Saturday, 16 August 2008

Killeen inmate set to die receives stay of execution

Aug. 15

TEXAS----stay of impending execution

Killeen inmate set to die receives stay of execution

For the 2nd time this year, a condemned Killeen killer received good news.

Denard Manns, 43, was scheduled to die Aug. 20, but a U.S. district judge
ordered that the execution be delayed since Manns was without counsel.

Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said Thursday that Manns'
execution is now set for Nov. 13. Manns was sentenced to die by a Bell
County jury for the Nov. 19, 1998, fatal shooting of an Army medic at her
home in Killeen.

The order will only buy Manns a few months and will come 6 days shy of the
10th anniversary of the shooting that put him on death row.

Walter S. Smith Jr., chief judge in the United States District Court for
the Western District, Waco Division, issued the order to delay the
execution since Manns' attorney, Walter Reeves, was removed from the case.

Manns' execution date was set for Jan. 20, but it was put on hold. The
Supreme Court refused to hear Manns' case earlier this year after his
execution date was withdrawn pending the outcome of a Kentucky case the
Supreme Court was hearing in Washington.

That case challenged the lethal injection procedure used for executions in
Kentucky and 35 other states, including Texas, as unconstitutionally

Manns has already had appeals denied in state and national appellate

Manns was found guilty in 2002 of killing Christine Robson, 26, who was
attacked at her apartment in November 1998.

Manns was a recent parolee from New York, where he had been imprisoned a
2nd time for armed robbery.

Evidence showed he was living with relatives 2 doors down from the
victim's apartment. There was no sign of forced entry, leading authorities
to believe she knew her attacker.

Manns' fingerprint was found on the .22-caliber pistol identified as the
murder weapon. His DNA was detected on clothing on her body, and at the
time of his arrest, he was in possession of her jacket and was carrying
her jewelry.

Court files show he told a fellow inmate details of the crime that only
the killer would have known because they had not been made public.

In earlier appeals turned down by the courts, Manns insisted the evidence
was insufficient to identify him as the killer and argued unsuccessfully
that his half-brother was responsible for the slaying.

Evidence showed Robson was shot at least four times in the head and also
was robbed of credit cards, cash and her car.

Manns testified at his trial that he never was inside her apartment, never
had sex with her, and got her jacket from a friend who had committed
burglaries in the neighborhood and her jewelry from a drug addict.

(source: Killeen Daily Herald)

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