutrische Dancy & Anita Gonzales
    The first of these stories features Lutrische Dancy who was charged with first-degree murder after she confessed to shooting her 51-year-old husband. The man's decomposing body was found after complaints to police of a foul odor emanating from a home in Miami, Florida. It was determined that Dancy poured acid on the victim's corpse and tried to light it on fire to dispose of the body. Lutrische, who was sentenced to 45 years in prison, claims the victim abused her. Anita Gonzales was convicted of first-degree murder for the death a 68-year-old dear friend. His body was found rolled in a blanket in the garage of his home. Anita maintains that she was not involved in the crime, although police say she orchestrated the crime, recruiting her son and two acquaintances to steal from the victim. According to testimony, Anita's son beat the victim with a pipe wrench. Anita was caught two days later when she tried to cash one of the victim's forged checks.

  • Natasha Cornett & LaSonya Larry
    The first of these stories features Natasha Cornett who, along with five friends, was charged with felony murder, among other charges, in 1998. Natasha and her friends carjacked a van belonging to Peter Lillelid, a Jehovah's witness and father of two, and then fatally shot Lillelid, his wife, and their six-year-old daughter. Their two-year-old son, Peter, survived the slaying but lost an eye. Natasha was called the ringleader of the group, which she and her mother deny, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On the morning of March 24, 2007 the body of 57-year-old Sherred "Rat" Burney was discovered on a bedroom floor in his home in Clearwater, Florida. Friends of had called Clearwater police after hearing rumors that Burney's girlfriend, LaSonya Larry, may have stabbed him. Burney had been dead since the night before when he and Larry had gotten into a physical altercation, and she grabbed a garden knife on his kitchen table and swung at him. Though she did not know it at the time (she says she was trying to escape from him), she stabbed him in the chest, puncturing his left lung and pulmonary artery. She was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

  • Diane Fleming & Shelby Carano
    The first of these two stories features Diane Fleming who was convicted of murder. She allegedly poisoned her husband, Chuck Fleming, by mixing methanol into a sports drink. The case against Diane was entirely circumstantial; many of her supporters believe Chuck's death may have been caused by something other than methanol poisoning. Despite the lack of direct evidence, deceitful behavior on Diane's part paired with the existence of methanol in the sports drink bottle in the home refrigerator led jurors to find her guilty. She was sentenced to 30 years for first-degree murder and 20 years for adulteration of a food substance, with the sentences running concurrently. Diane maintains that she is innocent. Shelby Carano worked for an escort service and was a long-time drug addict. She had been with Stanley McMillan the night before he was found dead in a motel room from acute heroin intoxication. Shelby said on the stand that she first denied being with him with at the motel to avoid a prostitution charge, and did not know that he had died until police told her. Shelby is serving a 16-year prison sentence for second-degree murder and distribution of heroin. While incarcerated, she is concentrating on her education and hopes that others can learn from her story of how drugs ruined her life.
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