State of Missouri v. Glennon Paul Sweet

796 SW 2d 607 (Mo Banc 1990)

Glennon Paul Sweet was executed on April 22, 1998

On February 8, 1987 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Trooper Russell Harper of the Missouri State Highway Patrol was stationed on Highway 60 near Springfield, Missouri operating a radar device. A red mid-sixties Chevrolet pickup truck passed Trooper Harper at an excessive rate of speed. Trooper Harper activated his red lights and pursued the truck about a mile and a half where the truck pulled off and stopped on a farm road.

Before Trooper Harper could get out of his car, Sweet Leapt from the truck, stepped toward the patrol car and fired several bursts of gunfire. One bullet struck Trooper Harper in the head causing death. Twenty-nine bullet holes or indentations were found in the patrol car.

Sweet drove to the home of Donald Bills where the two began the task of refurbishing the truck by replacing the tires, repainting and further modifying it to disguise the vehicle. Sweet also shaved his moustache to disguise himself.

On February 9, 1987 Highway Patrol Troopers arrived at the Bills residence on a tip that Sweet was staying in an old bus on Bills’ property. In a search of the area an H.K. 93 semiautomatic assault rifle, later determined to be the murder weapon was found in a junked vehicle about 1000 yards from the Bills’ residence. After obtaining a search warrant to further search the house, Troopers found Sweet hiding in the attic.

Witnesses to the slaying identified Sweet as the assailant and gun cartridges found at the scene of the crime were found to have been fired from Sweet’s rifle.

Legal Chronology

02/26 — Glenn Sweet was found guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana) Under 35 grams in Bolivar, Missouri. He was sentenced to one year in the Polk County Jail.
05/15 — Sweet was fined $50 and court costs for disturbing the peace in Springfield, Missouri.
06/19 — Sweet was fined $25 and court costs for disturbing the peace in Springfield, Missouri.

10/24 — Sweet was sentenced to a three year and a concurrent four year sentence for Shooting into a Dwelling and Felonious Assault without Malice in Springfield, Missouri. The Execution of the sentence was suspended and Sweet was placed on three years probation. He was discharged from probation on October 2, 1978.

11/08 — Sweet was fined $50 and court costs for Affray in Springfield, Missouri.

May — Sweet was fined $57 for Common Assault in Springfield, Missouri.

April — Sweet was fined $ 69.50 for Property Destruction in Springfield, Missouri.

04/01 — Sweet was sentenced to server two, six month consecutive sentences for Peace Disturbance and Stealing in Springfield, Missouri. Sweet was also fined one hundred dollars and court costs.

01/19 — Sweet was sentenced to 30 days in the Greene County Jail and fined $ 500 and court costs for Driving while Intoxicated in Springfield, Missouri. The jail sentence was suspended and Sweet was placed on two years unsupervised probation.

2/9 – Sweet is arrested for the murder of Trooper Russell Harper of the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Springfield, Missouri.
3/12 – Sweet is charged with Murder First Degree in Greene County.
12/7 – Sweet’s trial begins in Clay on a change of venue.
12/12 – Sweet is convicted of Murder First Degree.

1/20 – Sweet is sentenced to death and his conviction and sentence is appealed to the Missouri State Supreme Court.
11/29 – Sweet filed a motion in the Circuit court for post-conviction relief.

9/15 – The Circuit Court denied Sweet’s motion for post-conviction relief.

9/11 – The Missouri State Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, sentence and denial for post-conviction relief.

3/18 – The United States Supreme Court denied discretionary review of Sweet’s state court appeal.
3/20 – Sweet filed a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

11/22 – The U.S. District Court denied Sweet’s habeas corpus petition.

11/10 – The United States of Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision denying federal habeas corpus relief.

3/9 – The United States Supreme Court declined to review Sweet’s habeas case.
3/22 – The Missouri State Supreme Court issued an order and warrant of execution setting Sweet’s execution for April 22, 1998.