Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Oklahoma: Triple-murder defendant to face death penalty at trial

Alan Hruby
Alan Hruby
Prosecutors Tuesday notified triple-murder defendant Alan Hruby that he will face the death penalty at his jury trial.

Hruby, now 20, is accused of fatally shooting his mother, sister and father Oct. 9 in the family's home for the inheritance money.

He stared blankly ahead Tuesday as a Stephens County judge ruled prosecutors had enough evidence against him for a murder trial. He also showed no emotion as his defense attorney accepted the death penalty notification.

Earlier Tuesday, Hruby repeatedly wiped away tears and trembled as the family's longtime housekeeper described finding the bodies inside the kitchen of the home Oct. 13.

He wept again when a police investigator told the judge he had confessed to shooting his mother twice, then shooting his sister once when she came in from washing her vehicle and finally shooting his father twice after waiting an hour for him to come home.

Prosecutors contend Hruby should be punished by death because he killed for money, because he killed 3 people, because he is a continuing threat to society and because each murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

Killed were his parents, newspaper publisher John Hruby, 50, and Joy "Tinker" Hruby, 48, and his sister, Katherine Hruby, 17.

Hruby, then a student at the University of Oklahoma, was a shopaholic. His parents had cut off his finances after he took out a credit card in his grandmother's name and charged thousands of dollars on it.

Source: The Oklahoman, June 17, 2015

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