Five time convicted murderer has death sentenced
By Adrianna Hopkins - WHAS11.com
April 22, 2010
Michael Dale St. Clair calls himself the "$5
million man," referring to how much taxpayer money has been spent on
St. Clair was in jail in Oklahoma, on two murder
convictions, when he escaped and killed three more people, including
The Supreme Court overturned his death sentence
saying, the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury.
It is a major blow to the Brady family, that was
blindsided by tragedy not once, but twice.
"We always lived by his words, 'do the right thing'
and 'don't give up,'" Melanie Brady Drury said .
It's the motto of Melanie Brady Drury's father,
Frances Brady, who was kidnapped in Hardin County and murdered in
Bullitt County when she was 31 years old. That was 19 years ago.
Michael Dale St. Clair, the man convicted in her
father's case, and twice sentenced to death, has successfully appealed
both decisions, avoiding execution. Melanie calls it a mockery of her
"It's kind of the name of the game at this point.
It's always change it's always upset, it's always something else has
been thrown into it - a technicality," Drury said.
Her 75 year old mother, Merle, says she's hopes she
lives long enough to see this through.
"I am ready and willing to go through another trial
in Hardin County and another sentencing phase in Bullitt County,"
Merle said during a phone interview with WHAS 11 News.
In an interview with The News and Enterprise, St.
Clair said, "Since May 11, 1995 I've been housed in Kentucky at the
taxpayers' expense, hee ha. Now, here it is 2010, April 12, and I AM
St. Clair says he's innocent.
He's been convicted of four other murders and will
spend the rest of his life in prison. But Melanie calls him a
"How many chances has he gotten? How many chances
did my dad get to escape him?"
"I have not lost faith. If I hadn't had faith in
God I probably wouldn't be sitting here today," Merle said.
And for Melanie's family, lightning struck twice.
Three years after her father's murder, her youngest sister Melisa
disappeared in Orlando, Florida.
"We know what happened to Melisa, we just can't
find her," Melanie said.
She says her father's murder and her sister's
disappearance have left open wounds in her soul that won't heal until
there's justice for both.
Though for two decades, she's waited for the death
penalty to stick to St. Clair, and for authorities to find her sister,
she won't give up. She says her father wouldn't want her to.
"I can hear those words. All 6 feet 4 of him and in
that voice. Don't give up and don't be a quitter. I'm bound by that.
That's his legacy."
Melanie says she and authorities in Florida have
searched for her sister numerous times over the years and are
coordinating another search for this spring.
A hearing for another trial for Michael Dale st.
Clair is scheduled for the first Monday in May.
Judge denies killer's request----St. Clair asked
Waller to withdraw from resentencing
Apr. 12, 2005
Convicted murderer and death-row inmate Michael
Dale St. Clair, who is scheduled to be resentenced this summer, tried
without success yesterday to have Bullitt Circuit Judge Thomas Waller
remove himself from the case.
Steve Mirkin, St. Clair's attorney, argued that
Waller might not preside impartially over the August resentencing
because he sentenced St. Clair to death in 1998.
But in denying the request, Waller said that he
will have no difficulty in being fair to St. Clair.
St. Clair was convicted of the 1991 killing of
Frank Brady, a Hardin County distillery worker. St. Clair killed him
after escaping from an Oklahoma prison with another inmate and going
on a cross-country crime rampage.
St. Clair kidnapped Brady at an Interstate 65 rest
area, drove him into a wooded area of Bullitt County and shot him
twice. St. Clair was captured about 3 months later at a relative's
home in Texas.
Last year the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out St.
Clair's death sentence because Waller had not informed the jury that
life without parole was one of its options. In the same ruling, the
court upheld St. Clair's murder conviction.
Yesterday Waller said he has no animosity toward St.
Clair, who in a January hearing accused the judge of being an
alcoholic. Waller thanked St. Clair for his concern but said he does
not drink alcohol.
Yesterday, Mirkin declined to say whether he would
appeal Waller's refusal to step aside.
