One former Wichita Falls man has an execution date set in Huntsville, while another is starting what could be another long series of court maneuvers that have forestalled his execution for almost 2 decades.
The latest ruling in the appeals of convicted serial killer Faryion Wardrip is another granting of habeas relief by U.S. Magistrate Paul Stickney, who has had the case since 2002. This basically means the state must prove the legality of keeping Wardrip in custody.
It starts the appeals process over, with the state appealing to the 5th Circuit Court its authority to hold Wardrip and carry out his execution. The state appeals court had already rejected Wardrip's appeal of his death sentence, based on inadequate legal representation.
If the state wins at the 5th Circuit, the case can once again be sent back to 30th District Court in Wichita County to set an execution date.
Wardrip was sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of one victim and received life sentences in the murder of three other victims. Wardrip earlier served another sentence for the murder of a 5th victim before he was connected to the other murders.
In another capital murder case involving a man who grew up in Wichita Falls, an execution date is set for March. 37-year-old Rosendo Rodriguez the third was convicted for the so-called Lubbock suitcase murder in 2005.
The execution was set after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal. He was convicted of the beating and choking death of a 29-year-old pregnant woman. Her body was found stuffed inside a suitcase in the Lubbock landfill.
Police linked Rodriguez to 5 other sexual assaults and say he also confessed to killing a 16-year-old girl, whose body was also found in a suitcase in the landfill.
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