Read this case and you will learn what it is like to let a guilty murderer live. All thanks to Pat Quinn for abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, this scumbag will only get a life sentence when he had already served only 20 years for a previous murder, now he has committed another murder when he was out of jail again. Mention this case to any Death Penalty Abolitionist in Illinois and you will keep them quiet.
Robert L. Clemens wrote in the State Journal Register: Capital punishment as a preventative Posted Nov 28, 2010 @ 12:03 AM: I have a thought concerning capital punishment: Let's put the horse before the cart and eliminate all murders, then we can eliminate capital punishment. Oh, wait a minute — that's the arrangement now.
If no murder is committed then capital punishment is not accorded. Just a reminder: Diann Hoagland was murdered in August 2010, allegedly by Mark Pryer. In November 1984, Pryer was convicted of the 1982 slayings of David and Mary Davidson.
If prosecutors are correct, the second murder would not have occurred if capital punishment had been carried out the first time around.
All those Death Penalty Abolitionists should apologize and compensate the families of three lives lost from this killer.
Pryer sentenced to natural life in prison
When Steven Mark Pryer entered the courtroom Tuesday to be sentenced for killing Diann Hoagland while burglarizing her home, he knew what the outcome would be.
With two prior murder convictions, by law he had to be sentenced to natural life in prison.
“We knew that the judge had no option but to rule the way he did on the sentence,” said Pryer’s attorney, G. Ronald Kesinger. “There was no argument.”
Pryer faced a term of natural life imprisonment because he was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of David and Mary Davidson in Sangamon County in 1982. He was released from prison Aug. 22, 2002, after serving nearly 20 of the 40 years imposed, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Morgan County authorities believe the 54-year-old rural Alexander woman was fatally shot Aug. 18, 2010, when she returned home from a walk and interrupted a burglary at her home.
State’s Attorney Chris Reif said killing Hoagland made no sense.
“This lady ... would have never hurt anybody and, in fact, would have helped anybody and given them anything,” Reif said. “She is gone now as a result of a senseless act by this defendant who has done it before,” Reif said.
Judge Richard Mitchell said people like Pryer are the reason the death penalty was created.
“I know that Diann Hoagland would not have wanted that,” he said.
Mitchell also said Pryer has showed no remorse and appeared at his trial to be cold and calculated.
Pryer could have qualified for death by lethal injection upon being convicted of murder if burglary or home invasion were proven to be aggravating factors. But in March, when Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation to abolish executions in Illinois, Reif said seeking the death penalty in Pryer’s case was a moot point.
On Reif’s recommendation, Pryer also was sentenced to the maximum of 15 years in prison for the residential burglary. He is to serve that sentence consecutively if the murder conviction and life imprisonment are overturned.
As family members read aloud in court statements about the impact of Hoagland’s death on their lives, Pryer looked straight ahead and showed no emotion.
Thirteen-year-old Sabrina Hoagland —whose father read aloud her statement for her — and Sabrina’s mother, April Hoagland, told Pryer that Diann Hoagland would have given him anything he wanted from her house.
Material things were not important to Diann Hoagland and “she was going to walk away because living life was more important to her,” said April Hoagland, who is married to Diann Hoagland’s oldest son, Dewaine. “You killed our mother because it was easy. Your decision that horrible day changed our lives forever.”
April Hoagland offered Pryer some kindness.
“Mr. Pryer, I hope you find God, because that is what Diann Hoagland would want for you,” she said. “Our faith and belief in the Lord will allow our family to mend.”
Dewaine Hoagland also read a statement written by his sister, Mary Hoagland Krispinsky, who lives in Suffolk, Va., and could not be there for the sentencing hearing.
Krispinsky was seven months pregnant when she got the call her mother had been killed.
Her mother was supposed to be there in October 2010 when Krispinsky gave birth to Hoagland’s newest grandchild, Krispinsky wrote.
“I lost my best friend and my mother,” Krispinsky stated. “I lived to make her proud of me. I would love to give her one more hug and tell her how much I love her.
None of Pryer’s relatives attended the hearing and no testimony was offered on his behalf, Kesinger said.
