Killer of 2 outside Texas bar executed
Condemned prisoner Frank Moore was executed Wednesday night for a double
killing exactly 15 years ago in San Antonio. "Self-defense is not capital
murder," Moore said from the death chamber gurney, repeating his
unsuccessful claims to the courts to stop the punishment.
Moore then addressed his wife and relatives, thanking them for their
support and expressing his love.
He did not address relatives of his victims, who also watched through a
window a few feet from him.
9 minutes after the lethal flow of drugs began, he was pronounced dead at
6:21 p.m. CST.
Moore, 47, insisted he shot Samuel Boyd, 23, and Patrick Clark, 15, in
self-defense as they were trying to run him down outside a bar where they
had been involved in an earlier altercation. About an hour before the
scheduled punishment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals that sought
a reprieve based on affidavits recently obtained by Moore's lawyers from 3
eyewitnesses who supported his self-defense claims.
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.
"That's the whole thing the whole basis of this," Moore said last week
from death row. "It had nothing to do with gangs or drugs. They were
trying to rob and kill me."
Jim Wheat, one of Moore's prosecutors, recalled that Moore "blew them
"Clearly, he was the guy who felt in control and they crossed the line
with him," Wheat said.
Moore had an extensive criminal record when charged with capital murder.
He denied being an active member of several violent gangs, as authorities
contended. According to court documents, Moore belonged to the East
Terrace Gangsters, who took their name from a San Antonio public housing
project; was a "sergeant-at-arms" for the Black Panthers, responsible for
obtaining, hiding and distributing weapons; and had been a member of the
Crips gang since he was 14 in California.
Moore said from prison his Crips involvement was a way of life for teens
in his neighborhood, but that he long had put that behind him.
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,
returned to prison as a violator within 9 months, then was discharged in
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 serving just over 2
years. The double slaying occurred about 10 weeks later.
Pat Moran, Moore's trial lawyer, said Moore ran the club and the 2 victims
wanted to take over.
"They had gone around and talked how they were going to lure Frank outside
and do something to him," Moran recalled. "It was going to be a good
old-fashioned hostile takeover at the cost of Frank's life.
"There has never been any doubt in my mind if was self-defense. 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 of
voluntary manslaughter and murder. He was retried the following year and
convicted and condemned again.
When Moore was arrested three 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.
Moore becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Texas and the 425th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on
December 7, 1982. Moore becomes the 186th condemned inmate to be put to
death in Texas since Rick Perry became governor in 2001.
On Thursday, Reginald Perkins, 53, was set to follow Moore to the death
chamber for the slaying of his stepmother in Fort Worth 8 years ago. 3
more executions are set in Texas for next week.
(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)