T.J. Jones, 25, was executed by lethal injection on 8 August in Huntsville, Texas for the carjacking murder of a 75-year-old man.
In February 1994, four young people saw Willard Lewis Davis, 75, backing out of his driveway. One of the youths, T.J. Jones, then 17, approached the car and told Davis to get out. Davis was carrying a .357 magnum revolver. When Davis got out of the car, the other three youths -- Edgar Fletcher Jr., 19, Sanford Ray Jimerson, 18, and Latecia Howard, 17, got in. Jones then told Davis to get back in the car, but Davis refused. Jones then shot Davis once in the head from a distance of two to three feet. He got in the car with his three friends and drove off. Davis died in the road in front of his house. The bandits were captured a short time later after wrecking Davis' car.
All four gave written confessions to the police. In his confession, Jones stated that he and his friends had been drinking when he asked them if they were "down for a jack," i.e. if they wanted to steal a car. They agreed, and went to a gang house to obtain a gun. Jones stated that he only fired the gun in an attempt to scare Davis, and he did not intend to kill him. When he was arrested, he was carrying the murder weapon -- a loaded .357 magnum revolver with one round fired.
At 17, Jones had no prior felony convictions. He did, however, have a history of arrests for vandalism, burglary, and drug usage. He was also charged with the attempted murder of a convenience store clerk, which occurred three days before the murder of Willard Davis.
Craig Moore, a clinical psychologist testifying for the defense, said that Jones had a below-average intelligence and had the emotional maturity of a 10 to 12 year old. He also testified that Jones may have had brain damage from using drugs. Nevertheless, Moore testified that Jones was mentally competent and was not retarded.
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