October 19, 2017
Texas serial killer gets prosecutors to seek at obtain a last-minute delay of execution
Texas had plans to execute a serial killer last night, but prosecutors sought and obtained a delay apparently because the killer was scheming to admit to another murder. This local article, remarkably headlined "Potential new murder confession delays Texas serial killer's execution," reports on this remarkable turn of events:
The execution of Houston serial killer Anthony Shore was rescheduled hours away from his pending death after officials began to worry he would confess to another murder. Shore, 55, was set for execution after 6 p.m. Wednesday, but the district attorney from Montgomery County sent a plea to Gov. Greg Abbott and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, asking for more time to look into rumors that Shore would confess to a murder in which another death row inmate was convicted.
"This office is in possession of evidence suggesting that Shore has conspired with death row inmate Larry Ray Swearingen and intends to falsely claim responsibility for the capital murder of Melissa Trotter — the crime for which Swearingen is currently scheduled to be executed on November 16, 2017," Montgomery County DA Brett Ligon said in his letter to Abbott. Ogg filed a motion to withdraw Shore's execution date after receiving Ligon's request. It has been reset for Jan. 18. She said in a statement that Shore’s execution is still “inevitable.”...
In his letter, Ligon explained that a folder containing items on the Trotter murder were found in Shore’s cell this July. When his office discovered this in September, he called Shore’s lawyer, Knox Nunnally, who said Shore would answer questions from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office regarding other murders on the condition that his written responses would only be revealed by his lawyer after his execution.
A Montgomery County investigator also interviewed a death row visitor, who said Shore told her he murdered Trotter and would not let Swearingen be executed for it, Ligon wrote. “We remain absolutely certain of Swearingen’s guilt of Melissa Trotter’s murder, but permitting Shore to claim responsibility for that crime after his execution would leave a cloud over the judicial proceedings in Swearingen’s case,” he wrote.
Shore was known in Houston as the “Tourniquet Killer.” In 2003, he confessed to four murders of young women and girls in the 1980s and 1990s, strangling them with rope or cord and leaving their unclothed bodies behind buildings or in a field.
Swearingen was convicted in the death of 19-year-old Trotter, after her decomposing body was found in a forest nearly a month after she was last seen with Swearingen, according to court documents. He has insisted on his innocence in the murder.
In Texas, there is usually sufficient will to go forward with executions so that the folks there can find a way. But this story leads me to wonder if a serial killer might at least partially succeed with a scheme to try to kill two executions with one stony confessions.
October 19, 2017 at 08:32 AM | Permalink
Killer wordplay, Batman.
Posted by: Joe | Oct 19, 2017 10:53:52 AM
I wonder if Swearingen heard about the the movie "Just Cause" and got the idea.
Posted by: DaveP | Oct 19, 2017 4:24:21 PM
What are the odds that the real killer would be down the hall? Is there a better chance the real killer gave the fake killer insider information so that a false confession would have credibility?
I cannot believe the lawyer is that stupid. If someone tried to pull a stunt like that, he should just get a beating for a half an hour.
Posted by: David Behar | Oct 20, 2017 9:42:29 AM