[DP] Fwd: March 7 execution
carole646 at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 8 10:13:18 CST 2002
>From: Rick Halperin <rhalperi at post.cis.smu.edu>
>Reply-To: TCADP-BOARD01 at yahoogroups.com
>To: TCADP-BOARD01 <TCADP-BOARD01 at yahoogroups.com>
>Subject: [TCADP-BOARD01] death penalty news---TEXAS
>Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 21:40:43 -0600 (CST)
>Waco man executed for 1993 shootings
>Maintaining his innocence, Gerald Tigner was executed tonight for killing
>2 men during a shooting spree almost 9 years ago when he was free on bond
>awaiting trial for another slaying.
>"I was wrongfully convicted of this crime," Tigner, 29, of Waco said just
>before the drugs went flowing through the veins of his arms. "I got
>convicted on a false confession. My lawyer didn't point this out to the
>jury. I did not kill those two drug dealers."
>He expressed love to his family and friends, adding, "I'll see you all
>He was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., 9 minutes after the lethal drugs
>Tigner becomes the 600th condemned inmate in America to be put to death
>via lethalinjection since Texas first used that method in 1982.
>Tigner's attorneys had asked the courts for DNA testing of blood on shoes
>he was wearing the day of the shootings, contending if the blood was not
>from the victims, it would prove Tigner was not there.
>"If you're not at the crime scene, you're not guilty," Tigner said in a
>recent death row interview. "I was not there. I was at home with my
>Tigner said a friend, Guan Scott, was the gunman who fatally shot James
>Williams, 22, and Michael Watkins, 32. Scott, however, was killed in an
>unrelated shooting before Tigner's trial.
>Tigner repeated from the death chamber gurney that Scott was the gunman.
>Prosecutors disputed Tigner's version of events, noting they had
>eyewitnesses to the shooting -- 2 of them identifying Tigner at his trial
>-- and that Tigner, arrested a day after the double slaying, gave
>investigators 2 confessions that included details only the killer could
>"He said he shot with 3 different caliber weapons, a 9 mm, a .38 and a
>.22," Crawford Long, a McLennan County assistant district attorney who
>prosecuted Tigner, said this week. "He got the exact calibers. It was
>known only to him and it was confirmed later by ballistics."
>Tigner contended the confessions were contrived by a detective who "wrote
>what he wanted to write."
>"I made up an unbelievable self-defense story," Tigner said. "It was not
>consistent with any evidence at the crime scene. The key part is I did
>not admit to being at the crime scene, did not admit to driving the truck
>to the crime scene. This is what the jury missed."
>"He's intelligent but he uses that intelligence for evil ends," Long said
>of Tigner, whose criminal record began at age 16 when he received
>probation for a burglary. He had later convictions for criminal mischief,
>making a terroristic threat and evading police.
>"There was no doubt ... that he was definitely guilty," Robert Bell,
>Williams' brother, said after watching Tigner die. "You've got to be on
>this side in order to understand what we had to go through, to identify
>our brother and look at pictures and go through that graphic scene again.
>For any family, that's difficult.
>"Our brother is gone. We can thank God that this individual has been
>taken off the streets where he won't do it again."
>In December 1992, he confessed to fatally shooting his mother's
>ex-boyfriend. Tigner contended that shooting was in self-defense and was
>out on bond when Watkins and Williams were killed.
>Court records show Tigner was driving a truck, accompanied by Scott and
>Scott's brother, Timothy, when they spotted a car with Watkins and
>Williams inside. Tigner flagged them down and he and Guan Scott
>approached the other pair.
>What happened next is unclear, although testimony showed Tigner started
>hollering at them and began firing into the car, walking alongside the
>car while continuing to fire. Witnesses said after he ran out of
>ammunition, he went back to his own truck, got another weapon and
>returned to the car. By then, Watkins had fallen from the car and was
>trying to crawl away. Tigner straddled him and shot him in the head,
>"He's a very cold-blooded person," Long said.
>Watkins was shot 10 times, including twice in the head. Williams was shot
>7 times, 4 of them to the head. Police found cocaine in the bullet-
>riddled car and the pockets of at least one of the slain men were turned
>inside-out, although it wasn't known if the pair also was robbed of cash.
>Witnesses reported the license plate of Tigner's truck to police. He was
>arrested the next day.
>Tigner was convicted and condemned twice for the Williams and Watkins
>slayings. His 1st conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of
>Criminal Appeals, which found prosecutors did not provide to Tigner's
>attorneys in a timely fashion a tape recorded confession he made to
>Tigner becomes the 6th condemned inmate to be put to death in Texas this
>year and the 262nd overall since the state resumed capital punishment on
>December 7, 1982. 11 more execution dates are already confirmed in Texas
>through June 26.
>(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
>Psychiatrist: Yates mentally ill, but knew drownings were wrong
>Andrea Yates suffered from a severe mental illness at the time she
>drowned her 5 children last year but knew her actions were wrong, a
>forensic psychiatrist hired by the state told jurors in her capital
>murder trial today.
