Eye On Boise

Court sets execution date for Rhoades

7th District Judge Jon Shindurling issued death warrants today for Paul Ezra Rhoades, setting the execution date for Nov. 18, 2011. If it goes forward, it would be Idaho's first execution since 1994; Rhoades was sentenced to die for the 1987 murders of Susan Michelbacher and Stacy Baldwin. Click below to read the full announcement from the Idaho Attorney General's office.

STATE OF IDAHO
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
LAWRENCE WASDEN

For Immediate Release
October19, 2011

Court sets execution date for Paul Ezra Rhoades
 
(Boise) – Seventh District Judge Jon J. Shindurling issued death warrants today for Paul Ezra Rhoades for the 1987 murders of Susan Michelbacher and Stacy Baldwin.  The execution date is set for November 18, 2011.
 
Susan Michelbacher Case:
 
A Bonneville County jury found Rhoades guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, robbery, rape, and the infamous crime against nature in 1988, in the death of Susan Michelbacher.  Rhoades kidnapped Ms. Michelbacher from a supermarket parking lot in Idaho Falls.  He took her to a remote location, raped and brutalized her, then killed her.
 
On March 24, 1988, Rhoades was sentenced to death by Seventh District Judge Larry M. Boyle.
 
The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed Rhoades’ conviction and sentence on November 14, 1991.
 
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge denied Rhoades’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus on March 28, 2007, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Lodge’s decision involving guilt-phase issues on March 8, 2010 and sentencing-phase issues on July 15, 2010.  On February 10, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied his petition for rehearing.  The United States Supreme Court denied Rhoades’ petition for certiorari on October 11, 2011.
 
Stacy Baldwin Case:
 
A Bingham County jury found Rhoades guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and robbery in 1988, in the death of Stacy Baldwin.  On February 28, 1987, Rhoades kidnapped Ms. Baldwin from a convenience store near Blackfoot.  Ms. Baldwin was a clerk on duty in the store.  Rhoades forced her into his pickup truck, drove to a secluded area and attempted to sexually attack her.  Ms. Baldwin broke free and ran.  Rhoades fatally shot her as she fled.
 
On May 13, 1988, Rhoades was sentenced to death by Seventh District Judge James C. Herndon.
 
The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed Rhoades’ conviction and sentence in the Baldwin murder on February 15, 1991.
 
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge denied Rhoades’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus on May 24, 2007.  On March 8, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming Judge Lodge’s decision.  On February 9, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court denied Rhoades’ petition for rehearing in the Baldwin case.  The United States Supreme Court denied Rhoades’ petition for certiorari on October 11, 2011.
 
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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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