Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Impending Execution of Milton Mathis

Milton Wuzael Mathis sits on death row awaiting execution by the people of Texas. The execution is scheduled for 21 June. Upon reviewing this case, I find no reasonable chance that Milton Mathis might be factually innocent of the crime for which he is to die.

I present below the summary of facts as presented in Mathis v. Texas.
On December 15, 1998, at approximately 8:00 or 8:30 a.m., Esmerelda Lester and her 15-year old daughter Melanie Almaguer went to Chris Lentsch's home. Lentsch rented rooms to Travis Brown and Daniel Hibbard. Brown and appellant were in Brown's room. While Lester, Almaguer and Hibbard sat in Lentsch's room, Lentsch went into the kitchen. Shortly thereafter, Lentsch heard gunshots from Brown's room and turned to see appellant exiting the room with a gun in his hand. Appellant claimed that Brown had just shot himself. Lentsch told appellant to put the gun down, but appellant ordered Lentsch and the other three back into Lentsch's room where he calmly walked up to Almaguer and shot her in the head, leaving her alive, but paralyzed from the neck down. Appellant then shot Hibbard in the head, causing his death. Appellant finally pointed the gun at Lester, whereupon he discovered that he was out of bullets. Appellant thereafter rummaged through the house, set fire to Brown's room, threatened Lester and Lentsch, and finally left in Brown's car.
The police identified appellant as the killer and went to arrest him. Upon being arrested, appellant became violent. Officers discovered that appellant had told his father to lie for him and had persuaded his girlfriend to give him an alibi, which she maintained until confronted by the police. A fellow inmate testified that appellant showed no remorse for the shootings and stated that he wished he had killed them all.
Appellant took the stand and at first testified that although he had been to the house earlier, he was not there on the morning of the shootings. After defense counsel requested a recess, appellant took the stand and stated that he had lied in his previous testimony. He then testified that he was at the house at the time of shootings, and admitted that he had shot all three people and taken Brown's car. Appellant claimed he shot Brown in self defense after Brown had threatened to shoot him.[2] He claimed that he shot the others because he panicked after shooting Brown.

[2] Appellant claimed Brown held the gun to appellant's head and threatened to kill him. Appellant testified he knocked the gun out of Brown's hand, and when Brown started walking toward him, appellant closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.
With regard to the execution of Milton Wuzael Mathis, I stand mute.


Anonymous said...

I was on the jury that convicted him. There was no evidence of retardation introduced at trial. There was no doubt he did it.
BUT there might have been a hung jury if the pompous "Rocket" Rosen had objected to the introduction of cause of death of the second victim during redirect examination.

tsj said...


Please explain about the cause of death of the second victim. Did I miss something or was the cause of death a bullet fired by Milton Mathis?

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