Age 26 convicted in 1994 of strangling a 6-year-old girl.
She killed Shenosha Richards in 1991 after luring her to an apartment with promises of snacks and a movie.
A court psychologist said Pulliam was "a female John Gacy," getting sexual satisfaction from hurting someone weaker than she.
Williams and Pulliam lost their 1st appeals to the state Supreme Court but have years of legal challenges ahead and are unlikely to be executed soon.
IQ has been assessed at 69
People v. Pulliam
The facts of the case are horrific. Defendant Latasha Pulliam signed a court-reported confession in connection with the sexual assault and murder of six-year-old Shenosha Richards.
4 Pulliam admitted that she took Shenosha to her apartment and placed the child in a bedroom with Pulliam’s boyfriend while Pulliam herself used cocaine in the kitchen.
5 When she returned to the bedroom, she found Shenosha unclothed and crying on the floor. Pulliam and her boyfriend then assaulted Shenosha for ten minutes by simultaneously placing a bottle of shoe polish in her rectum and the straight end of a hammer in her vagina. When the child tried to scream, Pulliam wrapped an electrical cord around her neck and began strangling her.
After some time, she took Shenosha to an empty apartment down the hall and continued tightening the cord for ten minutes, until she heard someone knocking on her own apartment door.
6 At that point, she placed the child in a closet in the empty apartment. When Pulliam returned a few minutes later and found that Shenosha was not breathing, she hit the child three or four times over the head with a hammer. She then put Shenosha’s body in a garbage can, struck her head with a two-by-four, and covered her in garbage.
7 According to the testimony of one of Pulliam’s cellmates, she admitted that she had also used a wooden doorstop with a nail in it to jab Shenosha in the chest.
8The medical evidence was consistent with the conduct in Pulliam’s confession.
9 Shenosha had forty-two separate injuries, including two puncture wounds to her chest, multiple lacerations that penetrated her skull, and many lacerations to her vagina and anus.
A jury convicted Pulliam of murder, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.
11 The jury then found that she was death-eligible and that there were no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude the imposition of the death penalty. Accordingly, the trial court sentenced her to death for the murder and to three consecutive terms of 60, 30, and 15 years on the remaining convictions.
12 After Pulliam’s direct appeal was affirmed by the Illinois Supreme Court,
13 she filed a prosepetition for relief under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act,
14 challenging her death sentence on a number of grounds.
The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence.
The high court scheduled a Sept. 10 execution date for Latasha Pulliam.
However, she has mandatory rounds of appeals remaining in the federal court system, which automatically postpones her execution while those are heard.
Pulliam is 1 of 4 women on death row in Illinois. She claimed hearsay was admitted as evidence at her trial, as was testimony concerning a court-ordered fitness examination. She also claims she was not allowed to bring witnesses to testify on her behalf, and says she thinks death by lethal injection is too harsh a punishment.
But the court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice James Heiple, said evidence of her guilt in the 1991 death of Shenosha Richards was "overwhelming."
Shenosha was found dead in a garbage can on Chicago's South Side, and Pulliam was charged along with her boyfriend, Dwight Jordan, with 131 counts of murder, aggravated criminal sexual asssault, aggravated kidnapping and unlawful restraint.