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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: Tilon Carter receives new execution date

Tilon Carter
Tilon Carter
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A Texas death row inmate whose execution date scheduled for this week was halted because of a legal technicality has received a new execution date.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the prison agency has received court documents setting 37-year-old prisoner Tilon Carter’s lethal injection for May 16.

Carter had been set to die Tuesday for smothering an 89-year-old man during a robbery at the man’s Fort Worth home. 

Carter was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the 2004 death of 89-year-old James Tomlin in his Fort Worth home. 

Carter and LaKeitha Allen broke into Tomlin's home, bound him with duct tape and robbed him, according to court records.

Carter has maintained that he never meant for Tomlin to die, that he tied him up and left with the money. But a medical examiner ruled Tomlin died from being smothered, as well as from being tied up and left in a dangerous position.


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued an order last Friday halting the punishment because a state office that represents death row inmates was notified of the scheduled punishment a half-day late, a violation of state law.

Carter was condemned for the 2004 robbery and slaying of James Tomlin, a retired Bell Helicopter worker.

Source: The Associated Press, February 9, 2017

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