Curtis Moore, 40, was executed by lethal injection on 14 January 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of three people.
On 29 November 1995, Moore, then 27, and his 17-year-old nephew, Anthony "Kojak" Moore, met with Roderick Moore (no relation), 24, Henry Truevillian, 20, and Darrell Hoyle at Roderick's horse stable in Fort Worth to make a drug deal. After they arrived, Curtis Moore produced a gun and shouted, "This is a jack." He took $5 cash from Truevillian and $150 from Hoyle and held a gun on the victims while Anthony tied the other three up. Curtis then put Hoyle and Truevillian in the trunk and Roderick in the back seat. Curtis and Anthony got in the front seat and drove away.
After some time, they stopped at Roderick's apartment, where Curtis and Anthony shot both Roderick and his girlfriend, LaTanya Boone, 21, with a 9mm pistol.
At around 2 a.m. on the 30th, Curtis stopped the car, opened the trunk, fired his gun into it, hitting Truevillian, and closed the trunk again. Moments later, he opened the trunk again, poured gasoline on Truevillian and Hoyle, and set them on fire. He tried to close the trunk, but Hoyle kicked the lid until it opened. Hoyle then pulled himself and Truevillian out of the trunk and ran. Hoyle dropped to the ground and rolled the fire out, then continued running into the woods on the other side of the street. Moore caught up with Hoyle, stepped on his neck, and threatened his life. Hoyle pretended to be dead. Moore then walked back to the car. Hoyle ran farther into the woods and hid until Moore left. When emergency workers arrived, they took Hoyle to the hospital via helicopter.
Truevillian died from multiple gunshot wounds in the chest and abdomen, burns, and smoke inhalation. The bodies of Roderick Moore and LaTanya Boone were found later that morning, dumped along the road about a mile from where they had been shot.
Six days later, Hoyle regained consciousness. He described the assailants and their vehicle, and using his description, police were able to find Curtis and Anthony Moore and arrest them on 12 December. Curtis Moore had burns on his hands and arms. After his arrest, Anthony led police to the 9mm pistol that was used to kill Roderick and Boone.
Curtis Moore admitted holding the victims at gun point, ordering them to be tied, and putting them in the car, but he blamed the murders on his nephew. He said he was burned when he tried to rescue the victims from the burning car.
Moore had a history of criminal behavior stretching back to the age of 12, when he was charged with trespassing and found to have committed burglary of a motor vehicle. At age 13, he was convicted of burglarizing a habitation. He spent some time in juvenile institutions for these offenses. He received his first of four prior trips to state prison at the age of 18, when he was sentenced to 5 years for robbery. He was paroled in May 1987, after serving 9½ months of his sentence. That December, he was convicted of theft and sentenced to two years in prison. (Data regarding parole for that sentence was not available for this report.) In May 1989, he was sentenced to 15 years for theft. He was paroled 10 months later, in April 1990. He was again sentenced for 15 years in September 1991 for cocaine possession and for possessing a weapon as a felon. He served 3½ years of that sentence, receiving parole again in March 1995.
While in jail awaiting his capital murder trial, Moore stabbed another inmate.
A jury convicted Moore of capital murder in November 1996 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in April 1999. He was originally scheduled for execution in May 2002, but his execution was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which at the time was considering the issue of whether executing mentally retarded prisoners was cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court issued its ruling banning the execution of the mentally retarded in June 2002, but the trial court issued a new execution date for Moore following that ruling. In July 2003, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution and ordered the trial court to consider Moore's claim of mental retardation. The trial court made its determination, finding that Moore was not retarded. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court's verdict in January 2007.
Moore then presented his claim of mental retardation in the federal court system, but was unable to obtain a ruling favorable to him. The federal court for the northern district of Texas wrote, "In short, having independently reviewed all of the evidence, the court concludes that, while there is evidence indicative of perhaps mild mental retardation, there is ample evidence that Moore is not mentally retarded." The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, "Moore presented a thin case of mental retardation ... While [his IQ] scores could support a finding of subaverage intellectual functioning, the scores can also sustain a finding that Moore is not retarded." The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Moore's appeal.
Anthony Pierce Moore pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and received two life sentences. He remains in state custody as of this writing.
Darrell Hoyle attended Moore's execution, as did Roderick Moore's parents and three sisters of Tiffany Boone. Irene Wilcox, who ministers to death row inmates, also attended. "I love you, Irene," Moore said in his last statement. "I want to thank you for all the beautiful years of friendship and ministry." He did not acknowledge Hoyle or the others. The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 15 January 2009.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Attorney General's Office, Associated Press, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, court documents, public records.