Alvin Moore

Bossier Parish, Louisiana
Date of Crime: July 9, 1980
Executed June 9, 1987

Alvin R. Moore Jr. was sentenced to death for the murder of JoAnn Wilson, 23, the wife of a former co-worker.  Wilson called police and said, “Somebody stabbed me.”  After police officer Bill Fields arrived on the scene, he asked her who stabbed her and she reportedly told him, “Elvin did it.”  Fields later thought the victim meant “Alvin.”  Moore, who is black, was having an affair with Wilson, who was white.  Moore was arrested with a drop of blood on his pants.  Tests showed the blood was Type O, the same as Wilson's, but shared by about 45% of the population.  Moore had a different blood type.  A stereo and a plastic jug containing pennies from Wilson's home were found in Moore's car.

Moore identified Arthur Stewart and Dennis Sloan as being with him at Wilson's house, and both were arrested the next morning.  In taped statements to police, the two said they saw Moore having sex with Wilson, but did not describe it as a rape. Both said they took the stereo and jug of pennies while Moore was in the bedroom.  On the day that jury selection was to begin for the three men's trials, the prosecutor announced that Stewart and Sloan had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony against Moore.  Moore's attorney, Stacey Freeman, demanded a continuance, but the judge refused.  At trial, Stewart and Sloan testified that they heard a woman scream while they were standing outside the house.  They then said Moore exited the house with knife in hand and told them, “I stabbed the bitch nine times.”  Wilson had actually been stabbed thirteen times.

Attorney Freeman interviewed few witnesses before Moore's trial and conducted no investigation except to visit the crime scene.  At sentencing Freeman did not call a single witness, only spoke for two minutes, and failed to ask the all-white jury to spare his client's life.  He later said he would have felt “silly,” asking the jury to spare Moore.

At a 1986 clemency hearing, Stewart and Sloan recanted their testimony in sworn affidavits. They said that Wilson was alive when they left with Moore and that they did not hear Moore say he stabbed her.  Apparently to avoid perjury charges, Stewart later partially recanted his recantation, stating Moore did say he stabbed Wilson.  Stewart added that he did not believe Moore's statement as he saw Wilson close the front door and did not think anything was wrong.  Matthew Nycum, a former police officer, who accompanied Fields to the scene of the murder, said he never heard Wilson make a statement implicating Moore.  He said Wilson spoke incoherently in a heavy southern accent and said what sounded to him like “elephant,” rather than “Elvin did it.” or “Alvin did it.”

Since blood was spattered on the floor and walls of Wilson's living room and bedroom, it seems highly unlikely that the killer would only have a drop of blood on him.  Even if Moore had changed his clothes, no blood was found in his car, which testimony established that he drove after leaving Wilson's home.

Timeline evidence, not brought up at trial, indicates that Moore, Stewart, and Sloan had left Wilson's house more than a half-hour before she was stabbed.  Much of this evidence was withheld until after Moore's execution.  Moore told police that he arrived at Wilson's home with the other two about “nightfall.”  Sloan said it was “about 7 or 8:30.”  Wilson's landlord had driven by the house and saw Moore's car there near dusk when it was still light out.  Stewart said it was still light out when the three left.  According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, sundown occurred at 8:25 p.m.  Civil twilight ended at 8:53 p.m. when the sun was 6 degrees below the horizon.

During the evening of the murder, the victim's husband, Aron Wilson, had been working on a car owned by Perry Goodwin, who lived about a mile away.  A police report quoted Aron as saying he had gone home to retrieve a tool at 9 p.m. at which time his wife was still alive.  Goodwin also stated that Aron had gone home at 9 p.m. and came back 10 minutes later.  At trial, Aron denied the correctness of the police report and said that he had gone home at 7:30 p.m.  The victim called police at 9:35 p.m. to report her stabbing.

In the hours preceding Moore's execution, his spiritual advisor, Rev. Roger Stinson, opened a Bible and read to him from the Book of John.  With just minutes to go before guards would take Moore to the death chamber, Stinson closed the Bible and said, “Now, is the time to ask for forgiveness.”  However, Moore replied, “I didn't do it.  I don't hold anything against anybody – I just didn't do it. They can kill my body, but they can't kill my soul.”  Moore, then 27, was executed in the electric chair on June 9, 1987.  [8/08]


References:  Chicago Tribune82, 83, 84, 85, 6/86, 12/86, 6/87

Posted in:  Victims of the State, Louisiana Cases, Timeline Discrepancies, Defendants Executed After 1976