Thursday, January 16, 2014

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Media Advisory: Edgar A. Tamayo scheduled for execution

AUSTIN – Pursuant to a court order from the 209th District Court of Harris County, Edgar Arias Tamayo is scheduled for execution after 6 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2014.

On Nov. 1, 1994, Tamayo was sentenced to die for the shooting death of Houston Police Officer Guy Gaddis.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit described Gaddis’s murder as follows:

Tamayo and another man were arrested in the parking lot of a bar in Harris County, Texas on January 31, 1994, for robbing another patron. After the men were searched and handcuffed, Officer Guy Gaddis of the Houston Police Department placed them in a patrol car, with Tamayo seated behind Officer Gaddis. When Officer Gaddis stopped to make a phone call, Tamayo revealed to the other passenger that he had a gun in his waistband. Tamayo managed to remove the gun from his waistband despite the fact that he was handcuffed. When Officer Gaddis returned to the vehicle and drove away, Tamayo shot Officer Gaddis multiple times. The patrol car crashed into a residence, and Tamayo escaped through a broken window. The police were called to the scene and captured Tamayo as he ran down the street near the crash, still handcuffed. Officer Gaddis was taken to the hospital immediately, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Tamayo gave two written statements admitting that he had the gun in the police car, that he shot Gaddis, and that he knew Gaddis was a police officer. At trial, the evidence indicated that Tamayo, rather than the other passenger, was the shooter. The State also presented evidence that Tamayo had purchased the gun several days before the murder.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

Under Texas law, the rules of evidence prevent certain prior criminal acts from being presented to a jury during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. However, once a defendant is found guilty, jurors are presented information about the defendant’s prior criminal conduct during the second phase of the trial – which is when they determine the defendant’s punishment.

During the punishment phase of Tamayo’s trial, the State offered evidence of Tamayo’s criminal history and convictions, which included threatening bodily harm to several people. The State also offered evidence that Tamayo fired a gun in a mobile home park in the direction of other mobile homes and, on another occasion, was spotted chasing a man while in possession of a gun.

As mitigation evidence, Tamayo’s counsel offered the testimony of three bailiffs who escorted Tamayo to and from the courtroom, who stated that he was respectful and had never been violent. Two former co-workers testified that Tamayo worked with them and that they had no trouble with him.

Finally, Tamayo’s parents testified that Tamayo had not been in trouble as a child and that he never wanted for food or shelter. Both parents indicated that they were sorry for the pain their son caused Gaddis’s family and pleaded with the jury to spare Tamayo’s life. In rebuttal, the State called a fourth bailiff who testified that Tamayo was aggressive and uncooperative.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On Sept. 27, 1994, a Harris County grand jury indicted Tamayo.

On Oct. 27, 1994, after a trial in the 209th District Court of Harris County, jurors found Tamayo guilty of capital murder.

On Nov. 1, 1994, after a punishment hearing, the court sentenced Tamayo to death.

On Dec. 11, 1996, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Tamayo’s conviction and sentence.

On Feb. 23, 1998, Tamayo filed first state application for habeas corpus relief.

On June 11, 2003, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied Tamayo’s first state application for habeas corpus relief.

On June 17, 2003, Tamayo filed his first subsequent state writ application.

On Sept. 10, 2003, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed Tamayo’s first subsequent writ application.

On Sept. 11, 2003, Tamayo filed his petition for federal habeas corpus relief.

On Mar. 21, 2005, Tamayo filed his second subsequent state writ application.

On July 2, 2008, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed Tamayo’s second subsequent writ application.

On Mar. 8, 2010, Tamayo filed his third subsequent state writ application.

On June 9, 2010, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed Tamayo’s third subsequent writ application.

On Mar. 25, 2011, the federal district court for the Southern District of Texas denied habeas corpus relief.

On April 4, 2011, Tamayo filed his notice of appeal.

On July 20, 2011, Tamayo sought permission to appeal by filing his application for certificate of appealability in the Fifth Circuit.

On Dec. 21, 2011, the Fifth Circuit denied Tamayo’s application for a certificate of appealability.

On Jan. 17, 2012, Tamayo petitioned for rehearing.

On Feb. 15, 2012, Tamayo’s petition for rehearing was denied.

On May 14, 2012, Tamayo sought certiorari review with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Nov. 13, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review.

MISCELLANEOUS

For additional information and statistics, please log on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, www.tdcj.state.tx.us.