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Deadly Duo: Mitchell Sims and Ruby Padgett *Killed 3 men December 1985; Sims still on death row in 2 States*

Victims
Gary Melke [12/3/1985] (Hanahan, SC)
Christopher Zerr [12/3/1985] (Hanahan, SC)
John Steven Harrigan [12/10/1985 (Glendale, CA)

Defendants
Ruby Carolyn Padgett – convicted; sentenced to LWOP
Mitchell Carlton Sims – convicted; sentenced to death

Waiting For Justice: Christopher Zerr, Gary Melke and John Harrigan
Find-A-Grave: Gary Dean Melke
Find-A-Grave: Christopher Leroy Zerr
Murderpedia: Mitchell Carlton Sims
Held in slayings
Attorneys say extradition political
Domino’s Seeking Sims Case Tipster
Witness Says Murder Defendant Hated Pizza Chain
Trial Begins in Killing of Pizza Deliveryman : Slaying ‘Meticulously Planned,’ Jury Told
Defendant’s Voice : Tape Describes Killing of Pizza Deliveryman
Victim Identified Pizza Murder Suspect: Jury Hears Slain Man’s Words
Man Declared Guilty in Pizza Delivery Murder
S.C. man found guilty in slaying of pizza deliveryman
Jury Urges Death for Pizza Deliveryman’s Killer
Pizza manager gets death
Jurors Say Trip Discredited Defendant’s Story : Motel Visit Key to ‘Pizza Murder’ Verdict
Appeals Court Upholds 2 Death Sentences
Mitchell Carlton Sims v Jill Brown, Warden 2005
Death sentence stands in ’85 murder
Sims may face death soon
South Carolina Serial Killer Awaiting Death Sentence
Cooley calls for execution of man who murdered Domino’s Pizza driver in Glendale

Movies/Documentaries
Wicked Attraction: A Slice of Murder

INMATE INFORMATION

CALIFORNIA

Name: SIMS, MITCHELL CARLTON
CDCR#: D68902
Age: 52
Admission Date: 09/21/1987
Current Location: San Quentin

SOUTH CAROLINA

Inmate Description
Name Sims, Mitchell Carlton
SCDC ID 00004486
SID SC00491022
DOB 02/12/1960
Citizenship Citizen – Native Born
Build Medium
Complexion Medium
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Brown

Inmate Sentence and Location

Offender Type Deathrow
Offense Murder
Sentence Start Date 05/13/1989
Sentence Length DEATH SENTENCE
Admission Date 06/28/1989
Committing County Berkeley
Location
Projected Release Date Not Eligible
Projected Parole Eligibility Not Eligible
Supervised Furlough Eligibility Not Eligible
Sex Offender Registry No

INMATE INFORMATION

Name: PADGETT, RUBY CAROLYN
CDCR#: W26787
Age: 46
Admission Date: 07/09/1987
Current Location: Women’s Institution

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26 Responses

  1. I just saw wicked attraction and this couple deserves death for what they did those pizza workers did not deserve whaat hhappened to them and to kill one of them and how many others died ruby and mitchell rot in hell

    • It was a wicked film and an even more wicked scene. I was literally saved from Mr. Simms gun and torture by being ill that evening for work. Chris Zerr took my place and was murdered. I have never forgotten this event and never will. Chris and Mike are heroes and both are even more amazing men.

  2. I saw the Wicked Attraction last night. What a tragedy for the families of the dominos employees. I certainly can’t negate the horrific childhood Mitchell Sims suffered. No one would survive that kind of prolonged trauma unscathed. I’m not a true supporter of the death penalty and this is one of the cases that skirts the boundaries of my beliefs. Mitchell Sims is a father, whose son happens to be a baptist preacher now (Not that that’s an indication of anything significant). I don’t think it’s appropriate to kill a parent unless they still have negative influence on future generations. BUT…Cali’s appeals process as usual has dragged on for decades so the date of execution is pretty insignificant now. Satisfying enough that he is rotting in jail.

    • mischastarr,

      You don’t believe it is appropriate to kill a parent (for the death penalty)? Wow! Do you realize how many of these killers on death row have themselves killed parents and even pregnant women? Lisa Montgomery, a mother, killed a pregnant woman for her baby. So many men have killed their pregnant wives/girlfriends (after all, the person most dangerous to a pregnant woman is the made that got her pregnant). Think of the VICTIM here, not the killer. These murders that Mitchell Sims committed were deliberate and heinous. He DESERVES the death penalty. Would you tell the loved ones of the victims that he does not deserve the death penalty because he fathered a child? Wow, how callous you are, being more concerned for the killer than the victim. I know that my mother was a mother and did not deserve to die and I don’t care about her killer at all. He took a mother from her children.

      • YES!!! Absolutely 110% I’d tell any human on this planet that the death penalty is pathetic justice.
        Killing for any reason is wrong….it’s 100% wrong. No matter what the situation or scenario. Once you war mongers figure that out the better a world we will have. I have no patience for anyone that is for killing and tries to justify it or disguise it for any reason. Life in prison is a worse sentence.

  3. I went to school with Ruby and it just absolutely blows my mind that she was capable of this. I never knew she was dealing with a situation in her home that she was dealing with. She was very tom boyish, not like the movie portrayed. I am still flabergasted and so saddened by all of this. These innocent victims did not deserve this. My heart just aches over this.

    • I have not seen the movie yet, but went to school with Jimmy Padget a couple of years earlier. I am sure this event has rocked that family and community for the last 25 years.

  4. Wish I could have seen the program, as I am a sister of one of the victims. I type this with shaking hands, a heavy heart and a tear in my eye. It has been 26 years since this happened. I was pregnant with our first child when my brother was killed. Unless you are a parent and you loose a child you will never know the heart ache it can cause a family. It makes me sick that Mitchell Sims could do this when he himself had several children and a wife.
    God will make the final decision for punishment.

