Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Gerald Tigner

Gerald Tigner
Gerald Tigner
Executed on 7 March 2002

Gerald Wayne Tigner Jr., 29, was executed by lethal injection on 7 March in Huntsville, Texas for murdering two men during a robbery.

In August 1993, Tigner, then 20, and two other men were driving in a Waco suburb in Tigner's truck. With Tigner were his friend, Guan Scott, 21, and Scott's brother, Timothy, who was behind the wheel. When Tigner saw Michael Watkins, 32, and James Williams, 22, driving in another car, he and Guan Scott got out of the vehicle and approached them. The men got into an argument, and Tigner fired shots from two guns into the car. When he ran out of ammunition, Tigner went back to his truck, got another gun, and returned to Watkins and Williams' car. As he returned, he passed by Watkins, who had fallen out of the car and was attempting to crawl away. According to witnesses, Tigner straddled him and shot him in the head. Tigner then returned to his truck and drove away. Michael Watkins suffered ten gunshot wounds, including two to the head. James Williams suffered seven gunshot wounds, including four to the head. Both died at the scene. Police found cocaine in the car.

Tigner was arrested the next day. He signed a 5-page written confession, then later gave a tape-recorded confession. In his confessions, Tigner described the weapons he used, which were three pistols of different calibers -- 9 mm, .38, and .22. These calibers were later confirmed by ballistics investigation.

Guan Scott, who had a previous conviction for delivery of cocaine and was on parole at the time of the killings, was killed in an unrelated shooting before Tigner's trial.

At Tigner's trial, Timothy Scott testified that Tigner was the shooter. The state also presented an eyewitness, Roy Darden, who identified Tigner as the shooter. The prosecution described the murders as a drug-related robbery attempt. Tigner claimed he killed the two men in self defense.

Tigner had a criminal history dating to at least 1989, when he was 16 and was charged with burglary. He was convicted as a juvenile and given probation. In 1992, he was convicted of three more offenses, for which he received suspended sentences and probation. Tigner also used the aliases Gerald Tigmon, Jerry Lewis, and Tony Simmons.

In December 1992, Tigner confessed to the murder of Bobby Ray Harris, a former boyfriend of Tigner's mother. Tigner shot Harris three times on the front lawn of Tigner's house. Tigner confessed to killing Harris, but said he shot him in self-defense after Harris burst into his house. Tigner was indicted for Harris's murder and was free on bond when Michael Watkins and James Williams were killed.

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