“He believes he is not guilty. He believes someone else caused the death of Mrs. Hoagland.
That is how he testified at trial,” Kesinger said.
Pryer wants a new trial.
“There are two grounds that are significant, in my opinion,” Kesinger said “[The judge] would not allow him to testify as to whom the person was that killed Mrs. Hoagland. The judge also would not let him testify as to the origin of the blood that was found on the furniture in the Hoagland home.”
Kesinger said he also is concerned with the judge’s rulings on other motions that were detrimental to his client and how the judge handled aspects of the selection of the jury.
Kesinger on Tuesday asked the judge for an immediate decision on his motion for a new trial, but Mitchell said he wasn’t prepared to hear arguments. Mitchell set a hearing for next Tuesday.
If Pryer is not granted a new trial, he plans to appeal his convictions. Kesinger said he will ask the court to find Pryer indigent and the appellate defender will be asked to represent him on the appeal.
Pryer sentenced to life in prison for Alexander woman's murder
The State Journal-Register
Posted Nov 01, 2011 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Nov 02, 2011 @ 06:51 AM
Steven Mark Pryer was sentenced Tuesday, for killing Diann Hoagland in the yard of her rural Alexander home in August 2010.
JACKSONVILLE — A man convicted in 1984 of killing a friend’s parents was sentenced Tuesday to spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2010 murder of an Alexander woman.
Steven Mark Pryer, 49, of Springfield shot and killed Diann Hoagland inside her home on Beilschmidt Road on Aug. 18, 2010. Authorities said they believe Hoagland interrupted Pryer burglarizing the home.
Pryer was convicted in 1984 of the November 1982 slayings of David and Mary Davidson of Springfield, the adoptive parents of his co-defendant, Ralph Lee Davidson, who also was convicted. Both men were sentenced to 40 years in prison for those crimes, but served less than 20.
Because this is the second time Pryer has been convicted of murder, Morgan County State’s Attorney Chris Reif said, a natural life sentence was the only sentencing option. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation earlier this year abolishing the death penalty.
Reif said the sentencing lasted less than 20 minutes. Family members read statements about the effect Hoagland’s death had on their lives, Reif said.
Hoagland was shot twice — once in the chest and once in the head — after she called her husband on a cell phone about 11 a.m. Aug. 18, 2010, and told him about a white truck parked in their driveway. Hoagland had been out walking that morning.
Her husband, Harold “Butch” Hoagland Jr., found his wife dead in the front yard when he came home about an hour after the phone call. Several items had been taken from the residence. http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x780400870/Pryer-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-Alexander-womans-murder
Prosecutor sought death penalty in '84 for alleged Morgan Co. killer
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Posted Sep 29, 2010 @ 11:47 AM
Last update Sep 30, 2010 @ 05:48 AM
Steven Mark Pryer, left, and Ralph Davidson were convicted of the 1982 of killings of Davidson's parents. They were sentenced to 40 years in prison but served less than 20. Pryer (inset) is now charged with the murder of Diann Hoagland of rural Alexander. File/The State Journal-Register
A former Sangamon County state’s attorney says that if he’d had his way 26 years ago, convicted murderer Steven Mark Pryer would not have been alive to do what authorities say he did Aug. 18 — fatally shoot Diann Hoagland outside her rural Alexander home when she stumbled upon him burglarizing it.
After his arrest Tuesday, Pryer, 47, of the 1200 block of North Oaklane Road, was still being held Wednesday at the Sangamon County Jail with bond set at $2 million. The Morgan and Sangamon county state’s attorney’s offices were working on a transfer arrangement.
Pryer faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of residential burglary.
In March 1984, Pryer was looking at a possible death sentence for the November 1982 slayings of David and Mary Davidson of Springfield, the adoptive parents of his cohort, Ralph Lee Davidson.
Both men were ultimately sentenced to 40 years in prison each. However, they each served fewer than 20 years because of day-for-day good time, a since-changed policy that allowed convicted murders and other offenders to have their sentences reduced by a day for each “good day” served in prison.
Death penalty sought
Bill Roberts, a former state’s attorney who prosecuted the 1982 murder case, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he asked for Pryer to be put to death following one of the most heinous cases Roberts had ever dealt with.
