James Vernon Allridge III, 41, was executed by lethal injection on 26 August 2004 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of a convenience store clerk.
On 4 April 1985, Allridge, then 22, and his brother, Ronald, 24, drove to a convenience store in Fort Worth. James Allridge used to be an employee of the store and knew where the combination to the safe was kept. Ronald dropped James off at the store and drove around the corner to wait for him. The store was closed. Through the locked doors, James asked the clerk, Brian Clendennen, for change to make a telephone call. Clendennen recognized Allridge, opened the doors for him, and gave him change. After Allridge pretended to use the phone, he left, and Clendennen locked the doors again.
After getting back into the car, Ronald accused James of "chickening out." James decided to go back to the store. Clendennen again opened the doors for him. When he did, Allridge pointed a .25-caliber pistol at him and forced his way into the store. Allridge then took Clendennen into the storeroom and tied his hands behind his back. While he was emptying the cash register and safe, Allridge heard a noise from the storeroom. He went back and saw that Clendennen had moved. Allridge then forced Clendennen to his knees and shot him twice in the back of the head.
After returning to the car, Allridge decided to go back into the store to make sure Clendennen was dead. However, a woman was in the store parking lot when Allridge arrived, so he fled. The woman, who was Clendennen's mother, entered the store, saw some loose change on the floor, and immediately left and called the police from a nearby restaurant. The police found Clendennen in the storeroom, still alive. He died the next day in the hospital.
At his punishment hearing, the state introduced evidence that after murdering Clendennen, James Allridge committed or participated in seven other aggravated robberies of stores or restaurants in Fort Worth. In one of those robberies, a Whataburger customer, Carla McMillen, was killed.
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