Ronnie Paul Threadgill, 40, was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas on 16 April 2013 for the carjacking murder of a 17-year-old man.
On 14 April 2001, Christopher Lane, Kevin Williams, and Dexter McDonald walked out of a nightclub near Corsicana in Navarro County and got into Lane's car. Williams sat in the front passenger seat, while McDonald sat in the right rear seat. Lane sat in the driver's seat, but then got back out to talk to someone. Ronnie Threadgill, then 28, then ran up and fired two shots from a handgun. The first bullet did not hit anyone. The second bullet passed through McDonald's arm and entered his chest. Williams got out of the vehicle. Threadgill got in and drove off. After a short distance, he stopped at a stop sign, pulled McDonald out of the car, and drove away. McDonald died at the hospital from the gunshot wound.
Police officers chased Threadgill along Interstate Highway 45 until he lost control of the vehicle and it slid into a ditch. He then fled on foot. He was found at a truck stop, clinging to an axle under a trailer.
Threadgill's fingerprints were found on the stolen car, and blood on his clothing matched McDonald's blood. A bandana that witnesses said the carjacker was wearing was found stuffed under the truck trailer where Threadgill was hiding when he was arrested.
At Threadgill's trial, Kevin Williams testified that Threadgill bent over into the car and pointed the gun at his face. Williams testified that McDonald was drunk and "slumped over" in the back seat, with his head leaning against the window frame. Williams contradicted the defense attorney's suggestion that McDonald might have been lying down in the back seat and therefore not seen by Threadgill.
Threadgill committed his first felony at age 18 and had been incarcerated for most of his adult life. In 1994, he received a 10-year sentence for burglary of a building and possession of cocaine. He was released on shock probation after 3 months. About a year later, he was arrested, then he was transferred from jail to state prison in February 1996. He was released again in December 1997, returned again in July 2000, and released again in January 2001.
In June 1998, Threadgill was involved in a gang shooting in Limestone County. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for shooting Erik Martin. At Threadgill's capital murder sentencing conviction, Cassey Forge testified that he saw Threadgill shoot Martin. Questioning between the prosecutor and the sheriff's deputy who investigated the shooting implied that the charges against Threadgill were dropped because Martin was another criminal.1
1"[Deputy] Beck also testified that most of the victims and others involved in the Limestone County shooting incident had criminal records.
Then, on redirect, the following exchange took place between the prosecutor and Beck:
Q. As much as we don't like to admit it, are sometimes cases dismissed because of the, who the victims are or what they've done in the past?
[defense objects and is overruled]
A. Yes sir, I think that's entirely possible."
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