Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Kelsey Patterson

Kelsey Patterson
Kelsey Patterson
Executed on 18 May 2004

Kelsey Patterson, 50, was executed by lethal injection on 18 May 2004 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two people.

On 25 September 1992, Patterson, then 38, walked out of his home in Palestine to Oates Oil Company, which was about a block away. The owner, Louis Oates, 63, was standing on his loading dock when Patterson walked up behind him and shot him with a .38-caliber pistol. After shooting Oates, Patterson began walking away. Dorothy Harris, Oates' secretary, walked out of her office and onto the loading dock, saw Oates' body lying on the ground, and began screaming. Patterson returned and shot Harris, 41, in the head. Patterson then walked back home, told his roommate what he had done, laid down his weapon, and removed all of his clothing except his socks. When the police arrived, he was walking up and down the street, naked. He later explained that he removed his clothes because did not want police to think he was hiding a gun.

Patterson had been previously involved in two shootings. In May 1980, Patterson shot Richard Lane, a co-worker, for no apparent reason. In 1983, he shot another co-worker, Kevin Hughes, again for no apparent reason. On both occasions, Patterson was found incompetent to stand trial and was sent to a state mental hospital. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. After receiving treatment and having his competency restored, the charges in both cases were dismissed because he was insane at the time of the shootings. Patterson was again admitted to a state mental hospital in 1988 after threatening his family. He was treated and released.

In pre-trial procedures for the double murder of Oates and Harris, a psychiatric expert examined Patterson and, testifying for the defense, declared him to be sane at the time of the murders and competent to stand trial. The jury also found Patterson competent to stand trial.

During both his competency hearing and his trial, Patterson testified that his actions were being remotely controlled via electronic devices implanted in him by his lawyers. He frequently complained about his lawyers and told them to "shut up." He was removed from the courtroom on several occasions for his disruptive outbursts.

Patterson had no prior felony convictions. He had misdemeanor convictions in 1985-86 for assault, carrying a weapon, and marijuana possession.

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