Local Murderers Executed

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email

Local Murderers on Death Row
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The following is a listing of local murderers put to death since 1982, when executions in Texas resumed.

Each listing notes which number execution it was, the date of death, when the inmate was received on Death Row, a description of their crime, and any final statement.

Unless otherwise noted, information for each was from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and KBTX's files. Photos are from Murderpedia.

(list current as of February 21, 2013)


Brazos County

Carl Blue (493rd Execution)
Died February 21, 2013 (Received June 14, 1995)

• August 19, 1994 – went to ex-girlfriend Carmen Richards-Sanders’ apartment on George Bush Drive in College Station, threw part of a cup of gasoline on her and lit her on fire; threw the remaining gas on Larence Williams, who was at Richards-Sanders’ home and tried to help; Richards-Sanders died September 7; Williams survived; Blue turned himself in, claiming it was a prank
• Last statement: "Hey mom and pop. I love ya'll, all of you people in there. You know, ya'll have to come together, you too Terrella. Ya'll work on that. We all have to stand before God at the end of the day. Don't ever think you're perfect, none of us are perfect. God is the only one that is perfect. Jesus is perfect. I did wrong, now I am paying the ultimate price, even though it's a crooked way. I don't hate ya'll. Don't judge, I'm not judging. God has to judge those people. I forgive. Always remember, Romans 12:19 is for real, hell is for real. If ya'll don't have your life right, get it right. We all have to die to get to heaven. Get your life right with Christ; it's coming to an end. I'm talking to each and every soul in this building, in this room. I don't hate nobody, you're doing what you think is your job. God's law is above this law. Hang on. Cowboy up, I'm fixing to ride. Jesus is my ride. Tell my babies daddy will look down on them. Put a "C" in his name for Carl. Tell my boys and tell Tracy to keep on keeping on. Love one another, go to church, change your life for Christ, live your life for Christ. All right, Warden. Terella, I feel it babe, love."

Ynobe Matthews (314th Execution)
Died January 6, 2004 (Received June 19, 2001)

• May 28, 2000 – kidnapped and sexually assaulted Carolyn Casey at her College Station apartment after a party they had both attended, then strangled her to death; Matthews set the building on fire before leaving; later confessed to the 1999 sexual assault and murder of Jamie Hart; linked to other sexual assaults
• Last statement: none

Ron Shamburger (282nd Execution)
Died September 18, 2002 (Received October 31, 1995)

• September 30, 1994 – shot Texas A&M student Lori Baker in the head in her College Station home during a burglary; Baker knew Shamburger from school; Baker woke up during the burglary; Shamburger kidnapped Baker’s roommate, Victoria Kohlar, when she returned home, placed her in a car trunk, drove a few blocks, then abandoned Kohlar and the car; Shamburger removed the bullet from Baker with a knife, poured gas on the body and lit it on fire; Shamburger walked to College Station PD and surrendered
• Last statement: “A lot of people have always asked if there is a Heaven, and I say there is. There is a Heaven and a Hell. They ask, "Who goes to Heaven?" I believe that it is those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:25: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 5:8: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 10:9: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and that He was raised from the dead, thou shalt be saved. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall have everlasting life. A lot of people forget about: John3:36: If you have the Son, you have life and if you have not the Son, the wrath of God lies on you. In this life, we sin and we make mistakes: 1 John 1:19: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins. I had a verse that jumped out at me a few days ago. Psalm 99:8 speaks of the holiness of God and He was to the people a God who forgave, but He took vengeance on his deeds. I am not here because of my faith in the Lord Jesus, but I am here for not other reason than my own actions. To the Bakers, I am really sorry for the pain and sorrow I caused you. I really do not know what to say, but I am sorry - forgive me. And to my parents, I am sorry for the pain I have caused you. Forgive me; thank you for your love.”

Stanley Baker Jr. (271st Execution)
Died May 30, 2002 (Received August 1, 1995)

• September 28, 1994 – shot store clerk Wayne John Walters in the head during a robbery of the Adult Video store in College Station; fled in Walters’ pickup, which was later spotted by authorities in Bastrop
• Last statement: “Well, I don’t have anything to say. I am just sorry about what I did to Mr. Peters. That’s all.”

Jose Gutierrez (195th Execution)
Died November 18, 1999 (Received April 27, 1990)

• September 5, 1989 – with brother Jessie, shot store clerk Dorothy McNew in the head during a robbery of the Texas Coin Exchange in College Station; stole $500,000 in jewelry; arrested in Houston
• Last statement: “Mama Isabel told me to tell you hello. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty. All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. Oh, our Father who art in heaven, holy, holy, holy be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sin as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Now, Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. Amen.”

James Earhart (184th Execution)
Died August 11, 1999 (Received May 27, 1988)
(tried in Lee County)
• May 12, 1987 – abducted nine-year-old Kandy Kirtland from her Bryan home after she was dropped off by a school bus; body was found along a creek on Villa Maria Road on May 26, shot once in the head with hands tied behind her back; Earhart was arrested the day the body was found in a Walker County park; Earhart had gone to the Kirtland home May 4 about an ad selling a paint spray gun
• Last statement: none

Jeff Emery (163rd Execution)
Died December 8, 1998 (Received May 27, 1986)

• October 12, 1979 – stabbed Texas A&M student LaShan Muhlinghaus to death in her College Station apartment; was robbing Muhlinghaus’ home, hid in her closet when she came home, then attacked her; after death, Muhlinghaus was sexually assaulted and her lower body mutilated; four years later in Milwaukee, Emery’s wife went to police and said he had returned home the night of the murder covered with blood; Emery was being held in St. Paul, Minnesota on burglary charges
• Last statement: “I just want to tell Catharina I love you. Take care of yourself. That’s all I have to say.”