>"She thought killing the children was sinful," said Dr. Park Dietz. "If
>you know it's a sin, then you know it's wrong."
>Defense witnesses have testified that Yates suffered from delusions that
>the only way to save her children from hell was to kill them. Dietz said
>Yates didn't act as if she were someone who believed those delusions.
>Yates didn't seek out a priest or minister, call the police, send her
>children to a safe place or attempt suicide, Dietz said.
>"I do expect people with delusions of imminent harm to act as if that is
>true and protect the ones they love," Dietz said.
>Dietz, who has worked on other high profile cases including that of
>serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski and South
>Carolina child killer Susan Smith, was among witnesses presented by
>prosecutors as rebuttal testimony Thursday.
>The defense rested its case a day earlier.
>Dietz said Yates kept her thoughts about killing her children a secret
>because she feared others would stop her.
>"Ordinarily when someone keeps a criminal plan secret they do it because
>it's wrong," Dietz said.
>On Dietz's videotaped interview with Yates, he asked Yates why Satan
>would want her to do something that would save her children. The mother
>told him because it would result in her being condemned.
>"You saw it as a sin you were going to commit?" Dietz asked Yates during
>the Nov. 7 interview.
>"Yes," she replied.
>"Did you struggle against doing it?" the psychiatrist asked.
>"No," Yates told him.
>Earlier, Yates told the psychiatrist the idea to kill was hers alone and
>Dietz said he thought Yates at times became confused during the
>interview, which occurred over 2 days, and said he thought she was still
>depressed and likely suffers from schizophrenia.
>The psychiatrist said he found a note in Yates' medical records where Dr.
>Mohammad Saeed had told her husband, Russell, that she should not be left
>alone. Dietz said leaving her alone with the children gave her the
>opportunity she needed.
>"When you have a mother who is this severely impaired, someone has to be
>with her at all times," Dietz said. "It isn't safe to leave her with the
>Dietz recited a lengthy list of factors he said contributed to Yates'
>condition. They included refusing to take her medicine, getting pregnant
>despite doctor's warnings against it and attempting to conduct home
>schooling inside a converted bus where the family lived in 1999.
>Earlier today, jurors heard from a bookstore owner who described Yates
>and her 5 children as her favorite customers.
>Terry Arnold, co-owner of Home Education Partnership of Texas, testified
>that the last time Yates came into the store, 2 to 3 weeks before she
>drowned her children June 20, she was "much, much thinner" and looked
>like she had been sick.
>"She was not unkempt but didn't look as attractive as she normally did,"
>Arnold said. "She wasn't as lit up from the inside. There was a flatness
>there. I thought she was having a bad day."
>Arnold said that her 1st contact with the family was when Russell Yates,
>the defendant's husband, came alone to the store about a month after it
>opened Feb. 1, 2001.
>"He said his wife had heard about it and he wanted to check it out,"
>Arnold said. "It was unusual for a man to come alone, and it made me
>notice it more."
>Russell Yates mentioned that he and his wife had 5 children, and Arnold
>said she told him she also had 5 children and "it would be great" if the
>Yates children came to the store.
>Andrea Yates came with the children the next day or soon thereafter,
>"She was very pleasant," Arnold recalled. "I liked her a lot. She was
>kind. When you said hello, she would smile and be very open, but you had
>to get it started."
>Arnold said that she commented on the fact that Yates was thin even after
>giving birth to 5 children -- the youngest just three months old.
>"She laughed and said that's just how she is," Arnold testified.
>When Arnold asked Yates if she planned to have more children, she said a
>sudden wave of sadness washed over her.
>"I felt like I had hit a sore subject," Arnold said. "There was a change
>in her demeanor...I thought she was going to cry."
>Arnold testified that she quickly changed the subject and told Yates she
>had a lovely family.
>Yates was always gentle with the children, who were always well behaved,
>"We often referred to them as our favorite customers," she said.
>The prosecution recalled Sgt. David Svahn, the supervising police officer
>who responded to the scene after Yates called 911.
>As he was on the stand, Kaylynn Williford showed the jury brief
>television news footage of Yates on the day of the drownings, over the
>objection of defense lawyers George Parnham and Wendell Odom.
>Parnham complained that the defense did not know the prosecution had the
>video and that it would be entered as evidence. He said he would like to
>put the television photographer on the stand for questioning.
>Williford countered that the video was appropriate rebuttal evidence
>because Parnham had raised the point that Houston police did not
>photograph Yates either at the scene or at the police station where she
>made a statement.
>Odom argued that the appropriateness of the video as rebuttal evidence
>was irrelevant. The issue, he said, was that state District Judge Belinda
>Hill had approved a motion that photographic evidence obtained by either
>side in the case should be given to the other side in advance.
>Hill asked Williford why she had not given the video to the defense last
>week when she received it.
>Williford said it didn't occur to her, in the midst of the ongoing trial.
>Hill allowed the video to be shown.
>2 Harris County sheriff's deputies testified that Yates was cooperative
>but did not say much.
>(source: Houston Chronicle)
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