Marion Albert Pruett

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Marion Albert Pruett
Born (1949-10-04)October 4, 1949
Gastonia, North Carolina
Died April 12, 1999(1999-04-12) (aged 49)
Cummins Unit near Grady, Arkansas
Cause of death Execution by lethal injection
Criminal penalty Capital punishment (Arkansas), 4 life sentences (New Mexico, Mississippi, Colorado)
Criminal status executed
Motive acquisitive crimes related to illegal drug use
Conviction(s) Capital murder (September 9, 1982)[1]
Victims Pamela Sue Barker, Peggy Lowe, James R. Balderson, Anthony Taitt, Bobbie Jean Robertson
Span of killings
March 2, 1981–October 12, 1981
State(s) New Mexico, Mississippi, Colorado, Arkansas
Location(s) Rio Rancho, Jackson, Fort Collins,[2] Loveland,[2] Fort Smith
Target(s) common law spouse, bank teller, store clerks[1]
Killed 5 +
Weapons hammer, .38 caliber revolver
Date apprehended
October 17, 1981

Marion Albert Pruett (October 4, 1949[3] in Gastonia, North Carolina[4] – April 12, 1999 in Cummins Unit, Arkansas) was an American spree killer.

Witness Protection Program[edit]

In 1979, Pruett was given $800, a new name (Charles "Sonny" Pearson), and placed in the United States Federal Witness Protection Program after testifying about a federal prison slaying in Atlanta, Georgia. He then began his crime spree under his alias. Pruett would later claim that he killed the cellmate.[5]

Pruett killed Peggy Lowe after he kidnapped her as he robbed the Jackson, Mississippi Savings and Loan, where she worked; Bobbie Jean Robertson, a convenience store clerk in Fort Smith, Arkansas; and two convenience store clerks in Colorado. He received a life sentence for Lowe's murder, two more life sentences for the murders in Colorado, and the death penalty for Robertson's murder.

On trial in New Mexico for the March 2, 1981, murder of his common-law wife, Pamela Sue Barker (aka Michelle Lynn Pearson), Pruett admitted he had robbed and killed her in order to support a $4,000 a week cocaine habit, but denied that he killed Barker, who was beaten to death, then set on fire. He was convicted, and given a third life sentence.[6] From death row, he asked a Mississippi newspaper to pay him $20,000 to disclose the location of Barker's engagement ring, and offered to reveal the location of a Florida victim's body in exchange for a paid appearance on Geraldo.


Pruett was executed by lethal injection at 8:04 PM and pronounced dead at 8:09 PM. Pruett was the 19th person executed by Arkansas since Furman v. Georgia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Arnold, Jeff (September 1, 2013). "Prosecutor's Office Sees Most Capital-Murder Cases Since 1981". Tom Stallbaumer. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Pohl, Jason (July 6, 2015). "Catching a killer: Shootings stir up memories of '81 murders". Kathy Jack-Romero. Retrieved August 26, 2015. About an hour later, a customer 13 miles away reported to Loveland police a 7-Eleven clerk lying in a pool of blood. Loveland investigators — aware of the Fort Collins case — tied the shooting to their investigation when they realized Anthony Taitt had been similarly shot. 
  3. ^ "SSDI search results for 'Marion Pruett'" 19 November 2010[dead link]
  4. ^ "Execution set for `Mad Dog' Pruett". Amarillo Globe-News. A.P. 11 April 1999. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "April 1999 Executions". Pro-Death Charlene Hall. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  6. ^ New Mexico killer set to die in Arkansas by The Albuquerque Tribune

External links[edit]