Texas executes man convicted of killing
two in 2002 robbery
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[January 27, 2017]
By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas inmate
was executed on Thursday for killing two sandwich shop employees during
a robbery in 2002 after the Supreme Court denied appeals that argued he
was not the trigger man and his case was tainted by prosecutorial
Terry Edwards, 43, died of lethal injection at 10:17 p.m. at the state's
death chamber in Huntsville, said Texas Department of Criminal Justice
spokesman Jason Clark in a statement.
“Yes, I made peace with God. I hope y’all make peace with this," Edwards
said before he was put to death, according to the statement released by
The execution was put on hold for about four hours as the Supreme Court
considered several motions citing what lawyers for Edwards said were
faults in previous legal proceedings. The court rejected those requests
late on Thursday evening.
The execution was the 540th in Texas since the Supreme Court reinstated
the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state.
Edwards was convicted along with co-defendant Kirk Edwards, an older
cousin, of the July 2002 murders of Dallas Subway sandwich shop
employees Mickell Goodwin and Tommy Walker in a robbery.
Kirk Edwards has a projected release date of July 2027, Texas Department
of Criminal Justice online records showed.
In an editorial posted online on Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News said
the execution should be halted because there are too many unanswered
questions in the case.
"These questions do not paint Terry Edwards as innocent. But they do
raise uncertainties as to whether the jury was misled when it determined
he had pulled the trigger and deserved to die, it said.
Lawyers for Texas have argued that new counsel for Edwards previously
tried to halt the execution on similar grounds and that his conviction
and sentencing were legal and proper.
[to top of second column]
Death row inmate Terry Darnell Edwards is seen in an undated picture
released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. REUTERS/Texas
Department of Criminal Justice/Handout via Reuters/File Photo
John Mills, an attorney for Edwards, said he had evidence indicating
that Edwards was not the gunman.
"Previous counsel has done virtually almost nothing to ensure that
his case was investigated and that the powerful evidence undermining
the reliability and the fairness of his conviction was brought to
light," Mills said in an interview.
One of the main pieces of evidence was gunshot residue testing,
which at trial was presented and used by prosecutors who said Terry
Edwards fired the fatal shots.
In court papers, lawyers for the Terry Edwards said the gunshot
residue evidence was improperly interpreted and actually show that
Edwards was not the shooter.
(This version of the story was refiled to add word, delete
extraneous word in paragraph 1)
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by James Dalgleish, Leslie
Adler and Michael Perry)
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