LIVINGSTON, Texas (KETK) — Though there are Texans from all over the state currently sitting on death row, a significant portion of these inmates are from the East Texas area.
None of these East Texas natives are slated to executed yet, however.
Currently, only three inmates are slated for execution in 2022. These three inmates are Michael Gonzales, of Ector County, Ramiro Gonzales, of Medina County, Kosoul Chanthakoummane, of Collin County and Carl Buntion of Harris County.
For reference, during Rick Perry’s tenure as Texas Governor between the years of 2001 and 2014, 279 executions were carried out for death row inmates, which is more than any U.S. governor in history. Comparatively, the past two years in 2020 and 2021, only three inmates were executed each year, which is the fewest in the state since 1996. This decrease was, in large part, due to the pandemic.
As it currently stands, here are the East Texans on death row waiting for their scheduling, and some of them have been here longer than one might think:
It has been more than 11 years since Blaine Milam was sentenced to death in June of 2010. Milam was only 20 years old when he received his sentence in Rusk County. He was sentenced to death after he beat his girlfriend’s 13-month-old daughter to death in December of 2008. Milam is originally from Gregg County. In early 2019, Milam was slated to be executed for his crimes, but managed to avoid it after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed his execution the day before it was scheduled. The decision came after his lawyers argued that Milam was intellectually disabled, and therefore ineligible for execution.
William Hudson was sentenced to death in November 2017 in Anderson County after he was convicted of slaughtering six people at a campsite. In 2015, Hudson helped his soon-to-be victims to get their vehicle out of the mud that it was stuck in. After lending a hand, the group invited him to join their gathering. That’s when Hudson subsequently murdered six of the seven people in the group. Two of the victims were found dead at the campsite, while the other four were found in a pond behind Hudson’s house. The victim’s ages ranged from 6 to 77.
William George Davis is the most recent East Texas inmate to join death row after he sentenced to death in Oct. of 2021 for the murder of four patients at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler. Davis was a nurse at this CHRISTUS location, working with patients in the hospital’s cardiovascular ICU wing. He intentionally murdered his victims, and severely injured many others, by injecting air into his patients’ arterial lines. Davis was 33 at the time of the murders, but ultimately had his trial delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dameon Mosley was sentenced to death in November 2019 after being convicted of murdering a gas station clerk in Tyler. Mosley murdered the store clerk on January 28, 2017 while he was robbing the gas station. According to security footage, Mosley jumped over the store counter and had a brief struggle with store clerk Billy Dale Stacks before he fired off his weapon, which resulted in Stacks’ death.
James Calvert was sentenced to death in Oct. of 2015 after he was convicted of murdering his ex-wife. Calvert murdered his ex-wife, Jelena Sriraman, by shooting her in her home on Halloween of 2012, and subsequently abducted their son, Lucas.
He was finally caught by police when he crashed in a dead-end road after leading police on a high-speed chase.
Kimberly Cargill has been on death row for nearly a decade after she murdered a woman set to testify against her in a court battle in 2010. The victim was set to testify against Cargill in a child protective case, which Cargill was completely opposed to. In an effort to prevent the victim from testifying, Cargill kidnapped her and strangled her in the car before taking her to a Smith County road, dumping her body, dousing it in lighter fluid and setting it on fire. During the trial, Cargill claimed that the victim had a seizure and stopped breathing while they were in the car, but the autopsy report determined the victim died of asphyxiation. Cargill was sentenced to death on June 7, 2012.
Demontrell Miller has resided on death row for more than a decade after he was sentenced in Nov. of 2009. Miller was sentenced at just 22 years old after he was convicted of capital murder for beating a 2-year-old to death. The victim, who was the son of Miller’s girlfriend, was said to have been beaten by Miller by way of punching, kicking and bludgeoning with a blunt or hard object that was unknown to the grand jury during the trial. The incident happened in the year prior on June 1, 2008.
Randall Wayne Mays was sentenced to death in May 2008 after being convicted of murdering two sheriff’s deputies. On May 17, 2007, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about domestic violence at a residence. When deputies arrived, Mays shot and killed two of the deputies and attempted to kill a third. Mays has been scheduled for execution multiple times, but on all occasions has managed to receive a stay order from the appeals court, with the most recent stay being granted in 2020 when a judged deemed Mays mentally unfit to be executed just days before his slated execution date.
