Man Going through Dying in Couple’s Deadly Stabbing Will get Reprieve

By JUAN A. LOZANO, Related Press

HOUSTON (AP) – A Texas inmate who was scheduled to be the primary to be executed by the state this 12 months obtained a reprieve from an appeals court docket on Thursday.

Michael Dean Gonzales had been set to obtain a deadly injection on Tuesday night for fatally stabbing an aged couple throughout a housebreaking of their West Texas dwelling practically 30 years in the past.

However the Texas Court docket of Legal Appeals granted a request by his attorneys to remain his execution.

“I am very happy,” stated Richard Burr, one in every of Gonzales’ attorneys, of the execution delay.

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The Texas Lawyer Basic’s Workplace, which is dealing with the prosecution of the case, didn’t instantly return an electronic mail looking for touch upon Thursday.

The appeals court docket ordered that Gonzales’ case be despatched again to the trial choose in Odessa to overview claims he’s intellectually disabled and to overview allegations that prosecutors withheld proof within the case. The Supreme Court docket has barred the execution of intellectually disabled individuals. Gonzales’ attorneys allege his 1995 trial was marked by prosecutorial misconduct, together with the hiding of the alleged misconduct by the lead investigator.

Gonzales, 48, who was a member of a gang known as “Homies Do not Play,” has claimed he didn’t fatally stab 73-year-old Manuel Aguirre, and his 65-year-old spouse Merced, throughout a break-in. at their Odessa dwelling in April 1994. Merced Aguirre was stabbed at the very least 57 instances whereas her husband was stabbed 11 instances, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

Attorneys for Gonzales, who lived subsequent door to the slain couple, say new proof factors to the actual killers, two different gang members.

His attorneys are asking that just lately found proof – together with attainable bloodstains on a shirt worn by one other suspect and fingerprints – needs to be examined.

“With out this chance (to check new proof), there’s a robust probability the state will execute an harmless particular person,” Burr stated earlier this week.

However prosecutors say Gonzales was discovered to have gadgets stolen from the couple’s dwelling, he had a knife in line with inflicting the victims’ wounds and he confessed to a jail guard. Gonzales’ spouse additionally testified that she helped him get into the couple’s dwelling on the night time of their deaths and when he returned, Gonzales had a knife and blood on his garments.

“There isn’t any proof extra damning than a first-hand account {that a} assassin returned to his home lined in blood holding a knife and bearing property taken from the neighbors he killed. (Gonzales’) new proof does nothing by any means to undermine the proof of id or his guilt, “stated Erich Dryden, a prosecutor with the Texas Lawyer Basic’s Workplace, in court docket paperwork filed final month.

Gonzales was one in every of a number of inmates whose loss of life sentences have been overturned due to testimony from a prosecution knowledgeable who had stated that race may very well be thought of a think about figuring out whether or not somebody ought to obtain the loss of life penalty.

In a brand new trial centered solely on sentencing, Gonzales was resentenced to loss of life in 2009.

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