  5. I think it is unfair how Ruby is able to have LWOP while Mitchell receives the Death Penalty. I believe as a feminist that she was associated and that she plotted the evil deeds deserves the Death Penalty as well.

  6. Question? How long is a life sentence. We had this discussion at work today where most felt it was for the rest of their life. Others thought it might be 25 years. Can someone clarify this?

    • Depends on the State, actually. In Virginia, life means life as they have done away with parole. Now, for Ruby, it is life, since her sentence was actually life without parole.

  7. I had an Aunt who at the age of 92 was murdered several days before Christmas in 1989 (Merced) California. To this day they haven’t a clue who did it (I believe it was someone she knew…she let them in). I am 100% against the death penalty. I would never want to bring the same pain to some other family. Life in prison is much worse then death. Death sets them free. Plus I am not comfortable with possibilty of an innocent person get excuted (which I am sure as happened..since 1976…ie Texas and Virginia). Just look how many have been set free with new DNA evidence (yes I know this not the case with Mitchell Sims).
    Killing the defendant will never bring the victims back nor will it bring anyone closure…there is no such thing. The death penalty just continues the cycle of violence. Not to mention it is cheaper to keep them in prison for life..thats a fact (research if you don’t believe me).

    • I’m with you. There’s no evidence that the Death Penalty is a deterrent to murder. Killing those convicted is no better than the killer killing his victim. Both take a life, which is not for us to do. Lock them away forever, without parole. Make their lives miserable, no tv, no interaction, just locked away. Its true. In my county there was a black man literally railroaded by the police, D.A. and judge (all in cahoots) and he got the death penalty for something he didn’t do. Finally, after 16 years, the real killer came forth. This black man was innocent, and his life was just tossed away. Don’t think this doesn’t happen. It happens……I would rather lock all those on death row away rather than see one innocent man put to death. I don’t know how Christians can live with themselves believing and supporting the death penalty. I live in Texas, and there are more executions here than anywhere in the world. Something I am not happy about, nor proud.

    • Killing with killing is not a solution. I totally agree with you. I’m just glad as people evolve we are becoming the majority. Someday soon humanity will look back at the death sentence as barbaric and primitive

  8. Opps..should be “innocent person getting excuted (which I am sure has happened…”

  9. Our court system sucks!\

  10. This man is pure EVIL, may God have mercy on his soul. But I doubt this man can be redeemed. The Devil has his soul…

  11. Here’s the tragedy, those dumb redneck cops in South Carolina went directly to his trailer park home after the first holdup, the two of them were inside and the cops left the scene. The two murderers left and drove to California where they killed someone else because of the incompetence of SC police.

    • Just because it is the South, please do not paint everyone as red-necks. The love and tender affections that were offered to Gary as he lay bleeding in the ambulance is a story that will help you to understand the compassion our police and EMT personnel have. Gary realized that he was dying……and even said this to the police and EMT workers. They offered their loving support and comfort until he slipped into a coma and never awoke. Gary was and is an amazing man. A jolly, 210 pound teddy bear with the best temperament around. He was an assistant manager during that late evening (early morning) when he was shot. He and Chris are amazing military men and heroes to me. Chris took my night shift the night he died. He did not have to………he chose to.

  12. Where to begin???? I was on one of the juries for Mitchell Sims and it angers me that my service meant nothing. We, as a jury had the very difficult task of deciding whether or not this man should get the death penalty, and although I do support the death penalty, it was not an easy decision. Sims was after all a son, brother, and father. But bottom line, his victims (plural) were also sons, brothers, husbands (someday), and fathers (someday). Their families had all the joys of a life taken away from them without any regard at all. Sims is evil and that kind of evil doesn’t leave, no matter how many bible verses he reads. He laughed at one of the victims mom on the first day of the trial. He didn’t seem to care about the lives he took or the family members he affected because of his actions; there are more victims in a murder than just the murder victim. There are many people who suffered abuse as a child and didn’t turn to murder; heck, he has brothers and sisters who didn’t commit murder and they suffered the same horrible abuse that he did. He deserves to die. Finally, for all you bleeding heart liberals, think about this…if Sims victims had been your son, brother, father, nephew, cousin, would you being saying the same thing about the death penalty???

    • Feeling justice for killing another human being is pathetic. If you were part of the jury deciding to kill another human (that in your words is a son, brother, and father)…what does that make you? That kind of mentality is what breeds killers in the first place. Please change your way of thinking. It will be more productive to our society and generations to come.

      • What that makes me is a person who doesn’t try to excuse an animal for taking 3 lives! Not just the 1 I sat on the jury for…THREE!! I don’t know where you live, but in California prison is not necessarily a horrible thing. Our death penalty prisoners live with 3 squares a day, a bed to sleep in, free medical care, TV, visitors, the ability to workout, education if they so desire, no bills, no responsibilities, etc.

        He took three young lives, he robbed families, he, in a sense, KILLED 3 families…really…if you count the pain to his own family he killed 4 families!

        If some animal killed my child I would inject the poison myself, IF I didn’t kill the animal first!! Sorry that your kids, if you have any, don’t have a parent who would do the same!

  13. Fry that bastard! Why in the hell does it take so long to execute someone that is on death row! That is no deterrent for anyone that commits a fatal crime. it makes absolutely no since for tax payers to have to feed and house these assholes. FRY THEIR ASSES !!!

  14. Aren’t we all happy to have the death penalty for people like these (Ruby should have also been given the same). OF COURSE it looks good on paper but then… they NEVER GET EXECUTED ! Still watching TV, going to the Gym, reading books, sending and receiving letters and getting visitors.

    What a life !

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