Texas to execute man for slaying of Dallas actual property agent

Spread the love

HOUSTON — A person who fatally stabbed an actual property agent inside a mannequin house in suburban Dallas faces execution Wednesday night, greater than 16 years after the slaying.Kosoul Chanthakoummane was on parole when he was condemned for killing 40-year-old Sarah Walker in July 2006. She was discovered stabbed greater than 30 instances within the mannequin house in McKinney, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Dallas. Prosecutors say Chanthakoummane entered the mannequin house after which beat Walker with a picket plant stand and stabbed her earlier than stealing her Rolex watch and a silver ring, which have been by no means discovered. DNA proof confirmed Chanthakoummane’s blood was present in numerous locations contained in the mannequin house, together with underneath Walker’s fingernails. Walker had been a top-seller for house builder D.R. Horton. She had been just lately divorced and had two youngsters. Chanthakoummane, 41, the son of immigrants from Laos, has acknowledged he was within the mannequin house however stated he solely went inside to get a drink of water. He had been on parole in Texas after serving time in North Carolina for aggravated kidnapping and theft. “I’m harmless,” Chanthakoummane stated in a letter filed in federal courtroom in March. His attorneys had requested the Texas Court docket of Prison Appeals to remain his execution, difficult the DNA proof, which was beforehand described by the appeals courtroom because the “linchpin of the state’s case.” The appeals courtroom this week denied the request. Eric Allen, considered one of Chanthakoummane’s attorneys, stated he hadn’t determined if he would file a closing attraction with the U.S. Supreme Court docket. His attorneys had argued new science raises the likelihood Chanthakoummane’s DNA may have been transferred to Walker’s fingernails with none direct contact between the 2. However authorities say prior DNA testing in his case has didn’t clear Chanthakoummane. “Any perception by Chanthakoummane that additional DNA investigation would yield outcomes that will likely be useful to his case is a fantasy,” attorneys with the Texas Legal professional Basic’s Workplace wrote in courtroom paperwork final month.On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles declined to grant Chanthakoummane both a 120-day reprieve or a commutation of his dying sentence to a lesser penalty. Chanthakoummane’s attorneys say their considerations in regards to the DNA proof is a part of a sample by prosecutors of utilizing defective proof within the case. At Chanthakoummane’s trial, a forensic dentist testified the dying row inmate was the supply of a chew mark on Walker’s neck. Such proof has since been discredited and in 2016, Texas grew to become the primary state to name for banning chew mark evaluation in felony circumstances. The 2 witnesses who stated they noticed Chanthakoummane close to the homicide scene have been hypnotized by officers with the Texas Division of Public Security, or DPS, to assist establish him. A 2020 report by the Dallas Morning Information discovered most Texas judges nonetheless permit proof derived from hypnosis regardless of criticism it will probably distort reminiscences and result in wrongful convictions. In January 2021, DPS stopped utilizing hypnosis. Final yr, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a invoice that will have banned individuals who have been hypnotized from testifying in a felony trial. In October 2020, the Texas Court docket of Prison Appeals discovered that whereas the bitemark testimony would not be admissible in courtroom, Chanthakoummane’s attorneys had didn’t discredit the hypnosis-related testimony. The appeals courtroom additionally discovered the DNA proof was nonetheless robust. At his trial, Chanthakoummane’s legal professional, Keith Gore, instructed jurors his consumer was responsible “and he wished to rob (Walker), and it didn’t go the fitting approach, and he killed her.” Walker’s father, Joseph Walker, who died final yr, had opposed Chanthakoummane’s execution and had instructed the Instances Union in New York in 2013 he had forgiven his daughter’s killer. If Chanthakoummane is executed, he could be the second inmate put to dying this yr in Texas and the ninth within the U.S. Whereas Texas has been the nation’s busiest capital punishment state, the usage of the dying penalty within the state has reached close to historic lows. Juries have continued to situation fewer dying sentences and within the final couple of years most executions have been delayed by the pandemic or by authorized questions over what non secular advisers can do within the dying chamber. ———Observe Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.