Riley gets death for 2005 murder

Bonnie Kirtley strained to fight back tears Monday as she asked a judge to make sure justice prevails in the sentencing of a Florence man convicted of murdering her son in 2005.

David Dewayne Riley Jr. was convicted March 10 of capital murder for shooting Scott Michael Kirtley, 38, three times in the head during a Jan. 10, 2005, robbery at Dandy’s Package Store No. 2 on Florence Boulevard.

Kirtley’s mom read a prepared statement Monday during Riley’s sentencing hearing in front of Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Mike Jones.

“Your honor, Mr. Riley does not deserve to breathe the same air my son can no longer breath,” Bonnie Kirtley said. “My family and I want justice.”

Jones delivered the sentence family members wanted to hear.

“The proper punishment for your crime is death by lethal injection,” Jones told Riley.

A Lauderdale Circuit Court jury deliberated for 15 minutes March 11 before recommending that Riley be sentenced to death. Lauderdale District Attorney Chris Connolly asked Jones on Monday to uphold the jury’s recommendation.

The death penalty and life in prison without the possibility of parole are the only sentencing options for a capital murder conviction in Alabama.

It is the second time Riley has been convicted and sentenced to death for killing Kirtley. A January 2007 conviction was overturned by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on a technicality. A new trial was ordered.

Riley, 26, showed no emotion when Jones imposed the death sentence.

Before learning his new sentence, Riley apologized to Kirtley’s family.

“I would like the Kirtley family to know that if I could go back in time and fix things, this would never have been done,” Riley said. “That night, I did not intend for anyone to get hurt. I know you don’t believe me, but I’m sorry.”

Riley, as he left the witness chair and returned to the defense table, never made eye contact with the victim’s mother or other family members.

Key evidence at the trial was a surveillance video from the package store that showed Riley leading Kirtley into a back room at the business before a gunshot, followed by a scream and then two more gunshots were heard.

Kirtley’s sister, Karrey Lynne Lossau, testified Monday that his death has taken a toll on her family.

“I had a deep physical ache in my heart for a long time,” Lossau said.

She credits her faith, family and friends for helping her through her grief.

Lossau said she looks forward to rejoining her brother in heaven.

“My brother’s memory is in my heart and part of my heart is in heaven,” she said.

Lossau and her mother described Kirtley as a kind man who was constantly helping others.

“He was so well liked,” Bonnie Kirtley said.

With tears streaming down his face, David Riley Sr. asked Jones to spare his son’s life. Riley Sr. also apologized to Kirtley’s family.

“I don’t know what else to say other than I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m at a loss for words. I ask you to forgive my son and my family.”

Defense attorney Steve Aldridge also asked Jones for mercy.

“We ask this court to show compassion and spare David Riley’s life,” he said.

Lauderdale Sheriff Ronnie Willis expects Riley to be returned to death row at Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore some time later this week. Riley has been held at the Lauderdale Detention Center since April 2010.

Dennis Sherer can be reached at 256-740-5746 or dennis.sherer@TimesDaily.com.

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