Texas Execution Information Center

Kenneth Morris

Kenneth Wayne Morris, 38, was executed by lethal injection on 4 March 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a man while robbing his home.

On 1 May 1991, Morris, then 20, Orlena Ayers, 20, and Christopher Montez, 18, kicked in the door of James and Marcena Adams' home in Houston. The couple was awakened by the noise. Mr. Adams, 63, went to investigate the noise while Mrs. Adams, 64, stayed in the bedroom and locked the door. Mr. Adams found the intruders, who demanded firearms. Adams told them he had no firearms in the house, but would give them all of his money. The intruders then kicked down the door to the master bedroom. Mrs. Adams hid in the bedroom closet. Mr. Adams then gave Morris about $1,000 in cash. Morris then shot Adams four times in the chest.

After shooting Adams, the intruders rushed out, leaving behind the trash bags they had brought to collect whatever property they stole. A fingerprint was recovered from one of the trash bags and was matched to Christopher Montez. When Montez was arrested, he gave a confession that implicated Morris and Ayers. Morris was arrested in Brenham on 13 May. He gave oral and written confessions. Police also recovered the murder weapon, a .32 caliber revolver.

In his confessions, Morris stated that he shot Adams because he looked at them, even though he had been instructed not to. Adams saw one of the accomplices and appeared to recognize him. The accomplice then urged Morris to shoot Adams, so he did.

Marcena Adams testified that she heard the intruders demanding money and her husband giving it to them, then she heard him exclaim, "Oh, no!" She then heard four gunshots, and her husband fell back into the closet. She said she heard him stop breathing as the intruders were fleeing. After she thought they were gone, she ran out of the house through the broken front door.

Morris had a prior conviction for burglary of a habitation. He was given a ten-year sentence, 90 days of which he spent in a correctional facility in the summer of 1990 before being released on "shock probation". In November 1990, Morris telephoned his probation officer and told him there was no point in reporting as instructed because he was going to be arrested anyway.

In January 1991, Morris was arrested for marijuana possession. He served 30 days in jail for that conviction. Upon the completion of the jail sentence, the state presented evidence of numerous probation violations and recommended that his probation for the burglary charge be revoked and he be sent to prison, but the judge declined the request and allowed him to remain on probation. Morris never reported to his probation officer, and failed to meet the other terms of his probation. About three months later, he killed John Adams. Eight days after the murder, he committed a car jacking, for which he received a 30-year sentence.

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