death penalty news—–TEXAS

Nov. 11

TEXAS—impending execution

Harris County man to die for slaying 14 years ago

When mechanic George Whitaker III told a friend she wouldn't be seeing him
anymore because he was planning to kill someone, she later would tell a
Harris County jury she dismissed the statement as a joke.

It wasn't.

On Wednesday, the Harris County man was set to die for gunning down the
sister of his ex-girlfriend more than 14 years ago. He also seriously
wounded his victim's mother and another sister at their home in Crosby,
east of Houston.

Whitaker, 36, would be the 16th Texas inmate executed this year and the
1st of 2 scheduled to die on consecutive nights this week in the nation's
most active death penalty state.

Whitaker's conviction and death sentence for the 1994 fatal shooting of
16-year-old Shakeitha Carrier, who was known as Kiki, was upheld in the
appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court last year refused to review his

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously rejected a clemency
petition asking Whitaker's death sentence be commuted to life in prison.

Whitaker declined to speak with reporters as his execution date neared.

Evidence showed the victim's sister, Catina Carrier, met Whitaker in high
school, began dating him after graduation and then the two lived together
and became engaged at Christmas 1993. She decided to leave him by the
following April because he became abusive and often took the money she was
making. She quit work and lived in secret with another friend because she
feared Whitaker.

On June 15, Whitaker retrieved a .45-caliber pistol he had pawned and
drove with friends to the home of his ex-girlfriend under the guise of
returning some of her things.

He pulled a gun on Mary Carrier, the mother of the girls, after she
refused to let him in the house. Testimony showed he forced his way in,
shot her, pistol-whipped her 5-year-old daughter, Ashley, then ran
upstairs and fatally shot Kiki Carrier in the head.

Mary Carrier was shot a second time when she tried to flee the home, but
she and Ashley survived although they both suffered permanent injuries.
Mary Carrier lost the use of her right hand. Ashley Carrier, whose skull
was fractured in two places, remains brain damaged, authorities said.

Whitaker was shot and wounded the next day by Harris County deputies
trying to arrest him at his apartment. Authorities said he had jumped from
a window and was shot in the hip as he appeared to be reaching for a

Mary Carrier testified against him at his trial. Catina Carrier also
testified how she was mentally and physically abused by him. One of her
friends testified how she was abducted a few days before the shootings and
forced at knifepoint to call Catina Carrier as Whitaker attempted to lure
his ex-girlfriend to a meeting place.

Whitaker's mother testified his father was a strict disciplinarian, that
her son never was violent in her presence and that Whitaker twice had
tried to kill himself when he was 20. He had no previous prison record.

Whitaker's earlier appeals argued his trial lawyer was ineffective in not
calling a mental health expert to testify, that jurors should have been
told a life sentence would have ensured him at least 40 years in prison,
and that his death sentence was unconstitutional.

On Thursday, Denard Manns, 42, faced execution for the 1998 fatal shooting
of Michelle Robson, 26, at her apartment in Killeen. Robson was a Fort
Hood soldier living off the base.

3 more Texas prisoners are set to die next week.

(source: Associated Press)