Virginia executes man convicted for family's slaying

Thursday, April 10, 2003

JARRATT, Va. -- A man who murdered a family of four was put to death by electrocution Wednesday night, still maintaining his innocence.

Earl C. Bramblett, 61, was executed after the Supreme Court rejected his appeals and Gov. Mark R. Warner denied his request for clemency.

Bramblett was convicted of killing Blaine and Teresa Hodges and their daughters, 11-year-old Winter and 3-year-old Anah. Their bodies were found in their burning home on Aug. 29, 1994.

He was the third Virginia inmate to die in the electric chair since 1995, when a state law gave condemned prisoners the choice of lethal injection or electrocution. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he chose electrocution to protest what he considered his wrongful conviction.

"I'm not going to lay down on a gurney and have them stick a needle in my arm and make it look like an antiseptic execution," Bramblett said.

The surge of current caused Bramblett's body to go rigid and threw him against the back of the oak electric chair. A puff of smoke rose from the electrode attached to his shaved right leg.

Blaine Hodges, 41, and his daughters were each shot once in the head and Teresa Hodges, 37, was strangled.

Prosecutors theorized that Bramblett murdered the family because he was sexually obsessed with Winter, and that Blaine Hodges was using the girl to entrap him in a sex crime.

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