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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Texas Polunsky Unit: 3 shot in escape attempt

Three people are hospitalized with gunshot wounds following an escape attempt at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky Unit in Livingston.

The escape attempt, involving 5 inmates, occurred just after 9 p.m. on Friday. Guards fired several shots from a surveillance tower, striking 3 of the 5 would-be escapees. The other 2 were taken into custody.

TDC has not released the condition of the 3 inmates who were shot, but 2 Life Flight air ambulances were called in, and then grounded because of weather. The inmates are at a Livingston hospital.

The entire prison complex, which includes death row, Administrative Segregation, and general population was on lockdown as of 11:30 p.m. Friday.


Five inmates at a prison in Livingston reportedly tried to escape

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRK) -- Five inmates at a prison in Livingston reportedly tried to escape Friday night and three of them were shot by prison guards.

It happened at around 9pm Friday night at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky Unit. Prison officials tell us the five general population offenders were returning to their housing area from a church service when they tried to make a run for it. They got over an interior fence and were attempting to scale a fence along the prison perimeter.

Prison personnel began firing at the inmates, hitting three of them. All five inmates were captured inside the perimeter.

The TDCJ released the names of the five inmates: Michael Dueitt, 27, serving a life sentence for capital murder; Juan Quintero,36, serving a life without parole sentence for capital murder; Donald Gower, 41, serving a life without parole sentence for capital murder; Terry McDonald, 29, serving a life sentence for murder; and Albin Zelaya-Zelaya, 29, serving a life sentence for burglary with intent to commit a felony.

Dueitt, Zelaya-Zelaya, and McDonald suffered gunshot wounds and were taken to area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Quintero and Gower were treated for multiple lacerations and are back at the unit.

All five offenders could face felony attempted escape charges.

The Polunsky Unit is still locked down at this time.

Source: abc13News, January 30, 2010

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