As a child, William Emmitt LeCroy was sexually abused by a babysitter. As an adult, LeCroy committed a series of crimes, including child molestation, statutory rape, and aggravated assault. While in prison, he was sexually assaulted.
While on parole for those crimes, LeCroy made plans to flee the country. On October 7, 2001, he broke in to the home of Joann Lee Tiesler in Cherrylog, Georgia. When she returned home, he raped and killed her and stole her pickup truck.
LeCroy was arrested two days later at a Canadian border checkpoint in northern Minnesota. He was driving Tiesler’s truck.
Federal charges were filed under the statutory authority of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which provided federal capital jurisdiction for murders associated with carjackings. LeCroy’s attorneys unsuccessfully questioned whether that authority was properly applied in a case in which the killing occurred before and separate from the theft of Tiesler’s car, arguing instead that this was a state case.
Tried in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, LeCroy was found guilty in March 2004 and sentenced to death.
On appeal, LeCroy presented psychiatric evidence that he believed Tiesler was the babysitter who had raped him and that he wanted to force her to reverse the spell she had placed on him that led him to commit sexual crimes.
That appeal was rejected.
William Emmitt LeCroy, Jr. was executed by lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, on September 22, 2020.