Robert Gleason's Electrocution Scheduled to Move Forward
Amherst, VA - A Virginia inmate who murdered three men, including one in Amherst County, is scheduled to die tonight by the rarely-used electric chair.
Robert Gleason Jr., who has vowed to keep killing unless he's executed, waived his right to appeal.
If all goes as planned, it would mark the end of his twisted saga: to die at the hands of the state.
People on both sides of the death penalty debate point to this case. Supporters argue -- if Gleason is kept alive, other inmates will be at risk. Critics say the death penalty is what motivated him to kill two of the victims.
When a body, shot in the face and head, turned up in a wooded area of the George Washington National Forest back in 2007, Lieutenant Eric Elliot was assigned lead detective. Roughly 180 days passed, but the third time investigators questioned Robert Gleason, he confessed to the killing.
According to court transcripts, Gleason, a tattoo artist, shot the Madison Heights man over drug money.
Investigator Elliott says he showed no remorse when he took the confession.
At trial, prosecutors presented the .40-caliber handgun Gleason used in the killing and a handwritten confession he left to his girlfriend -- evidence they used to convict him. But even behind bars he made good on his promise to kill again.
While serving a life sentence, Gleason beat, strangled, and hogtied his 63-year-old cell mate.
And after moving to one of the highest-security prisons in the state, he tricked another inmate into trying on a necklace, a necklace he used to strangle the man through the metal fencing that separated the two.
When Lieutenant Elliott heard what happened, he wasn't surprised.
"He's the type of guy that if he tells you something, he's gonna do it," Elliott explained.
If all goes as planned, Gleason will walk into Virginia's death chamber a few minutes before 9 p.m., be strapped into the electric chair and become the 110th person executed by the state of Virginia.
He told the Associated Press he chose electrocution over lethal injection because he'd rather die sitting up than lying down.