Death Row

Daniel Wayne Cook Might Actually Be Executed This Time; The Juice Scheduled for August 8

Let's try this one again: Daniel Wayne Cook has a date with death.

After reaching into the excuse bag over and over again to avoid execution -- with the U.S. Supreme Court taking the bait at the last minute more than a year ago -- Cook's execution now is scheduled for August 8, after the high court decided not to side with him.

Cook's supposed to get the state-sponsored juicing for murdering two men in Lake Havasu City in 1987, whom Cook raped and tortured before strangling them to death.

According to his Department of Corrections profile, on July 19, 1987, Cook stole some money from his roommate Carlos Cruz-Ramos. When Cruz-Ramos began searching the apartment for the money, Cook and his other roommate, John Matzke, tied Cruz-Ramos to a chair and began beating him with a pipe.

Cook also cut Cruz-Ramos with a knife, sodomized him, and burned his genitals with cigarettes. After a few hours of that, Matzke and Cook crushed Cruz-Ramos' throat with the pipe.

When an acquaintance showed up at the apartment, Cook forced him upstairs and showed him Cruz-Ramos' body, before Cook and Matzke tied him to a chair.

Matzke went to sleep while Cook sodomized the man. When Cook was finished, he woke Matzke and the two men strangled him to death with a bed sheet.

Matzke pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against Cook.

That said, with nearly 24 years of experience on death row, Cook's tested numerous excuses in efforts to get out of being executed.

Some of the claims include post-traumatic-stress disorder from being sexually abused by family members, brain damage, an incompetent lawyer, mental illness, and others.

His first federal petition contained 21 different claims against his trial and sentence.

With Cook's execution scheduled for August 8, that puts him second in line, behind Samuel Villegas Lopez, who's set to take off in a couple weeks.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley