In October 2001, then 19 year old Michael Perry and his buddy Jason Burkett, also 19, decided they needed to steal one or two newer vehicles. So the two boys devised a plan together. They both knew their friend Adam Stotler’s parents had “a lot of money” and “a newer Camaro and Isuzu Rodeo.” Their plan was to ask to spend the night at Adam’s and then steal the Camaro while the family slept. Things didn’t go exactly as they had planned.
On October 24, 2001, around 7 pm, while driving Burkett’s girlfriend’s truck, Perry and Burkett arrived at the Stotler home. Sandra Stotler, 50 years old, a nurse, shared her home in Montgomery, TX with her son Adam, 17 years old. But Adam wasn’t home. Mrs. Stotler was home alone. Upon their arrival she informed the boys Adam wouldn’t return home until around 9 pm. Perry and Burkett began driving away from the Stotler home, but decided to steal the vehicle while only Stotler was home. They parked the pickup down the street and walked back to the Stotler home. Burkett knocked on the door and asked to use the phone. Meanwhile Perry snuck into the house through the garage with a shotgun. Perry was hiding in the laundry room and knocked on the back door. As Mrs. Stotler came into the laundry room to answer the knock, Perry shot her. She immediately fell to the floor. But Perry noticed she was still moving, so he shot her again. Then Perry and Burkett grabbed blankets and sheets off the bed to cover Mrs. Stotler’s lifeless body. Burkett ran down the street, drove the pickup back to the home, and he and Perry loaded Stotler’s body in the bed of the truck. Perry really wanted to steal the Camaro but he couldn’t find the keys. Instead they drove out to nearby Crater Lake, disposing of Stotler’s body.
After their short visit to Crater Lake, the boys drove to Conroe, and picked up Burkett’s girlfriend Kristen Willis, at her place of employment. The trio then drove back to the Stotler’s neighborhood that was located inside a gated community. Once again their plan was interrupted. None of them knew the code to the gate. But they did know Adam would be arriving home shortly, so they waited. During their wait for Adam, they schemed a new plan. Adam and his friend Jeremy Richardson, 18, arrived in the Isuzu Rodeo. Perry and Burkett began asking Adam for help. Giving Adam a story, that a friend of theirs shot himself in the woods while they were hunting squirrels. They needed his help.
Adam and Jeremy followed them in the Rodeo to a wooded area. The four boys exited their vehicles, while Burkett’s girlfriend remained in her pickup. As they walked into the woods, Adam suggested they look for their friend from a different road. Adam and Perry drove away in the Rodeo, leaving Burkett and Richardson in the woods searching for the “friend.” Once Adam parked the Rodeo and he and Perry got out, Burkett approached them with the shotgun in hand, alone.
Burkett asked if they heard gunshots, because he claimed he had fired several to signal them his location. Burkett told Adam he would lead him to the others. Perry turned around to walk back to the Rodeo. Perry watched as Burkett shot Adam. Perry covered his eyes and heard another shot. He then uncovered his eyes and watched Burkett shoot Adam a third time. Perry walked over to where Adam was laying, pulled his car keys out of his pocket, then the boys drove the Rodeo back to where Burkett’s girlfriend was waiting. She got very upset with them both and drove herself home. Burkett drove Perry back to the Stotler home. Perry grabbed Adam’s wallet from the Rodeo and took the Camaro keys off his key ring. Perry finally had the Camaro he wanted desperately and drove away. The boys went home, smoked some cigarettes, cleaned themselves up, and headed out to a club.
The morning of October 26, 2001, Perry was driving the Camaro when law enforcement witnessed him committing traffic violations. A high speed chase began and Perry ended up wrecking the Camaro, fleeing on foot. Once he was apprehended, he was then booked as Adam Stotler, because that was the identification he had on him. He was released on bond. On October 27, 2001 Sandra Stotler’s body was found in Crater lake at 4:30 pm. On October 30, 2001 a Montgomery County Sheriff spotted the Rodeo at a truck stop with 3 occupants. As the vehicle began to flee, it struck the Sheriff. Unfortunately for the suspects, the sheriff was able to shoot out a rear tire, causing the vehicle to crash. Perry and Burkett began fleeing on foot once again, this time with the shotgun in hand. They climbed a fence, running to a nearby apartment complex, where law enforcement arrested them both and recovered the shotgun. Perry had a deep cut on his arm following the crash and was transported to a hospital for treatment. When questioned at the hospital, Perry gave his full confession.
A jury convicted Perry of the capital murder of Sandra Stotler in February 2003 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in December 2004. All of Perry’s state and federal appeals were denied. Jason Burkett received a separate trial. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.
On July 1, 2010 Sandra Stotler’s mother, daughter, and Jeremy Richardson’s brother attended Perry’s execution from a viewing room while Perry’s mother watched in a separate room. Michael James Perry was the 461st murderer executed in Texas since 1976 and was the 14th murderer executed in Texas in 2010. Perry’s last meal request consisted of three bacon, egg, and cheese omelettes, three chicken cheese enchiladas, three Pepsi’s, three Coke’s, and three Dr. Pepper’s. At 6:02 pm Perry was strapped to the gurney and at 6:03 pm the lethal injection began. At 6:08 pm he gave his final statement: “I want to start off by saying and letting everyone involved in this atrocity know they’re all forgiven by me. Mom, I love you.” He turned to the warden saying “I am ready to go.” He finished with “Coming home Dad, coming home Dad.” The lethal dose finished at 6:12 pm. Michael James Perry was pronounced dead at 6:17 pm.