LIVINGSTON, Texas — DaRoyce Mosley doesn't deny walking into a Kilgore bar intending to hold up the place with a partner but says he fled when his uncle fired a shot that crippled the woman bartender and wasn't responsible for the four other people who were gunned down execution-style.
"After the first shot, I ran," he said recently from Texas' death row. "I turned around and ran out."
Mosley, however, confessed to the slayings after he was picked up by police, and the confession he said he wrongly gave to officers after long intense questioning helped convince a jury in Gregg County in East Texas to convict him in the death of Patricia Colter, 54, and decide he should die.
"It was stupid, just silly," said Mosley, 32, set for execution Tuesday evening. "It's easy to look back now and realize the mistakes I made. That was mainly my downfall. You had that statement."
Mosley, 32, would be the 22nd Texas inmate executed this year and the first of three on consecutive days this week in the nation's most active capital punishment state.
A clemency petition for Mosley was denied by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. His lawyers were in the state courts trying to get the execution delayed, arguing in an appeal filed late Monday to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Mosley's uncle, Ray Don Mosley, was responsible for shooting Sandra Cash, the lone survivor, threatening his nephew and ordering him to fire the fatal shots 13 years ago.
Cash refused to elaborate on what DaRoyce Mosley did after the threat, saying only that he "deserved to die for ruining her life and for being involved in the killings of those people," according to an affadavit from attorney John Weigel.
Mosley's lawyers were arguing to the appeals court that Cash's comment "would have either supported a theory of the case that DaRoyce ran or that he acted under duress."
Four patrons at Katie's Lounge were killed in the July 1994 attack: Colter; her husband, Duane, 44; Alvin Waller, 54; and Luva Congleton, 68. Cash, then 32, was shot in the spine but was able to make a 911 call to summon police. Ballistics tests showed the four people killed were shot with the same weapon and Cash with a different gun.
Ray Don Mosley, now 44, took three life terms and testified against his nephew. Evidence showed they split $308 taken from the bar among themselves, a 16-year-old friend of DaRoyce Mosley's who accompanied them that night, and a wheelchair-bound friend who was related to the juvenile. The juvenile who authorities determined left before the gunfire was given a two-year jail sentence. DaRoyce Mosley got the death penalty for Patricia Colter's death.
"We'll never know why he did it," Virginia Hutsell, Colter's sister, told the Longview News-Journal. "But we'll know he'll never be able to do it again."
She and another sister planned to be among the people to watch Mosley die.
Mosley, who became an honors student in high school and was accepted into college, blamed his desire to win acceptance from others in his poor black neighborhood for his involvement in the holdup.
"When you grow up in that kind of neighborhood, you don't want to be a punk," Mosley said, referring to the predominantly black area of Kilgore known as Goat Hill and the sissy reputation he was trying to avoid. "And just to show I'm not, I go along with the robbery."
Questioned by police, Mosley, then 19, said he wilted and acknowledged he was the shooter as detectives "kept at it, kept at it, kept at it."
Cynthia Orr. one of his defense lawyers, said the trial was held amid threats and rumors about Ku Klux Klan violence. Mosley is black. All the victims were white.
"It was a very highly charged environment, not a comfortable trial," she said. "All the people who died were wonderful and it was a horrible shame. The reaction in the community, it became a thing itself."
Gary Bledsoe, who also defended Mosley, said the confession was bogus.
"The confession he gave was shown to be absolutely untrue," he said. "DaRoyce didn't know what happened. His uncle is the one who committed the murders."
Clement Dunn, one of the prosecutors in the case, said the right person was convicted.
"In this case, I think we can all be very confident in the work law enforcement did, and I feel good about being able to say that," said Dunn, who also downplayed any racial tensions. "I just don't think that happened."
On Wednesday, John Joe Amador, 32, was set to die for the 1994 shooting death of a San Antonio taxi driver. Then on Thursday, Kenneth Foster, 30, faced lethal injection for his role as the getaway driver when a San Antonio man was gunned down on his driveway in 1996.
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