Two men convicted of murder in Virginia were sentenced yesterday to die in the state's electric chair, one for the death of a Richmond disc jockey, the other for a contract killing in Fairfax County.
Linwood E. Briley, one of six death row inmates who escaped this spring from the state's troubled Mecklenburg prison, was given an Oct. 12 execution date in Richmond for one of the 11 killings to which he and members of his gang have been linked.
James T. Clark Jr., convicted in the 1978 murder-for-hire of a Springfield service station operator, was sentenced to die Dec. 20. Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Richard J. Jamborsky, who two years ago commuted a jury's recommended death sentence in the case, set the date.
Briley and Clark have faced previous execution dates, which have been lifted or delayed as they fought their sentences in the courts. Attorneys for the two have indicated they will continue the appeals.
Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said he expects Clark's execution to be delayed further. "They have the wherewithal to stall it and delay it in the federal court at least past Dec. 20," he said. "Bet your house, my house and his house: no way Dec. 20."
Two years ago, Jamborsky commuted Clark's death sentence, agreeing with his contention that he was inadequately represented during the sentencing phase of his 1982 trial.
The Virginia Supreme Court reversed Jamborsky's ruling in June and ordered him to impose the death penalty.
Clark, 27, who is being held at Mecklenburg, was not present at the hearing yesterday in Fairfax. He is only one of three people convicted in the contract murder of George Harold Scarborough, operator of a Texaco station, to be sentenced to die in the bizarre murder.
Scarborough was killed in his town house Jan. 31, 1978, by Clark and a cousin, Charles D. Stewart who attempted to smother him with a chloroform-soaked pillow and then shot him. Clark testified that they were hired by Betty M. Holler, a friend of Scarborough's estranged wife, Jamie, to murder Scarborough.
Stewart and Holler were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Jamie Scarborough was tried and acquitted on charges that she hired the men to kill her husband.
Briley, 30, his brothers, James and Anthony, and another man have been implicated in a series of 11 murders in the Richmond area in the late 1970s. Linwood Briley was scheduled to die Aug. 17, but that date was stayed by a federal appeals court.
Briley's lawyer, Deborah Wyatt, told Spain that new information about the case had been developed, and that "it is something we intend to pursue." She made no objection to the setting of an execution date and would not answer reporters' questions about the nature of the new information.
Since the Mecklenburg breakout May 31 and his subsequent capture 19 days later in Philadelphia, Briley has been held in the State Penitentiary in Richmond.