Assistant Attorney General David Smith, who is
prosecuting the case, argued that Waller shouldn't recuse himself just
because he presided over St. Clair's trial and first sentencing.
St. Clair also has been convicted of 4 murders in
Oklahoma and is accused of one in New Mexico. Prosecutors in New
Mexico have not brought St. Clair to trial, deeming it irrelevant
because he was already on death row in Kentucky.
A new jury, which could recommend the death penalty,
will have to be seated for St. Clair's August resentencing. Waller has
scheduled several weeks for the hearing because defense attorneys and
prosecutors will have to present much of their evidence again.
The sentencing hearing will draw heightened
security at the Bullitt County Judicial Center. Extra sheriff's
deputies, state troopers and officials from the state Administrative
Office of the Courts are on hand any time St. Clair makes a courthouse
"In my mind, a gentleman on death row has
absolutely nothing to lose," Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim McAuliffe said
of the precautionary measures. "And it's our job to protect the judges,
the court workers and the citizens."
At yesterday's hearing, officers from the
Administrative Office of the Courts screened everyone entering the
building with a metal detector, which is not normally the case at the
3 officers escorted St. Clair, whose hands and feet
were shackled, into the courtroom. Other officers were positioned
throughout the building and in the parking lot.
Michael St. Clair Timeline
July 1991: St. Clair is convicted of murdering his
uncle and a man he hired to kill his uncle.
Sept. 19, 1991: St. Clair and Dennis Gene Reese
overpower a guard in a Bryant County, Okla., jail. They steal the
jailer's truck and travel to Achille, Okla., where they allegedly
steal a truck and a gun. Police find the truck in Dallas and believe
the men traveled from there to Denver.
Sept. 27, 1991: Police find the body of paramedic
Timothy Keeling in New Mexico, shot to death one day after he
disappeared from Denver. Reese and St. Clair are suspected in the
Oct. 6, 1991: Keeling’s truck is found burning near
Sonora. A witness reported seeing a Ford Ranger leave the scene of the
fire. Shots were fired at KSP Trooper Herbert Bennett after he stopped
a Ford Ranger on Interstate 65 near Glendale. The truck later was
found and determined to be owned by Bardstown resident Frank Brady.
Brady was kidnapped from a Sonora truck stop and killed later that day
along rural Old Boston Road, in Bullitt County, police say. The pair
are believed to have split up after Brady’s death.
Dec. 19, 1991: St. Clair is captured in Oklahoma
and charged with Brady’s murder. Reese is captured in Nevada.
1994: Reese pleads guilty to killing Brady and is
sentenced to life imprisonment.
Sept. 10, 1998: A Bullitt County jury convicts St.
Clair of Brady's murder.
Sept. 11, 1998: St. Clair sentenced to death in
December 2000: Kidnapping trial begins in Hardin
Feb. 1, 2001: St. Clair is convicted in Hardin
County of kidnapping Brady.
Feb. 7, 2001: The jury recommends a death sentence
for the kidnapping conviction.
2004: Kentucky Supreme Court overturns Bullitt
County death sentence and Hardin County conviction of St. Clair.
Orders resentencing in Bullitt for murder conviction and a retrial in
Oct. 11, 2004: The first of 16 hearings leading up
to St. Clair's re-sentencing in Bullitt County.
Aug. 16, 2005: The resentencing phase for the
Bullitt County murder conviction begins.
Sept. 30, 2005: St. Clair again sentenced to death
for Brady's murder.
January-February 2007: Retrial in Hardin County on
kidnapping charge is postponed as St. Clair is given a new attorney.
Vince Yustas later was appointed as St. Clair’s counsel.
Jan. 9, 2008: Retrial for the 1991 kidnapping of
Frank Brady scheduled to begin in Hardin Circuit Court.
Between Jan. 2008 and June 1, 2009: Trial is
June 8, 2009: Opening statements followed by
mistrial in Hardin County.
June 29, 2009: Judge Steven Ryan removes St. Clair
trial from Aug. 4 docket.
Michael Dale St. Clair
Michael Dale St. Clair (right) shows his co-counsel, Vince Yustas, a