death penalty news—-TEXAS

May 29



Andre Lattalade, also known as Capital "X", a hip hop artist and activist,
will be in Houston on Friday, May 30, as the last part of a 1700 mile walk
which started on March 31, 2008. The walk started in New Jersey where the
death penalty has recently been abolished. It is ending in Texas, the
leading death penalty state in the nation with 405 executions since 1982.
Texas currently has 14 (!) executions scheduled, the first one being
Derrick Sonnier on June 3.

Called the "Walk 4 Life", Capital "X" has walked through 10 of the 12
states with the highest execution rates in the U.S. He is walking to
protest the death penalty and to shed light on the inhumane treatment of
prisoners on death row. Capital "X" can be contacted directly at
281-818-8935 and at .

On May 30, at 8am, Capital "X" will begin a walk through downtown Houston
(starting at Jackson and Commerce Streets) which will end at KPFT Radio,
419 Lovett Blvd, around 10 am.

Also on May 30, at 10pm, a Salute to Capital "X" Concert will take place
at Advant Garden, 411 Westheimer, in Houston. Capital "X" and several
other artists will perform at the concert.

On June 3, Capital "X" plans to protest the execution of Derrick Sonnier
at the Walls Unit in Huntsville.

(source: TCADP)


No decision on death penalty in capital murder case

Prosecutors are nearing a decision as to whether to seek death by lethal
injection for a Mesquite man, indicted on a charge of capital murder in
connection with a fatal stabbing in Greenville last November.

Hunt County District Attorney F. Duncan Thomas said he is leaning toward
seeking the death penalty for John William Trotman III, should Trotman be
convicted of capital murder, based in part on his conversations with the
family members of the victim in the case.

"I've spoken with them twice and the family thinks the death penalty is
appropriate," Thomas said. "At this point, we probably will be seeking it.
We'll probably make that decision in the near future."

Trotman, 26, remains in custody at the Hunt County Jail in lieu of $1
million bond on a charge of capital murder in connection with the Nov. 12,
2007 death of Ryon Rhoden of Greenville. An interim hearing was conducted
Wednesday in the 196th District Court, at which time Judge Joe Leonard
scheduled another interim hearing for June 25. Trotman has pleaded not

Trotman was arrested following what the Greenville Police Department
claimed was a combination robbery and homicide at a residence in the 3700
block of Bourland Street. A capital murder charge is filed when the murder
alleged is committed in connection with the commission of a second major
felony, such as robbery, kidnapping, rape or another murder. Those
convicted of capital murder face a sentence of either life in prison or
death by lethal injection.

A criminal complaint filed as part of court records indicated Rhoden was
at the residence with his sister when Trotman was alleged to have entered
the home carrying a knife and demanding money. Rhoden was in the restroom
at the time and the sister told authorities she thought Trotman was joking
at first. Rhoden came out of the restroom and he and Trotman began
fighting, according to the complaint. The sister joined in, but the two
were unable to overpower Trotman. Rhoden received several stab wounds,
including one to his upper right chest, as well as lacerations. The sister
also received several cuts before Trotman left the residence.

Rhoden was transported to Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville where he was
pronounced dead.

The vehicle in which Trotman was riding was later found at his girlfriends
house. Blood was found inside the vehicle and on some items of clothing
Trotman was allegedly wearing the day of the murder. The girlfriend told
officers Trotman threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the

Officers took Trotman into custody initially for the offense of
terroristic threat/family violence and later charged Trotman with the
capital murder offense.

(source: The Herald-Banner)

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