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.
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Vietnamese man sentenced to death for brutal slayings of 4

26-year-old Dang Van Hung at the trial in Yen Bai Province on October 28, 2015. Photo: Ha An
26-year-old Dang Van Hung at the trial in Yen Bai Province on October 28, 2015
A court in the northern province of Yen Bai on Wednesday handed down the death penalty to a man for killing four people in a family, including a two-year-old boy, in a mountainous village in August.

Thousands of local residents flocked to the outdoor trial to witness the end of one of the most brutal murder cases this year.

Dang Van Hung, 26, was found guilty of murdering 32-year-old Tran Van Long, Long's 20-year-old wife Phan Thi Hoa, his two-year-old son and his sister-in-law on August 12.

Hung confessed that he killed Long and the others after an argument over disputed farm land and water stream with Long.

Hung and the victims are relatives.

According to the indictment, on the afternoon of August 12, Hung was working on a field.

After he picked up a fight with Long, he kicked Long in the face and knocked him down.

Seeing the attack, Hoa tried to call her father on the phone for help.

Long then tried to run away. Hung chased after him and slashed him on the back with a knife.

The victim continued to run until he collapsed. Hung repeatedly slashed him on the neck and shoulders.

After Long died, Hung came back to murder Hoa by slashing her multiple times. He then killed Hoa's younger sister and Hoa's two-year-old son, both were staying in a makeshift house on the field.

Hung came back to his house and threatened to kill his own father to get two rifles.

He packed the two knives he used to kill the victims and the rifles. Before leaving, he told his father he had killed the family of four.

Hung came to a cassava field and asked his girlfriend Nguyen Thi Han, 36, to go with him. He then told Han about the killings and said he wanted to commit suicide.

Han persuaded him to turn himself into police but the man refused to and forced her to flee with him.

The couple were arrested three days later while they were hiding in a forest in Yen Bai Province, a few kilometers away from the crime scene.

Source: Thanh Nien News, Ha An, October 28, 2015

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