Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Randy Lee GUZEK





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: June 28, 1987
Date of birth: May 29, 1969
Victims profile: Rod and Lois Houser
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Deschutes County, Oregon, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in 1988
Randy Lee Guzek

Deschutes County - Oregon

Born: 5/29/69

Sentenced to death: 1988

Guzek was convicted in the murders of Rod and Lois Houser of Terrebonne during a late-night burglary. Guzek, who was 18, shot Lois Houser three times with a handgun, chased her up a staircase and shot her for the last time as she huddled inside a closet. He then ripped the rings off her fingers.

Rod Houser was shot 20 times by Mark Wilson, who is serving a life sentence. Donald Cathey also is serving a life sentence for participating in the crime, although he did not kill anyone. Guzek's death sentence has been overturned three times, most recently in March.

Interesting fact: Guzek's father, Joel C. Guzek, 53, is serving a life sentence for various charges, including rape, sodomy and manslaughter.

Status: Awaiting a new sentencing trial that could put him on Death Row for the fourth time.



Oregon v. Guzek, 546 U.S. 517 (2006), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled that the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution does not grant criminal defendants facing the death penalty the right to introduce new evidence of their innocence during sentencing that was not introduced during trial. Accordingly, states could constitutionally exclude such evidence from the sentencing phase of a capital trial.

Background of the case

First state appeal

Randy Lee Guzek was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On appeal, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed his conviction but vacated the sentence. The court ruled that the death sentence violated the Eighth Amendment because the jury was not presented with a "general mitigation question," which would ensure that it had the opportunity to give effect to any relevant mitigating evidence outside of the statutory factors that were submitted to it. The court remanded the case back to the trial court for a new sentencing trial.

Second state appeal

On remand, Guzek was sentenced to death again. He appealed, and the Oregon Supreme Court again vacated the sentence, ruling that "victim impact" evidence that the State had presented during sentencing was not relevant, and so unconstitutionally secured the death sentence. The case was remanded for a third sentencing trial.

Third state appeal

During the third sentencing trial, the trial judge failed to instruct the jury about a "true-life" sentencing option—life in prison without the possibility of parole—as an alternative to the death penalty. Guzek was once again sentenced to death. Based on this error, the Oregon Supreme Court once again vacated Guzek's sentence and remanded for a new sentencing trial.

Seeking to avoid further errors at his fourth sentencing proceeding, the court also addressed the exclusion of alibi evidence that Guzek had sought to admit, which consisted of transcripts of testimony by his mother and grandfather stating he was with them at the time of the murder. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that under state law and the Eighth Amendment, Guzek had a right to present this evidence during his death penalty sentencing, and directed the trial court to admit all alibi evidence he submitted. The State of Oregon then petitioned the Supreme Court for review.

The Court's decision

The United States Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Oregon Supreme Court, ruling that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment did not create a right to introduce evidence of innocence in a defendant's death penalty sentencing phase if it had not been introduced in the trial phase. States instead were permitted by the U.S. Constitution to limit such evidence to that which was already presented at trial.

Guzek had also argued that this alibi evidence could be used to impeach the testimony of other witnesses, and the Court left it open to the Oregon Supreme Court on remand to determine whether this was permissible under Oregon law.



home last updates contact