DNA testing new death sentence

Jury Imposes First New Death Sentence in Hays County in 20 Years

Earlier today, the jury in the capital murder trial of Willie Roy Jenkins sentenced him to death for the 1975 murder of Sheryl Ann Norris in San Marcos.  It was the first new death sentence in Hays County in 20 years and occurred after nearly two weeks of testimony in the punishment phase of the trial, according to the Austin American-Statesman (“Jury hands down death penalty in 1975 murder case,” June 13, 2013).

The murder of Ms. Norris went unsolved until 2010, when police connected Jenkins to the crime using DNA evidence.  Jenkins was incarcerated in California at the time; he was extradited to Texas to stand trial.

This is the fourth new sentence in Texas to date in 2013.  Juries sentenced nine men to death last year.