Terry Washington (116th Execution)
Died May 6, 1997 (Received November 13, 1987)
(tried in Walker County)
• January 15, 1987 – stabbed Julie’s Place restaurant manager Beatrice Huling 85 after closing at the College Station location, then stole $628 from the safe and register; Washington was a dishwasher at the restaurant
• Last statement: none

Jessie Gutierrez (80th Execution)
Died September 16, 1994 (Received April 27, 1990)

• September 5,1989 – with brother Jose, shot store clerk Dorothy McNew in the head during a robbery of the Texas Coin Exchange in College Station; stole $500,000 in jewelry; arrested in Houston
• Last statement: “I just love everybody, and that’s it.”

Danny Harris (62nd Execution)
Died July 30, 1993 (Received February 25, 1980)

• December 11, 1978 – beat Timmothy Michael Merka with a tire tool and robbed him after Merka rendered assistance to Harris and three co-defendants, including Curtis Harris
• Last statement: “I would like to tell my family I love them very dearly, and I know they love me. I love all of the people who supported me all of these years. I would like to tell the Merka family I love them, too. I plead with all the teenagers to stop the violence and to accept Jesus Christ and find victory. Today I have victory in Christ and I thank Jesus for taking my spirit into His precious hands. Thank you, Jesus.”

Curtis Harris (61st Execution)
Died July 1, 1993 (Received June 7, 1979)

• December 11, 1978 – beat Timmothy Michael Merka with a tire tool and robbed him after Merka rendered assistance to Harris and three co-defendants, including Danny Harris
• Last statement: none

Robert Black Jr. (50th Execution)
Died May 22, 1992 (receive date not listed)

• February 21, 1985 – John Wayne Hearn shot and killed Black’s wife, Sandra, in their Bryan home; Hearn was hired by Black for $10,000 plus expenses through “Soldier of Fortune” magazine (from Associated Press article)
• Last statement: “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
/ And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; /
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
/ Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
/ You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung /
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
/ I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
/ My eager craft through footless halls of air… / Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
/ I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
/ Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -- / And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
/ The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
/ Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” (“High Flight” poem)

David Clark (45th Execution)
Died February 28, 1992 (Received June 30, 1987)

• February 18, 1987 – Shot, stabbed, clubbed Beverly Benninghoff and Charles Gears to death in their home; three co-defendants
• Last statement: none (praised the Lord and seemed to be praying as he laid being injected)


Burleson County

Robert Carter (218th Execution)
Died May 31, 2000 (Received February 23, 1994)
(tried in Bastrop County)
• August 18, 1992 – killed Bobbie Davis, daughter Nicole, and grandchildren De’Nitra, Lea’Erin, Brittany and Jason in the grandmother’s Somerville home, then set the house on fire; Carter had been named in a paternity suit prior; Carter attended the funeral for the victims wrapped in bandages for severe burns; Anthony Graves was also arrested in connection with the murders, but was later exonerated
• Last statement: “To the Davis family, I am sorry for all of the pain that I caused your family. It was me and me alone. Anthony Graves had nothing to do with it. I lied on him in court. My wife had nothing to do with it. Anthony Graves don't even know anything about it. My wife don't know anything about it. But, I hope that you can find your peace and comfort in strength in Christ Jesus alone. Like I said, I am sorry for hurting your family. And it is a shame that it had to come to this. So I hope that you don't find peace, not in my death, but in Christ. Cause He is the only one that can give you the strength that you need. And to my family, I love you. Ah, you have been a blessing to me and I love you all and one day I will see y'all, so I hope y'all find y'all peace, comfort, and strength in Christ Jesus alone, because that's where it's at. Abul, behold your son, and Anitra, behold your mother. I love you. I am ready to go home and be with my Lord.”


Grimes County



Leon County

Robert Madden (123rd Execution)
Died May 28, 1997 (Received February 28, 1986)

• September 15, 1985 – shot and stabbed Herbert Megason and his son Don; bodies were bound and placed in a small creek with brush piled on top
• Last statement: “Yes sir, I do. Well, here we are. I apologize for your loss and your pain, but I didn’t kill those people. Hopefully we will all learn something about ourselves and about each other and we will learn enough to stop the cycle of hate and vengeance and come to value what is really going on in this world. We can’t look back. I forgive everyone for this process, which seems to be wrong. We all end up doing experiences which we create. That is all I have to say about that.”


Madison County



Milam County

Anthony Cook (70th Execution)
Died November 10, 1993 (Received October 28, 1988)

• June 9, 1988 – with Robert Brian Moore of Hearne, abducted UT Law student David Dirck VanTassel Jr. from outside an Austin hotel after he had finished a state bar review; drove VanTassel to a road 14 miles west of Cameron, tied him up, took his watch and wallet, and shot him four times in the head; stole VanTassel’s car and sold it to a man who later IDed the suspects to police; Cook was wearing VanTassel’s watch and had his wallet in his pocket when arrested
• