death penalty news—-TEXAS

March 18


Texas court says death row inmate 'crazy' but not under the law

A Texas appeals court has ruled that an inmate who removed his only eye
and ate it in a bizarre outburst several months ago on death row is
"crazy," but not as far as the law is concerned, the Associated Press

The court rejected the appeal of Andre Thomas, 26, who challenged his
conviction and death sentence for the murder of his estranged wife's
13-month-old daughter 5 years ago.

Thomas' wife and their 4-year-old son were also killed in the attack. The
victims were stabbed and their hearts were ripped out, the AP says. Thomas
surrendered, telling police that God told him to commit the killings.

While in county jail, Thomas plucked out his right eye. Then last
December, he did it again while on death row, telling a prison guard he
had pulled out the remaining eye and eaten it, the AP says. He was taken
to a hospital for treatment, then transferred to a prison psychiatric

Thomas "is clearly 'crazy,' but he is also 'sane' under Texas law," Judge
Cathy Cochran wrote in a 14-page statement accompanying the courts brief

(source: USA Today)


Condemned inmate who ate his own eye loses court appeal

3 death row inmates lost their appeals today before the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals.

Andre Thomas last year removed his only remaining eye and ate it. He
previously plucked out his right eye.

Attorneys for the 26-year-old inmate raised 44 claims — including
insanity — in a bid to get him off death row.

Thomas was condemned for the 2004 killing of his estranged wife's
13-month-old daughter in Grayson County. The victim was Leyha Marie

His wife, Laura Christine Borne, and their 4-year-old son, Andre Lee, were
murdered in the same attack. The victims were stabbed and had their hearts
ripped out.

Judge Cathy Cochran wrote that Thomas is "clearly crazy" — but is sane
under Texas law.

The defense said Thomas had insane delusions. Prosecutors say his
psychosis was caused or aggravated by his voluntary use of alcohol, drugs
and prescription drugs.

Christopher Coleman was convicted of the 1995 shooting deaths of 3 people
in Houston in what was supposed to be a fake robbery scheme involving a
Colombian cocaine peddler.

Herimar Prado Hurtado, Jesus Garcia-Castro and Hurtado's 3-year-old
nephew, Danny Giraldo, were killed.

Clifton Lamar Williams was convicted of the 2005 beating, stabbing and
strangling of 93-year-old Cecelia Schneider at her home in Tyler. Evidence
showed he set her body on fire, then fled with the woman's purse, which
contained $40, and her car.

(source: Associated Press)