Billie Wayne Coble – white, age 40 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in McLennan County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of Crime: August 29, 1989
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Coble, looking for his estranged wife Karen, went to her parents’ home where he shot Robert Vicha (age 64) in the kitchen. Coble then went to the home of his brother-in-law, Waco police officer Bobby Vicha, and shot Bobby after a struggle. Zelda Vicha, Karen’s mother, was shot after she arrived home later that evening. After the shootings, Coble kidnapped his estranged wife and led police on a high speed chase before crashing into a parked car. Coble was granted a stay of execution by the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in 2006. In 2007, the same court overturned the death sentence and awarded Coble a new penalty trial after finding the jury was not allowed to give proper weight to mitigating factors that could have changed their answer to the future dangerousness issue. In the retrial, he again received a death sentence.
Defense lawyer(s): Richard Ellis
Sources: AP Alert 9/5/08 – TX 01:02:22; Houston Chronicle 9/5/08 (2008 WLNR 16865383);;;;

James Garrett Freeman – white, age 26

Sentenced to death in Wharton County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: March 17, 2007
Prosecution’s case/defense response: After a police chase, Freeman fired at least 38 shots from two guns at officers killing Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden Justin Hurst (age 34). Prosecutors alleged Freeman intended to commit a massacre when he began shooting. They also argued he posed a future threat because of his actions and temper. The defense argued Freeman was suicidal, suggesting that he tried to provoke officers into killing him. The defense also argued that Freeman was an unemployed welder who had no history of violent crimes, but only alcohol-related and traffic violations before the shootout. They also offered Freeman’s model behavior as a prisoner, since his arrest, as evidence that he would not pose a threat to other inmates or prison officials.
Prosecutor(s): Josh McCown, Kelly Siegler
Defense lawyer(s): Lee Cox, Stanley Schneider
Sources: Houston Chronicle 10/21/08 (2008 WLNR 20050048), 11/07/08 (2008 WLNR 21328851), 11/07/08 (2008 WLNR 21331776);

Melissa Elizabeth Lucio – Latina, age 38

Sentenced to death in Cameron County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: February 17, 2007
Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Lucio beat her two year old daughter to death.
Prosecutor(s): Alfredo Padilla, Maria De Ford
Defense lawyer(s): Peter Gilman, Adolfo Cordova
Sources: Valley Morning Star 7/11/08 (2008 WLNR 13014197); Brownsville Herald 10/25/08 (2008 WLNR 20385902);;

Randall Wayne Mays – white, age 47

Sentenced to death in Henderson County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: May 17, 2007
Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Mays shot and killed Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Price Ogburn (age 61) and Investigator Paul Steven Habelt (age 63) and wounded Deputy Kevin Harris during a shootout after barricading himself inside his home. Mays surrendered to officers after being shot.
Prosecutor(s): Donna Bennett, Wesley Mau
Defense lawyer(s): Bobby Mims, Steven Green
Sources: US State News 5/13/08 (2008 WLNR 9054961);;

Hector Rolando Medina – Latino, age 28

Sentenced to death in Dallas County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: March 4, 2007
Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Medina fatally shot his two children, ages 3 and 8 months, before trying to take his own life. Prosecutor argued that Medina shot his children and himself for revenge against his girlfriend – the mother of his children. The defense argued that Medina’s mind-set, at the time of the crime, was influenced by his girlfriend’s four-month affair with one of their roommates.
Prosecutor(s): Pat Kirlin, Felicia Oliphant
Defense lawyer(s): Donna Winfield
Sources: The Dallas Morning News 9/10/08 (2008 WLNR 17178593), 10/28/08 (2008 WLNR 20551574), 12/17/08 (2008 WLNR 24160767);;

LeJames Norman – black, age 19

Sentenced to death in Victoria County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: August 24, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Norman and Ker’sean Ramey attempted to rob a house they believed contained cocaine and money. During the attempted robbery, Samuel Roberts (age 24), Tiffani Peacock (age 18) and Celso Lopez (age 38) were shot to death.
Prosecutor(s): Bobby Bell, Pam Guenther
Defense lawyer(s): Allen Tanner
Sources: AP Alert 2/11/09 – TX 19:36:26;,

John Henry Ramirez – Latino, age 20

Sentenced to death in Nueces County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: July 19, 2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ramirez robbed and murdered Pablo Castro (age 45) with Angela Rodriguez and Christina Chavez. During the robbery, Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 times.
Prosecutor(s): Mark Skurka
Defense lawyer(s): Ed Garza
Sources: AP Alert 12/9/08 – TX 17:20:14,,

David Santiago Renteria – white, age 31 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in El Paso County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: November 18, 2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Renteria, a convicted sex offender, abducted Alexandra Flores (age 5) from an El Paso Wal-Mart and strangled her to death in 2001. Her naked and partially burned body was found the next day. Renteria was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to death. In 2006, a Texas appeals court overturned Renteria’s death sentence. The court did so believing prosecutors presented misleading evidence which gave the jury the impression that Renteria was not remorseful. In 2008, an El Paso jury resentenced Renteria to death.
Defense lawyer(s):
Sources: AP Alert 10/4/06 – TX 23:37:38; AP Alert 5/7/08 – AR 21:51:51;

