Emmanuel Hammond and William Porter were sent to prison for the murder of a physical education teacher, Julie Love, who they abducted when she ran out of gas in Atlanta, Georgia.
On the night of July 11, 1988, Love, a physical education teacher and a University of Texas graduate, was on her way home from a business meeting when her 1983 red Mustang convertible ran out of gas.
She pulled over, got out of her car, and began walking along Dover Road, near Howell Mill Road, to the nearest gas station, about two miles away. Police believe she was on her way to her fiance Mark Kaplan’s house, a mile and a half away.
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, she never made it to her destination.
Kaplan, who had proposed to Love a week prior, called her home at around 9:45 p.m. and left a message. Although he wasn’t unable to reach her, he wasn’t concerned, as he said she had previously “alluded to the fact that she had plans earlier in the week.”
At around 5:30 p.m. the following day, a friend spotted Love’s vehicle on the side of the road. Kaplan went to the location and later contacted the police, who met him at Love’s apartment.
After retrieving the key from the condominium manager, they went inside and noticed there was no sign of a struggle or a robbery. That’s when Julie Love became the subject of a massive search.
Her fiance, family, and friends distributed more than 100,000 flyers and posters around town. Police officers and volunteers searched the surrounding area, but despite their efforts, they were unable to find her.
Eventually, her case turned cold.
Nearly a year later, in August, police got a break in the case.
A woman named Janice Weldon, who was 34 years old at the time and a former stripper, went to the police after her boyfriend, Hammond, allegedly offered to pay an inmate $20,000 to help him get a job and a car to kill her because he said she “knew too much.”
Weldon told police that Hammond and his cousin, Porter, were responsible for Love’s disappearance.
Officers had placed a wire on her body. They recorded conversations between Weldon and Porter, who made incriminating statements that ultimately led to his arrest.
Hammonds was already incarcerated at the Fulton County Jail for allegedly strangling Weldon.
On July 28, 1989, Porter led police to an illegal dumping ground on Grove Park Place, off Johnson Road in northwest Atlanta. Love’s skeletal remains were found hidden beneath trash and weeds.
Police learned that on the night Love went missing, Weldon, Hammond, and Porter were traveling in a maroon Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan when they noticed Love walking alone on Howell Mill Road.
Hammond asked Porter to stop the vehicle so that he could ask Love if she needed a ride. Love said no, and she pointed to a house nearby and said she lived there.
When she began walking up the driveway, they drove off, but they turned around when they saw her walking down the road again.
For the second time, Hammond asked if she needed a ride. When Julie Love said no, he jumped out of the car with a sawed-off shotgun and forced her into the vehicle.
She screamed, “Don’t hurt me. Please, don’t hurt me,” as Hammond hit her in the back of the head with the gun.
Porter drove to Grove Park Elementary School and began rummaging through her purse. When he found cash and a debit card, he and Weldon were sent to an ATM at the West End Mall to withdraw money, while Love and Hammond stayed behind.
When they arrived at the ATM, they realized that Love had given them the wrong PIN. When they returned to the school without cash, Hammond became irate and started hitting Love with the gun barrel, according to Deseret News.
Porter then pulled Love aside, ripped her clothes off, and raped her.
It was reported that Love had mistakenly given Porter and Weldon the wrong pin number because she was nervous. She then told them that she had more cards in her apartment.
The four of them went to her condominium, but they weren’t able to get inside because of security. Before heading back to the elementary school, Weldon was dropped off at her house.
When Hammond and Porter returned to the elementary school, they retrieved clothes hangers from the trunk and wrapped one of them around Love’s neck.
Hammond told Porter to pull one end while he pulled the other.
As they were attempting to strangle Love, she managed to break free. She then allegedly yelled, “don’t do it.”
They then bound Love’s hands and feet with clothes hangers and threw a sheet over her. Hammond carried her into a wooded area and shot her in the head with a shotgun, according to the Georgia Department of Law.
When he returned to the vehicle, Porter noticed he had blood on his face. That’s when he said, “You didn’t do what I think you did,” to which Hammond responded, “had to.”
At around 7 a.m. on July 12, 1988, Hammond returned to his home at the College Park apartment. It was then that he told Weldon that he had blown Love’s head off, then sold the shotgun and pawned her jewelry.
In February 1990, Weldon testified at the Fulton County Superior Court, where she made claims that Hammond hated white people.
She said, “He told me if he ever got a white woman, he would kill her. He said he hated white women. He hated his stepdaddy because he was white and didn’t want his mom to marry that white man.”
In exchange for her testimony, Janice Weldon was not charged; she was given immunity.
Hammond and Porter were charged with murder and armed robbery.
Porter was also charged with rape. He avoided the death penalty in exchange for a guilty plea.
He apologized to the victim’s family, saying: “Sorry that it ever happened.”
Although Porter admitted guilt, he denied having anything to do with Julie Love’s murder. He said Hammond was the killer and the mastermind.
In April 1990, William Maurice Porter was sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
A month prior, a jury deliberated for about eight hours before they found Hammond guilty, and a judge later sentenced him to death by lethal injection.
At 11:39 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2011, Hammond was executed at a state prison in Jackson, Georgia, despite his attorneys’ attempts to postpone it.
He was 45 years old.