Retarded killers' sentences commuted to life in prison
Two condemned killers from Houston got their expected commutations Wednesday
as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that they cannot be executed
because they are mentally retarded.
The ruling by the Austin-based court means the death sentences of Demetrius
Lott Simms and Darrell Glenn Carr will be reduced to life in prison. The
decision upholds findings in their trial courts.
Another murderer lost his bid to avoid the death chamber, however, when the
court ruled that he is not mentally retarded. Elroy Chester, 37, was
sentenced in 1998 after pleading guilty to killing a man who tried to keep
Chester from raping his two nieces in Port Arthur.
Experts for the Harris County District Attorney's Office had agreed that
Carr and Simms meet the legal definition for retardation and should not be
executed, Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson said.
Carr, 37, was convicted of killing a 16-year-old pregnant girl, Priscilla
Rangel, during a convenience store robbery in Houston in 1991.
Simms, 36, was convicted of abducting a 3-year-old girl, Monique Miller,
from a Houston public housing project, raping her and beating her to death.
Source : Houston Chronicle