Rosendo Rodriguez III – Latino, age 25

Sentenced to death in Randall County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: September 13, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Rodriguez raped and murdered Summer Baldwin (age 29). Then, he stuffed her body into a briefcase and tossed it into a landfill. Baldwin was 10 weeks pregnant at the time. Rodriguez was convicted of two counts of capital murder: one for Baldwin and one for her unborn child. During the sentencing phase, the jury heard from five women who testified that Rodriguez had raped them. They also heard testimony from Joe Bill Rogers – the father of Joanna Roger (age 16) who Rodriguez is suspected of killing and has confessed to killing. She disappeared in 2004 and her remains were found in 2006 in the same landfill where Baldwin’s body was discovered; Rogers had also been stuffed into a briefcase. The defense focused on Rodriguez’s difficult childhood and argued that he may have adopted his father’s misogynistic disposition.
Prosecutor(s): Matt Powell, Tray Payne
Defense lawyer(s): Rick Wardroup, Fred Stangl
Sources: AP Alert 4/1/08 – TX 23:28:23;;;;

Wesley Lynn Ruiz – Latino, age 27

Sentenced to death in Dallas County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: March 27, 2007
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ruiz fatally shot Dallas police officer Senior Corporal Mark Nix (age 33) after leading police on a vehicle chase. The defense argued Ruiz shot Nix in self defense.
Prosecutor(s): Andy Beach
Defense lawyer(s): Paul Brauchle, Karo Johnson
Sources: Dallas Morning News 7/12/2008 (2008 WLNR 13087528);;

Robert Sparks – black, age 33

Sentenced to death in Dallas County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: September 15, 2007
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Sparks murdered his wife and two stepsons as they slept by stabbing them to death. First, he stabbed his wife Chare Agnew (age 30) while she slept. Then, he took his stepsons, Harold Sublet (age 9) and Raeqwon Agnew (age 10), from their bunk beds one at a time, carried them to the kitchen and stabbed them multiple times. After the murders, he woke his stepdaughters (ages 12 and 14 at the time), bound their feet and hands and raped them. He left them in a closet. Sparks called 911 and confessed to the crimes. The defense did not call witnesses during the guilt/innocence phase of the trial as Sparks admitted to the murders and the rapes. During the punishment phase, the defense focused on why Sparks committed the crimes in an effort to avoid a death sentence. The defense argued that Sparks was not legally insane, but mentally ill – psychologists testified that Sparks suffered from schizoaffective disorder, paranoid delusions and anti-social disorder.
Prosecutor(s): Damita Sangermano, Andy Beach, Harris Heath, Craig Watkins
Defense lawyer(s): Paul Johnson
Sources: Dallas Morning News 12/5/08 (2008 WLNR 23425748), 12/11/08 (2008 WLNR 23779859), 12/12/08 (2008 WLNR 23877142), 12/18/08 (2008 WLNR 23928214);

Paul David Storey – black, age 22

Sentenced to death in Tarrant County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: October 16, 2006
Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Storey fatally shot Jonas Cherry (age 28) while robbing a Hurst Putt-Putt Golf and Games. Storey and accomplice(s) entered the Putt-Putt and took Cherry into an office. After removing the surveillance tapes, the robbers ordered Cherry to open the safe and fill a bag with cash. Then, Cherry was shot multiple times in the head and legs.
Prosecutor(s): Christy Jack, Robert Foran
Defense lawyer(s): Larry Moore, William Ray
Sources: Fort Worth Star-Telegram 9/13/08 (2008 WLNR 17381840); Dallas Morning News 9/11/08 (2008 WLNR 17258440), 9/13/08 (2008 WLNR 17425578);;

Manuel Velez – Latino, age 40

Sentenced to death in Cameron County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: October 31, 2005
Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Velez caused the death of his girlfriend’s infant son (age 1) by striking him on the head.
Prosecutor(s): Luis Saenz
Defense lawyer(s): Hector Villarreal, Rene Flores
Sources: Brownsville Herald 10/25/08 (2008 WLNR 20385902);;

Christopher Chubasco Wilkins – white, age 37

Sentenced to death in Tarrant County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime: October 26, 2005, October 27, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Wilkins fatally shot Mike Silva (age 33) and Willie Freeman (age 40) and also admitted to killing Gilbert Vallejo (age 47) a day earlier out of revenge over a drug deal. In the penalty phase, the prosecution presented evidence of several other episodes of violence, and Wilkins’ white supremacists affiliation. Wilkins told the jurors that he didn’t care what the sentence would be.
Prosecutor(s): Kevin Rousseau, Tiffany Burks
Defense lawyer(s): Wes Ball, J. Warren St. John
Sources: Fort Worth Star-Telegram 3/6/08 (2008 WLNR 4430644), 3/11/08 (2008 WLNR 4751497); Dallas Morning News 3/12/08 (2008 WLNR 4848588);;