Circuit Judge Jerry Rhodes, who died in 2008, denied the request, saying Pryer, then 20, was too young for the death penalty.
“I would have had no problem pulling the switch on this guy,” Roberts said Wednesday.
The Davidsons’ adopted son, Ralph Lee Davidson, then 17, told police he came up with the idea of killing his parents so he and Pryer would have money, a car and a hassle-free place to live. Pryer stabbed the pair as many as 20 times, and Davidson beat them with a crowbar.
Davidson pleaded guilty in September 1983, and Pryer also pleaded guilty to the murders during his trial in January 1984.
Two months later, Roberts and Rhodes were at odds after Pryer’s sentencing, according to State Journal-Register coverage of the case.
“It’s obvious the court had its mind made up (beforehand),” Roberts was quoted as saying in response to questions about the proceeding, in which Rhodes refused to hear the state’s argument for the death penalty.
“I felt that there was only one appropriate penalty, and that was the death penalty,” Roberts said in 1984.
Rhodes cited Pryer’s age in sentencing him to 40 years, allowing credit for good conduct in prison as well as the time he already served in jail. He was paroled in 2002 and discharged from parole in 2005.
Rhodes also silenced Roberts when he tried to cite other sentences — considerably tougher — handed down by other judges in Sangamon County during the early 1980s. Rhodes said at the time that the cases were not relevant to Pryer’s.
“Throughout my career as a prosecutor, I took the position that it was my job to decide what was an appropriate punishment,” Roberts said Wednesday. “We (he and Rhodes) were just poles apart, philosophically.”
A legal quandary
There also was a legal quandary at the time of both men’s sentencing hearings, according to Roberts.
Pryer was eligible for the death penalty because the case involved multiple murders within a single incident.
Roberts said he remembers Pryer being the ringleader.
“Pryer …was the more culpable, the leader,” he said. “This particular murder was one of the most senseless and brutal I ever saw, a totally stupid situation.”
State law at the time stated: “if a defendant…is found guilty of murdering more than one victim, the court shall sentence the defendant to a term of natural life imprisonment.”
The rule left the court no alternative in determining the sentence to be imposed upon Davidson, who at 17 was too young for the death penalty.
However, in June 1983, the First District Appellate Court had negated the mandatory life sentence for multiple murder convictions.
“These guys were young, but it was a multiple homicide, and I did what I thought was right, and the court did what it thought was right,” Roberts said. “We were still fleshing out at that time sentences, what was reasonable, whether the death penalty was appropriate.”
Sangamon County’s current state’s attorney, John Milhiser, said Wednesday sentencing guidelines took a very sharp turn during the 1990s.
“As it stands today, if you’re convicted of killing more than one person, it’s natural life,” he said. “For murder cases, you’re going to serve 100 percent of the sentence.”
Pryer’s new murder charge allegedly also stems from a desire to steal.
Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack has declined to say what evidence ties Pryer to Hoagland’s murder, but he said burglary is believed to be the motive.
“It appears she just interrupted a burglary and, unfortunately, this happened,” he said.
Hoagland spoke to her husband by cell phone about 11 a.m. Aug. 18, a Wednesday. She told him she had been walking in the area and that a white pickup truck was in their driveway as she returned home.
Duvendack has said authorities believe Pryer acted alone.
Rhys Saunders can be reached at 788-1521. Staff writer Amanda Reavy contributed to this story.
Nov. 21, 1982 killings of David and Mary Davidson
* Steven Pryer and Ralph Davidson use a key to get into Davidson’s parents’ house at 3337 S. Park St. about 2:30 a.m.
* Dave Davidson is sitting on the couch. When he sees the pair, he takes a swing at Pryer.
* Ralph Davidson holds his father while Pryer repeatedly stabs the man.
* Pryer walks into the rear bedroom and stabs Mary Davidson.
* One of the two men hits Mary Davidson in the head with a crowbar, joking about “the good distance he got on her false teeth,” according to former Sangamon County state’s attorney Bill Roberts, who prosecuted the case.
* The two men leave the home.
* The two men throw a knife and crowbar away near the railroad tracks along Wabash Avenue.