death penalty news—-TEXAS

Aug. 12

TEXAS—-impending execution

Inmate set to die for Dallas slayings says he won't go quietly

One of the meanest men on Texas' death row is scheduled to be walked to
the execution chamber tonight.

Leon David Dorsey IV, once known on the street as "Pistol Pete," does not
plan to die quietly.

In the more than eight years since a jury sentenced him in the
execution-style murders of 2 White Rock-area Blockbuster Video store
employees, he has earned a reputation as a violent, uncooperative,
dangerous death row inmate.

Among his 95 infractions during his time on death row, Mr. Dorsey, 32, was
cited for possession of weapons, assaulting and threatening to injure
staff, refusing to obey orders and starting a fire outside his cell.

His history of misbehavior has kept him at the highest level of lockdown.

"That [level] is reserved for the inmates who are most combative or
assaultive," said Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice.

Mr. Dorsey's record on death row is no surprise for those who got to know
him for his record on the outside.

Former Dallas County prosecutor Toby Shook has worked on 21 death penalty

"I would honestly say Leon might be the meanest man I prosecuted for the
death penalty, which is a pretty strong group to shine out of," said Mr.
Shook, who now works as a Dallas defense attorney.

Mr. Shook said what separated Mr. Dorsey from other evil criminals was his
brutal honesty.

"He is a fairly full-blown psychopath, but he's an honest psychopath,"
said Mr. Shook, who lives near and rents movies from the Blockbuster where
the men were killed.

In August 1998, Mr. Dorsey was serving a 60-year sentence for the murder 4
years earlier of Ennis convenience store manager Hyon Suk Chon, 51, shot
twice in the head.

That's when Dallas police detectives, armed with new information,
revisited the man who had long been a suspect in the deaths of James
Armstrong, 26, and Brad Lindsey, 20. The men were killed during a robbery
as they closed the Blockbuster at the Casa Linda Plaza Shopping Center at
Buckner Boulevard and Garland Road.

The April 1994 murder was one of the highest-profile Dallas cases of the
decade, in part because of its brutality and because portions of it were
captured on security tape.


Mr. Dorsey confessed to Dallas police homicide Detective Ken Penrod that
he was the man seen on fuzzy black and white surveillance camera
snapshots, the one who wasn't satisfied with the $392 he got from a front
cash register. He said he was the robber who walked the 2 men in single
file to the back office of the video store and shot them to death when
they apparently weren't able to open a safe.

Investigators had no physical evidence linking Mr. Dorsey to the crime.
But in his detailed confession to police, he provided information that had
never been publicly released.

For Detective Penrod, the chill he felt while he sat across the table from
Mr. Dorsey is unforgettable.

"I remember him like it was just yesterday," Detective Penrod said.
"Because I had the feeling … I was sitting there talking to the devil

Days later, Mr. Dorsey again admitted to the murders in a chilling 2-hour
interview with a Dallas Morning News reporter. Mr. Dorsey likened the loss
he brought on his victims' families to losing money in a craps game.

"They're dead. That's over and done with," he said. "Why are you going to
sit there and worry yourself about that? Move on."

"I could have came in here and been, 'Oh, I'm sorry, I'm so bad.' But I
don't feel like that. That's not being honest with myself."

He also told The News that he decided to rob the Blockbuster despite
carrying $4,500 in his pocket from robbing a drug dealer earlier in the
day. He said he viewed robbing the store as a challenge, a way to satisfy
his greed.

"If the opportunity presents itself, that's called maximization," he said.
"If I don't get it, somebody else is going to get you later on. Better me
than someone else."

A recording of that interview was admitted into evidence in Mr. Dorsey's
murder trial.

Mr. Dorsey recently agreed to again meet with the reporter who recorded
the 1998 confession, but Department of Criminal Justice officials canceled
the interview, citing a specific threat Mr. Dorsey made.

"He's not being brought out of his cell unless necessary," Ms. Lyons said.
"He's vowed that he's going to assault staff prior to his execution."

That threat fit a pattern of behavior that earned Mr. Dorsey the most
restrictive status on death row. His number of visits and amount of
recreation time are more limited than other inmates. He also has more
severe restrictions on what he is allowed to possess in his cell.

Among his most recent infractions was a June 25 incident in which he told
a sergeant he would cut the next officer who gave him a razor.

Asked later to give a statement about the offense, he said, "That's what's
up, and it's on," according to Department of Criminal Justice records.

Mr. Dorsey's case is not on appeal and he is set to die at the Huntsville
Unit after 6 p.m. Relatives of both victims declined interview requests.

2 lives lost

The men they lost had barely begun their lives. Mr. Armstrong, who loved
to sing, was an assistant manager at the Blockbuster store and had worked
for the company for about 2 years.

Mr. Lindsey attended Bryan Adams High School until shortly before his
death. He had only been working at the store for a few weeks.

After Mr. Dorsey's sentence was handed down in May 2000, Mr. Armstrong's
mother, Nancy, gave a statement in court.

