Update A state inmate convicted of stabbing a married couple to death in 2000 pays the price at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. 36-year old James Lewis DeRosa was killed by lethal injection yesterday at 6:07 p.m. He was the second inmate executed in Oklahoma this year. DeRosa had worked at the Le Flore County ranch owned by the victims, Curtis and Gloria Plummer. Prosecutors say DeRosa and an accomplice, 33-year-old John Eric Castleberry, slashed the Plummers' throats and made off with $73 and the couple's pickup truck, which was found abandoned at a nearby lake. The Plummers were in their 70s. Castleberry pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and testified against DeRosa in exchange for a sentence of life without parole.
Prosecutors say James DeRosa was briefly employed by Curtis and Gloria Plummer and told several friends on multiple occasions he thought the elderly couple would be an easy target to rob.
In October, 2000, DeRosa got his friends, Eric Castleberry and Scotty White, to help.
Investigators say White drove to the rural Poteau home so the other two could talk their way inside.
The couple begged for their lives, but DeRosa and Castleberry proceeded to stab the Plummers multiple times and slit their throats.
“James DeRosa was sentenced to death for savagely ending the life of an innocent couple,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “My thoughts are with the families of Curtis and Gloria, who lost loved ones due to DeRosa’s heinous actions.”
The trio left the scene with $73 and the couple’s pickup truck.
The men drove to the nearest Taco Bell drive-through window and ate dinner on the cash stolen from the Plummer home.
DeRosa and Castleberry were arrested the next day after Scotty White contacted the authorities.
Castleberry gave a full confession and testified at DeRosa’s trial in exchange for a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
White was charged with accessory after the fact to murder and received two 25-year sentences with the last seven years on probation.