Tracy Beatty has spent close to 20 years on death row after he was given the death sentence in Aug. of 2004. Beatty’s sentencing was a result of being convicted of murdering his own mother. On July 23, 2003, Beatty broke into and burglarized his own mother’s home. During the incident, Beatty strangled his 62-year-old mother to death. Prior to this, Beatty had a lengthy prison record with charges of injury to a child and theft in Dallas County. Beatty was slated to be executed in March of 2020, but got it halted by the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Robert Leslie Roberson III has been on death row for close to 19 years since he was sentenced in February of 2003. The Palestine native killed his 2-year-old daughter by inflicting severe trauma to her head. He brought her Palestine Regional Medical Center, claiming his daughter had fallen out of bed. She was then care flighted to Dallas Children’s Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. It was reported that his daughter received her injuries while Roberson was in the process of committing or attempting to commit aggravated sexual assault on her.
William Speer has spent more than 20 years on death row after committing a homicide while already serving a life sentence for capital murder. The Bowie County native was originally convicted of capital murder with a deadly weapon and sentenced to life in prison, but managed to land himself on death row in October 2001 after murdering again while in prison. Speer was convicted of murdering a 47-year-old inmate in the victim’s cell by strangling him to death on July 11, 1997. In a blog that Speers writes, he claims that he was set up in the murder of the inmate, saying that “the state” used inmates that weren’t present at incident to garner evidence for a conviction.
Anibal Canales, Jr. has spent nearly 22 years on death row after being convicted for the same crime as William Speer. Canales has spent most of his time in prison since the early 1980s for various crimes, including multiple sexual assault convictions. On July 11, 1997, Canales was part of a group of inmates, which also included William Speer, that strangled a 47-year-old inmate in his cell.
At the time, he was serving a 15 year sentence for a sexual assault conviction, but this incident landed him on death row in late 2000.
Bowie County native Julius Jerome Murphy has been a resident of death row for close to 24 years. He was convicted of murder in Aug. of 1998, which happened the year prior. On Sept. 19, 1997, Murphy shot a 26-year-old man in the head during a robbery. It was reported that the gun used was a .25 caliber semi-automatic firearm.
Murphy was slated to be executed, but received a stay in 2015 after his legal team presented claims of prosecutorial misconduct.
Allen Bridgers has spent close to 24 years on death row after he was convicted of murdering a 53-year-old woman in May of 1998. On May 25, 1997, Bridgers, who was 27 years old at the time, murdered a woman he had been living with by shooting her in the throat with a .38 caliber revolver. He then stole the woman’s 1985 Lincoln Town Car, driving it from Smith County to a bus terminal in Dallas, where he left it before getting on a bus to Florida.
Bridgers was caught and arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on May 28, 1997.
Harvey Earvin has been on death row longer than any other inmate, residing at the Livingston facility since October 1977. In Dec. of 1976, Earvin and his girlfriend attempted to rob a service station in Lufkin, but ended up fleeing the station with no money and one-less shotgun shell. The two intended to rob the station attendant, Ertis Brock, who was carrying cash bags to his car. Earvin, armed with a 20-gauge shotgun and dressed in a wig with a faux mustache, told Brock to stop upon seeing him carrying the bags of cash. When Brock began to reach for his back pocket, Earvin shot him in the chest before dropping the gun, leaving the cash and fleeing the scene.
Billy Joel Tracy is one of the more recent residents of death row after being sentenced in November 2017. Tracy, who was already serving time in prison for an assault charge, caused severe injury that resulted in death to a correctional officer on July 15, 2015. Tracy’s criminal record prior to this incident is quite extensive, with multiple counts of aggravated assault of a public servant, burglary and possession of a deadly weapon in a penal institution.
Cortne Mareese Robinson has spent more than a decade on death row after he was convicted of murder in March 2011. During the night of Sep. 20, 2009, in Marshall, Robinson broke into the home of an elderly couple, both of whom were 82-years-old, and attempted to burglarize the residence. During the burglary, Robinson shot and killed the 82-year-old male resident with a .357 caliber revolver.