death penalty news—-TEXAS

Jan. 7


Dallas-area officer's killer put to death

A man convicted of gunning down a Dallas-area police officer during an
attempted bank robbery was put to death Thursday evening in the 1st
execution of the year in the nation's busiest death penalty state.

Kenneth Mosley, 51, was condemned for the February 1997 slaying of David
Moore, an officer in the Dallas suburb of Garland. His lethal injection
was carried out after his legal appeals became exhausted.

The punishment had been stalled twice last year by technical issues and
court appeals.

Mosley shook his head once when asked by a warden if he had any final
statement. As the lethal drugs began taking effect, he snored a few times,
then gasped slightly. 9 minutes later, at 6:16 p.m. CST, he was pronounced

Moore's widow was among the people in the chamber to watch Mosley die. He
did not acknowledge her presence.

Earlier this week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied his
request for clemency.

Texas put 24 convicted killers to death last year, accounting for nearly
1/2 of the 52 executions carried out in the U.S. Another convicted killer
was scheduled to be executed in Texas next week.

Moore, 32, was killed while responding to a 911 call about a bank robbery.
The 10-year police veteran and father of 3 was shot 4 times after he
approached Mosley, who was standing in line to get to a teller. A bank
employee had called 911 after recognizing Mosley as the man who robbed it
more than month earlier.

Mosley resisted Moore's request to speak with him and opened fire with a 9
mm pistol. One of four bullets to hit the officer struck over the top edge
of his protective vest, killing him. Mosley was shot in the wrist by an
officer outside and was arrested in the parking lot. Authorities found he
was carrying a holdup note.

His lawyers argued at his capital murder trial that the shooting was
accidental, saying the weapon went off 5 times as he was trying to
surrender. Prosecutors had witnesses from inside the bank and a videotape
of the attack to show to jurors.

Mosley declined to speak with reporters as his execution neared.

The Flint, Mich., native who grew up in rural Arkansas had an extensive
criminal record he blamed on drug addiction. Evidence showed he had a
record for sexually assaulting a woman and arrests for possession of
marijuana, illegal knives and for stealing items from a Home Depot and
then returning them for cash refunds.

At the time of the shooting, he was wanted for robbery at a fast-food
restaurant 5 days earlier in nearby Mesquite. He had been fired from his
last known job at a Coca-Cola bottler for testing positive for cocaine.

Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates, a lieutenant in 1997 who was the patrol
supervisor and the officer who took Mosley into custody at the scene, said
he had "no doubt that Mosley would have seriously injured or killed some
other citizens and or police officers during his continued life of violent

About 2 dozen officers from the Garland police force stood outside the
Huntsville prison where the execution took place.

Next week, the state is set to execute Gary Johnson, 59, for the shooting
deaths of two men, Peter Sparagana, 23, and James Hazelton, 28, who
interrupted his burglary of a ranch near Huntsville in 1986.

Mosley becomes the 1st condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Texas and the 448th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on
December 7, 1982. He becomes the 209th condemned inmate to be put to death
in Texas since Rick Perry became governor in 2001.

Mosley becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 1190th overall since the nation resumed executions on
Janaury 17, 1977.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)