death penalty news—-TEXAS

August 12


Violent Texas inmate executed for double slaying

A twice-convicted killer with a history of violence that continued even
after he was sent to death row was executed Tuesday for gunning down 2
video store workers during a robbery 14 years ago in Dallas.

"I love all y'all. I forgive all y'all. See y'all when you get there,"
Leon David Dorsey IV said in his final statement. "Do what you're going to

Dorsey, 32, acknowledged his sister when witnesses filed in but didn't
direct any comments to the relatives of his victims.

He was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. CDT, 9 minutes after the lethal drugs
began to flow.

Dorsey was the seventh prisoner executed this year in the nation's most
active death penalty state and the first of two inmates scheduled to die
this week. 2 more are to die next week.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upheld his conviction and death
sentence and no late appeals were filed to try to block Dorsey's lethal

Prison records showed that since Dorsey arrived on death row 8 years ago,
he's had at least 95 disciplinary cases, including a 2004 attack where he
used an 8 1/2-inch shank to stab an officer 14 times in the back. The
officer's body armor prevented serious injuries.

Less than 2 weeks ago, authorities recovered another shank from his cell.
His threats of violence kept prison officials from making him available
for media interviews as his execution date approached and his frequent
disciplinary issues kept him in a prison system classification reserved
for the most troublesome inmates.

"He's mean," Toby Shook, a former Dallas County assistant district
attorney who prosecuted Dorsey for capital murder, said, calling him a
"true psychopath."

"Wherever he's been he's done stuff like that," Shook said. "He's very
smart, very organized. … He just was always headed in this direction.
Every day he was looking to hurt someone. It was the only satisfaction he
got in life."

Dorsey already was in prison, serving 60 years after pleading guilty to
killing a woman during a convenience store robbery, when a Dallas police
cold case squad gathered enough evidence to tie him to the unsolved
shooting deaths four years earlier of James Armstrong, 26, and Brad
Lindsey, 20, at a Blockbuster Video store in East Dallas where they

Evidence showed Dorsey, who called himself "Pistol Pete," cased the place
on Easter Sunday night in 1994, then returned after midnight to steal $392
from a cash register. He shot the workers when Armstrong had difficulty
opening a safe at gunpoint and Lindsey tried to run.

Most of the crime was recorded on security cameras in the store.

Dorsey initially was questioned about the slayings after his girlfriend
reported to police that he had admitted the shootings to her. But police
initially believed the 18-year-old was too tall, based on images from the
security tape.

"Leon is a fairly tall fellow," said his trial attorney, Doug Parks. "The
question is whether he was too tall to be the person in that video. That
basically was the defense. The physical evidence showed it was not him
regardless of what he said."

When the case was reopened in 1998, Dallas authorities had the tape
analyzed by the FBI and determined Dorsey could have been the gunman.

"He got away with it a long time because technology hadn't caught up to
him," Jason January, who prosecuted the case with Shook, said.

Five months after the video store killings, Dorsey killed a 51-year-old
Korean woman, Hyon Suk Chon, at the convenience store she managed in
Ennis, south of Dallas. He was in prison for that slaying when he was
questioned again about the double slaying and confessed.

"You hate to see that, knowing that potentially if the technology had been
as good when the crime was committed, someone else would not have been
killed," January said.

Dorsey also admitted the murders to a reporter in an interview from prison
while he was awaiting trial.

"I've done cut folks; I've done stabbed folks; I've killed folks," he told
The Dallas Morning News. "But it don't bother me."

The interview was among evidence prosecutors used to convince a jury he
would be a continuing threat, 1 of the criteria for the death penalty in

Dorsey at age 12 moved to Waxahachie to live with his grandparents after
he was booted from Germany where his mother was stationed in the Air
Force. Records show when he was 14 he took a gun to school and fired it.
At 16, he fired at a couple driving in a car.

"He'd walk down the street with a sawed-off shotgun tied to his arm and
with a coat on and then just throw it open – just to see the reaction of
people," Shook said. "He's a piece of work."

On Thursday, Michael Rodriguez, one of the infamous "Texas 7" prison
escapees, has volunteered for execution for his part in the fatal shooting
of a Dallas-area police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, during a robbery while he
and the 6 other escapees were fugitives in December 2000.

Dorsey becomes the 7th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Texas, and the 412th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on
December 7, 1982. Dorsey becomes the 173rd condemned inmate to be put to
death in Texas since Rick Perry became governor in 2001.

Dorsey becomes the 19th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 1118th overall since the nation resumed executions on
January 17, 1977.

(source: The Houston Chronicle)


3 charged with capital murder in Harris County slaying

3 people have been arrested and charged with capital murder in the death
of a man shot during an Aug. 2 robbery at his north Harris County home.

Armed with shotguns, Jacque Garrett and Christopher Wiley, both 21, and
Trenard Battle, 19, forced their way into Carl Bray's home in the 22000
block of Wellington Bend, authorities said.

The 3 may have targeted Bray because of an expensive sports car at the
home, said Sgt. Bryan Pair, Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide

They demanded money and beat Bray, 49, before shooting him. Bray was
pronounced dead at the scene.

The 3 fled on foot with an "undisclosed" amount of money, said Pair.

All remain in the Harris County Jail, held without bond.

The investigation remains open.

"We're looking to make sure we've located everyone who was involved," said
Pair (source: The Houston Chronicle)