"Our son was a gentle man," she told him. "I believe you're an evil, vile
creature. You didn't kill for survival. You killed for pleasure."

She said she would witness any gestures he might make "when you get the
needle you fear."

(source: Dallas Morning News)

Death row infractions

Leon David Dorsey IV committed 95 infractions during more than 8 years on
death row. A sampling:

June 13, 2000: One day after arriving on death row, he is found to be in
possession of tobacco.

Oct. 17, 2002: While being returned to his cell from the shower, Mr.
Dorsey assaults an officer with a broken toothbrush. The officer is cut on
his hand.

Nov. 14, 2003: Mr. Dorsey admits starting a fire outside his cell.

June 12, 2004: Mr. Dorsey stabs an officer 14 times with an 8-inch shank
he made out of a typewriter rod he filed to a point at one end and wrapped
in a sock at the other end. The officer was wearing a protective vest and
was not injured.

July 2008: Mr. Dorsey is found to be in possession of a weapon he crafted
out of a metal object. He vows to assault staff prior to his execution.

[sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice; Dallas County district
attorney's office]


Death penalty sought in boy's stomping death in Galveston

Prosecutors said today they would seek the death penalty for Travis
Mullis, accused of stomping his 3-month-old son to death to stop him from

Officials from the office of Galveston County District Attorney Kurt
Sistrunk met privately with defense attorney Robert Loper outside the
courtroom of District Judge John Ellisor to inform him of the decision.

Ellisor scheduled Mullis's hearing for Sept. 19.

The discovery of the body of Alijah Mullis's diaper-clad body Jan. 30,
2007, by the side of a Galveston road began a nationwide manhunt for
Mullis, 22.

Alijah and his father had left a trailer in Alvin early that morning where
the family had been staying with a friend because Mullis and Alijah's
mother, Karen Kohberger, 28, had run out of money.

Police have never explained why Mullis decided to drive to an isolated
area on the eastern end of Galveston Island, where a couple cruising
slowly along Seawall Boulevard looking for wildlife discovered Alijah's
body at 9 a.m. about 30 feet from his car seat.

Friends said Kohberger started making calls to find Mullis after he didn't
return with the boy. Alvin police said she never reported the missing
child to them.

Later that day, officials from a hospital told Galveston police that
Kohberger had called, searching for a missing baby. Kohberger was brought
in for questioning and identified a photo of the body as Alijah.

"Kohberger stated that Travis Mullis indicated to her that he was having
flashbacks from being sexually abused as a child and told her that he had
to get out of there … because he might do something to one of the kids,"
according to an affidavit.

Mullis walked into a Philadelphia police station four days later and told
police that he was wanted in Texas and that he had stomped on his son's
head until he felt the skull collapsing. He told police it was the only
way he could stop the baby from crying.

He was flown back to Texas and remains in the Galveston County Jail in
lieu of $1 million bail.

Mullis also has been charged with taking an 8-year-old girl from the
mobile home to a school yard late one night and trying to entice her to
take off her pants. The girl began to cry and Mullis returned her to her
home, officials said.

Kohberger was charged with child endangerment for allegedly handing her
son over to Mullis.

She was arrested in February last year after being discharged from a New
York City hospital.

(source: The Houston Chronicle)


Gov. Perry Reappoints 3 to Commission on Uniform State Laws

Gov. Rick Perry has reappointed three members to the Commission on Uniform
State Laws for terms to expire Sept. 20, 2014. The commission participates
in the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to study
and recommend which areas of law should be consistent across all 50

Peter Munson of Pottsboro is an attorney and senior partner at Munson,
Munson, Cardwell and Keese, P.C. He is a member of Delta Theta Phi
International Law Fraternity, the State Bar of Texas, Grayson County Bar
Association, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists and Texas Association
of School Board Council of School Law Attorneys. He is past president of
the Denison and Grayson Rotary clubs and past district commissioner,
director and scout master of the Boy Scouts of America. Munson received a
bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from
the University of Texas.

Rodney Satterwhite of Midland is an attorney at Stubbeman, Mcrae, Sealy,
Laughlin and Browder. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, director
of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, president of the Midland County
Young Lawyers Association and commissioner of the National Conference of
Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He is also a campaign chairman for
the American Cancer Society and director of the United Way. Satterwhite
served in the U.S. Army. He received a bachelors and law degree from the
University of Texas.

Karen Roberts Washington of Dallas is an attorney and mediator at Thorpe,
Hatcher and Washington. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Dallas
Bar Association, Texas Employment Lawyers and American Law Institute. She
is also commissioner of the National Uniform Laws Commission and master
for Mac Taylor Inn of Court. She is also a Richardson High School,
Westwood Junior High School, Northwood Hills Elementary School and Girl
Scouts volunteer, and serves on the executive board for Theatre Three
Dallas. Washington received a bachelors degree from Texas Tech University
and a law degree from the University of Texas.

(source: Office of the Governor)