Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Rex Mays

Rex Mays
Rex Mays
Executed on 24 September 2002

Rex Warren Mays, 42, was executed by lethal injection on 24 September in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two girls in their home.

On 20 July 1992, 14-year-old Jeremy Garza found the bodies of his sister, Kristin Michelle Wiley, 10, and her friend, Kynara Lorin Carreiro, 7, stabbed to death in his bedroom. Kristin was stabbed 18 times. Kynara was stabbed 23 times. Both were stabbed in the eyes. Both were also nude from the waist down.

Rex Mays, then 32, was Jeremy and Kristin's next-door neighbor. When emergency personnel arrived, Mays watched from his driveway, sitting on a lawn chair and drinking a soda. He allowed the children's mother to use his telephone. He also invited some sheriff's deputies into his house for refreshments. He told them that he saw two men coming over the Wiley's fence. Investigators found blood on the fence that separated Mays' back yard from the Wiley's.

After failing a polygraph test, Mays recanted his account of what he saw. He became the prime suspect in the case, but insufficient evidence existed to put him under arrest at that time.

For the next year and a half, Detective Bob Valerio of the Harris County Sheriff's Department tried to solve the case. He befriended Mays, drank with him, went to topless bars with him, and even let Mays accompany him on official business, all in an effort to build a rapport that might lead to a confession. On 10 February 1994, these efforts paid off. Valerio asked Mays to come to his office to discuss the case, and Mays ended up talking for four hours.

In a written statement, Mays related how he had been fired from his job earlier that day. On the way home, he parked a few houses down the street from his own house and started walking home, thinking about what he would say to his wife about being fired from yet another job. As he approached the Wiley's house, he heard loud music coming from the upstairs bedroom. He pushed open the unlocked front door and called for Kristin. As he walked through the house, he saw Kristin and Kynara running away from him. Mays followed them and asked them to lower the volume on the stereo. Kynara answered, "No, we're not going to turn it down! Just get out of the house!" Mays said that he was suddenly overcome with anger. "Here I had just gotten fired and some kid's telling me no," he said. He began stabbing the girls with a knife he took from the kitchen.

Continuing his confession, Mays wrote that he exited the house by crawling through a window. He was about to climb the fence into his back yard when he remembered that he had parked down the street. He re-entered the Wiley house through the window and walked out the front door. Upon reaching his car, he placed the knife and his bloody shirt in a duffle bag. He drove home, told his wife that he had been fired, and showered to wash away the blood that had splattered onto his legs. When emergency personnel arrived, he behaved like a concerned neighbor. The next day, he washed his bloody clothes, threw the knife into a nearby ravine, and placed his duffle bag in the garage.

Blood traces from Mays' laundered clothing revealed DNA that linked to the victims.

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