death penalty news—-TEXAS

Jan. 20

TEXAS—-impending execution

Texas inmate set to die for killing 2 outside bar

Frank Moore readily admits gunning down 2 people outside a San Antonio bar
but insists he doesn't deserve to die this week for the shootings.

"These guys tried to run over me and kill me," he said from a tiny
visiting cage outside Texas death row. "I've never denied killing them. It
was self-defense."

Bexar County jurors didn't agree. Moore, 47, was set for lethal injection
Wednesday evening, 15 years to the day since Samuel Boyd, 23, and Patrick
Clark, 15, were killed in a hail of gunfire outside the Wheels of Joy Club
in San Antonio.

Moore would be the second Texas prisoner put to death this year and the
1st of 2 set to die on consecutive evenings this week in Huntsville.
Thursday, Reginald Perkins was scheduled to follow him to the death
chamber for the 2000 slaying of his stepmother in Fort Worth.

Another 3 inmates are set to die next week in the nation's busiest capital
punishment state.

Moore had several appeals in the courts bolstered by affidavits his
attorneys recently obtained from eyewitnesses who supported Moore's
assertion the shootings were in self-defense. His lawyers also sought to
delay the execution for 30 days because the federal courts in Washington
were closed Tuesday for Barack Obama's inauguration as president.

"We think that Frank deserves consideration by the various courts
reviewing his case," said Moore's lawyer, David Sergi. "Setting it off
till 30 days after the inauguration might not be a bad idea."

Testimony showed Boyd and Clark got into a fight with Moore and his
half-brother, that Boyd and Clark then got into a car and tried to run
them over. One of Moore's friends tossed him a rifle from the trunk of a
nearby car and he opened fire.

Then he drove away.

"These guys tried to shoot me earlier that day," Moore said from prison.

"That car and those two kids, they were turned into Swiss cheese,"
recalled Pat Moran, one of Moore's trial lawyers. "That was always the
dilemma. Prosecutors kept saying: 'You've got a lot of self-defense bullet
holes to explain.' It was just the degree of overkill that was kind of

Moore already had an extensive criminal record when charged with capital
murder for the double shooting. He denied in an interview last week that
he'd long been an active member of several violent gangs, as authorities

"I don't know where they got that from," he said. "You can't be in 3
different gangs."

According to court documents, Moore belonged to the East Terrace
Gangsters, who took their name from a San Antonio public housing project,
and was a "sergeant-at-arms" for the Black Panthers, responsible for
obtaining, hiding and distributing weapons. The court file also said while
Moore was locked up, he took an active role in a race riot, attacked a
guard, had other incidents of violence and had been a member of the Crips
gang since he was 14.

From death row, Moore said he joined the Crips in California but said it
was a way of life for teens in his neighborhood.

Moore first went to prison in 1984 on a 5-year sentence for attempted
murder. He was released on mandatory supervision less than 2 years later,
then was returned to prison as a violator within 9 months. He was
discharged in 1989.

In 1991, he got an 8-year term for cocaine possession but was paroled
after just 4 months. He returned to prison in 5 months with a 20-year
sentence for delivery of cocaine but was paroled after about 2 years. The
double slaying occurred about 10 weeks later.

"There has never been any doubt in my mind if was self-defense," Moran
said. "The problem was, Frank was a multiple-convicted felon and Frank
couldn't be around firearms. There was no way to put on a defense to
explain why those 2 kids who thought they were getting the drop on Frank
walked into such an effective and efficient execution."

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out Moore's 1st conviction in
1998 because jurors weren't allowed to consider lesser charges. He was
retried the following year and convicted and condemned again.

"He deserved it, all the way," said Jim Wheat, the district attorney at
Moore's second trial. "Frank just did it out of pride to show how big he
was on the east side (of San Antonio). He blew them away."

During the punishment phase of his trials, prosecutors showed when Moore
was arrested 3 days after the slayings, he'd just been arrested for an
unrelated crime and was found carrying a revolver in his waistband. Less
than a month before the killings, he was arrested for selling crack
cocaine to an undercover officer.

"I sold drugs," Moore said from death row. "But drug dealing is not a
capital case.

"It's like a vicious circle. I'm fighting for my life when I got this case
and now I'm fighting for my life again."

(source: Associated Press)


Inmate's troubled childhood sways court—-New punishment hearing ordered
for death row inmate

A death row inmate convicted of bludgeoning, stabbing and strangling a
former foster parent in Galveston will get a second chance to avoid

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the state district court in
Galveston to conduct a new punishment hearing for Gaylon George Walbey
Jr., 34, on death row since 1994.

A three-judge appeals court panel ruled that Galveston attorney Roger
Ezell failed to properly investigate Walbey's troubled childhood, facts
that could have persuaded a jury to spare him the death penalty.

Ezell could not be reached for comment.

"Counsel did not conduct an investigation that, had he done so, would have
uncovered evidence of a nightmarish childhood," according to the opinion
by judges Patrick E. Higginbotham, Jacques L. Wiener Jr. and Rhesa H.

The attorney who represented Walbey in his appeal, Brian Wice, said, "I've
been on this case a dozen years and Im gratified that the 5th Circuit
finally recognized … that the case was fundamentally unfair."

The ruling was the 2nd by the 5th Circuit Court in the case. The 5th
Circuit Court had earlier sent the case to U.S. district court in
Galveston, where a magistrate judge recommended a new punishment hearing.
The recommendation was rejected by U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent and
Walbey appealed.

Walbey was convicted of the 1993 slaying of Marionette Beyah, an office
technology instructor at Galveston College.

Beyah had been a foster parent for Walbey when he was 14, but she returned
him to state custody.

Walbey's father snatched the boy from his mother and severely abused him
for 5 years.

Walbey, who was 18 at the time of the murder, said in his confession that
Beyah returned home while he was burglarizing her house and that he
panicked, stabbing her 12 times in the neck and back, hitting her in the
head with a fire extinguisher 9 times and strangling her with an
electrical cord.

(source: Houston Chronicle)