Maryland Women Who Have Faced the Death Penalty

Perhaps the state of Maryland holds a certain amount of sympathy for females who have faced the death penalty versus it’s male killers because although Maryland has executed 6 male inmates since the civil war, a woman has never been executed in the state. There are currently no female inmates residing on Maryland’s death row but the state certainly is no stranger in seeking the death penalty for women in certain heinous murder cases. A female has only sat on Maryland’s death row 2 times and each time her sentence was commuted to life without parole.

In 1981 19 year old Annette L. Stebbing was convicted along with her husband 37 year old Bernard Stebbing of strangling his 18 year old step niece while the three of them were parked in a van in Harford County. Annette held the young woman down and choked her while her husband raped her. Although Annette was sentenced to death, her husband was not and she sat on Maryland’s death row for 4 years before a judge commuted her sentence to life without parole in 1985. In 1982 Doris Ann Foster got a death sentence after her brutal stabbing of 71 year old Josephine Dietrich. The hotel owner was stabbed with a screwdriver during a robbery at a northeast motel. Two juries convicted her and she got a death sentence. Although Doris begged for her death sentence to be carried out, she resided on Maryland’s death row for 5 years before then governor Harry Hughes granted her clemency on his last day in office and commuted her sentence to life without parole. In October of 1991 41 year old Elva Estina Reid bludgeoned to death her boyfriend 62 year old George Koval and set fire to her house in an attempt to cover up the murder. In the process she seriously injured her 7 year old son but her 18 month old paralyzed daughter Venice Reid died from smoke inhalation. Prosecutors sought the death penalty against the registered nurse but she quickly accepted a plea deal of life without parole to avoid a date with the needle. In October of 2002 25 year old Sonya Marie Daniels drove from West Virginia to Frederick Maryland to confront 16 year old Deanne Marie Prichard. The teenager had a relationship with Sonya’s exboyfriend Tracy L. Frost and he was also the father of her 5 week old daughter MaKayla Frost. Tracy was serving time in the Washington County Detention Center for a drug charge and Deanne had just returned home from seeing him on a visit when Sonya tried to force her inside her minivan. Deanne was carrying her child at the time and when she refused, in front of her mom and younger brother, Sonya shot the teen in the neck ending her life. Then with Deanne and the newborn lying in the street, in front of horrified witnesses Sonya placed her .45 caliber handgun in the baby’s mouth and pulled the trigger. Prosecutors sought the death penalty against her in her first trial but that trial ended in a mistrial. However, they were satisfied with a plea deal of life without parole in her second trial. Forty seven year old Karla Louise Porter faces the death penalty when she goes to trial in 2012 for masterminding the March 1 2010 murder for hire shooting death of her husband, contractor and HESS gas station owner 49 year old William “Rex” Porter. William was shot in the head several times after his wife lured him to his gas station while the gunman waited for him to arrive. According to prosecutors, Karla enlisted the help of 5 other people in the murder and paid a gunman $9000 to do the job because William wanted to move to Florida and she did not.

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