Friday, January 27, 2017

Texas executes man for killing two Subway employees during a robbery

The 3rd Execution of 2017
Terry Edwards was executed in Texas on January 26, 2017 for the murder of two workers at a Subway Sandwich Shop in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, reported the Houston Chronicle.  
He was convicted of the July 18, 2002 shooting death of Mickell Goodwin, 26, a mother of two, and Tommy Walker, 34, during the robbery.
The robbery occurred as the employees opened the deli for business. Both victims were shot in the upper abdomen, and about $3,000 was taken in the robbery. Edwards, who previously had served prison time for a drug offense and theft, had been fired from the sandwich shop about a month before the robbery. He was arrested as he attempted to dispose of a pistol in a trash bin across the street from the business. His accomplice, Kirk Edwards, a cousin, surrendered the next day. He was later convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
On appeal, Edwards contended that he was denied the right to trial by an impartial jury. He argued that a panel of potential jurors allegedly received improper instructions on the definition of mitigating evidence and that the trial court denied his challenge of one prospective juror. That appeal was denied in May 2015.
In the days leading up to his scheduled execution date, new lawyers for Edwards filed petitions in state and federal court arguing that gunshot residue evidence used in his trial had been falsified and that he was effectively abandoned by the attorneys representing him in earlier stages of his case. His appeals also claimed that prosecutors illegally excluded African-Americans from the pool of potential jurors, instead seating an all-white jury to try Edwards, who is black. Each appeal was rebuffed by the courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay his execution.
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