Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Slam Dunk Case of Richard Wayne Jones

In my search for the 54 innocent people I calculated Texas may have executed, I passed Richard Wayne Jones through my coarse filter for two reasons. First, he used his final breaths to declare his innocence.
"I want the victim's family to know that I didn't commit this crime. I didn't kill your loved one. Sharon Wilson, y'all convicted an innocent man and you know it. There are some lawyers hired that are gonna prove that, and I hope you can live with it. To my family and loved ones, I love you. Thank you for supporting me. Y'all stay strong. Warden, bring it on....".
Second, the folks at Northwestern had listed him a someone possibly innocent but certainly executed. I trust the folks at Northwestern so I allowed Jones through my coarse filter. I include the Northwestern list below, limiting it only to those people executed by Texas, adding my Actual Innocence Score for those cases I have already reviewed.
Odell Barnes, Jr., 69
James Beathard
Charles Anthony Boyd, 0.1
David Castillo
Clyde Coleman
Robert Nelson Drew, 84
James Otto Earhart
Tony Farris
Gary Graham (aka Shaka Sankofa), 58
Jerry Lee Hogue
Jesse Jacobs
Carl Johnson
Richard Wayne Jones
Davis Losada, 75
Robert Madden
Justin Lee May
Frank Basil McFarland
Charles Rector
Kenneth Ray Ransom
David Stoker, 73
Martin Vega
Richard Wayne Jones was executed on August 22, 2000 for the brutal murder and mutilation of Tammy Livingston. From the Clark Country Prosecutor, we find this summary.
Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Richard Wayne Jones who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22nd. Richard Wayne Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the February 1986 murder of Tammy Livingston in Hurst, Texas. Livingston was stabbed to death 17 times and then the area around her body was set on fire. 
Jones followed Livingston as she was leaving a Michael's store at about 7:30 p.m. As Livingston was backing out of a parking space, Jones ran to the back of her car, opened her car door and then forced himself into the driver's seat. Later that evening, between 9:20 and 9:45, a Fort Worth resident heard screams coming from a vacant property. At about 11:20 that same evening, the Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a grass fire in the same area where someone had heard screams. It was there that firefighters discovered the charred remains of Tammy Livingston. Authorities determined that Livingston had been stabbed 17 times in the face and neck.
The night after Livingston's murder, Jones bought a pair of boots with a credit card in the name of Tammy Livingston. Later that night, Jones and a woman tried to buy groceries at a Fort Worth Safeway with a check from the account of Tammy and Russell Livingston. The woman with Jones, Yelena Comalander, was arrested for trying to pass someone else's check. The next morning, Livingston's car was recovered from a parking lot in Fort Worth. Jones' left thumb print was found on the inside of the front window of the driver's side of the car. Police also found several of Livingston's belongings including her engagement ring and her inscribed wedding band, at an apartment that Yelena Comalander took them to. Police arrested Jones a short time later.
The morning after Jones was arrested, an eyewitness to Livingston's kidnapping from the Michael's parking lot picked Jones out of a police line-up. Physical evidence also linked Jones to Livingston's murder. Jones also signed a written statement, admitting to the kidnapping and murder of Tammy Livingston. Jones had been out of prison for less than five months when he committed this murder.
Jones signed a written statement admitting to kidnapping and murdering Tammy Livingston. Jones' thumb print was found inside the front window of Tammy Livingston's car. An eyewitness who saw Jones kidnap Livingston from the Michael's parking lot picked Jones out of a police line-up. A pair of jeans and a shirt Jones was wearing the night of Livingston's murder were found to have blood on them that was the same blood type as Livingston's. Jones bought a pair of boots with a credit card in the name of Tammy Livingston, the night after Livingston was murdered. Jones and another woman, Yelena Comalander, tried to buy groceries with a check that was traced to the account of Tammy and Russell Livingston.
And that’s about it. During his appeal, Jones argued the state's case was technically flawed, but basically agreed the evidence was sufficient to justify the verdict.
Richard Wayne Jones, appellant, was convicted by a jury of capital murder, specifically murder committed in the course of kidnapping and robbery. ... The jury answered the special issues in the affirmative and punishment was assessed at death. ... He has appealed alleging twenty-four points of error, but does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. We will affirm his conviction.
I won’t even present an Actual Innocence Scorecard for Richard Wayne Jones. Sometimes ...


Henry Wood said...

Very well said, Sir. I came across your site when I had found a book about Richard Wayne Jones on Amazon UK. (Is not the Internet wonderful?) After a good look at the book's details, "Twisted Truth", I thought, no, surely there is someone who will repudiate the claims made by the author of "Twisted Truth"? My initial searches found many, many sites simply "complaining" about Texas State capital punishment and including Richard Wayne Jones as part of their "argument" against capital punishment.
I thank you for your obvious unbiased reporting on this single case and when I have time I must return to read deeper into your site (which I have bookmarked). Thank you for your work.

tsj said...

Thanks, Henry. Welcome to the site.

Patrick D said...

I read about Texas death row as much as I possibly can from any source, it fascinates me, I’m against the death penalty no matter what guilty or not but could Texas have made this many mistakes so many times in so many different cases, it’s hard to believe what I read, I want to believe it but I can’t believe everyone is innocent, but like I said I’m against the death penalty and I would claim innocence too just to stay alive for my family, I’m going to keep reading and researching everything I can and hope it(capital punishment) gets abolished

Connie said...

Have not been able to locate book regarding Richard Wayne Jones. Suggestions???

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