James L. DeRosa Execution
Name: James L. DeRosa
Age at Date of Crime: 23
Victim(s): Curtis Plummer, 73
Gloria Plummer, 70
Date of Crime: 10/2/2000
Date of Sentence: 11/20/2001
Crime Location: Victims’ Home- 1.2 miles south of HWY. 83- Poteau, OK
Judge: Doug Gabbard II
Prosecuting: Rob Wallace, Farley Ward and Jeff Mixon
Defending: James T. Rowan, Jason Spanich and James H. Lockard
Circumstances Surrounding Crime:
DeRosa was found guilty by a jury of his peers for the first-degree murders of Curtis Plummer, 73, and Gloria Plummer, 70, both of Poteau. DeRosa was sentenced to death for the heinous first-degree murders of the elderly couple. DeRosa was briefly employed by the Plummers and told several friends on multiple occasions he thought the elderly couple would be an easy target to rob. DeRosa’s friend Eric Castleberry, 21, agreed to help with the robbery and Castleberry’s friend, Scotty White, 18, agreed to drive. After being welcomed into the Plummers’ home, DeRosa and Castleberry wielded knives. While the couple begged and struggled for their lives, DeRosa and Castleberry proceeded to stab the Plummers multiple times and slit their throats. DeRosa and Castleberry left the scene with $73 and the couple’s pickup truck. The truck was ditched in a nearby lake. The trio then drove to the nearest Taco Bell drive-through window and ate dinner on the cash stolen from the Plummer residence.
DeRosa and Castleberry were apprehended on Oct. 4, 2000, 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.
Statement from Attorney General Scott Pruitt:
“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.”