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Matchett pleaded guilty to all three attacks. He received a 99-year sentence for the Williams beating, and a life sentence for the Josey murder. In April 1993, a jury sentenced him to death for the Anderson murder. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and death sentence in November 1996. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
While on death row, Matchett wrote a letter that was published on several anti-death-penalty web sites. In the letter, Matchett claimed he killed Anderson in self-defense. He went to Anderson's house because Anderson owed him money, he wrote. "I made inquires as to when he was going to settle the 8-month-old debt and at that point, the man became angry," Matchett wrote. "I could see the situation escalating, so I made an attempt to leave, but I was abruptly stopped at the door by the victim who spun me around and struck me with his fist." Matchett wrote that he and Anderson fought, then Anderson grabbed a knife and attempted to slash his throat. Matchett was able to push the knife away, lodging it in Anderson's chest. According to Matchett's letter, he called paramedics, and Anderson died in surgery.
Matchett also claimed that the police literally beat a confession out of him and led his hand in signing it. He wrote that he pleaded guilty after his lawyer, Donald Davis, assured him that the death penalty was off the table. Matchett also implied that Davis's June 2000 suicide was the result of another lawyer's discovery of Davis's role in a conspiracy to convict him.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson said that there was never a deal to spare Matchett from the death penalty, and that the questions asked of prospective jurors during the jury selection process should have made that obvious.
In an interview from death row the week before his execution, Matchett admitted that he "binge smoked" on weekends. "You couldn't get me to do nothing on the weekend," he said, smiling. He said that his court-ordered drug treatment programs weren't right for him, because they didn't use medication to help him overcome his addiction. With the right program, "I wouldn't be in this situation," Matchett said.
In his last statement at his execution, Matchett expressed love to his family and asked Anderson's family for forgiveness. He was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 13 September 2006.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Houston Chronicle, Huntsville Item, ccadp.org.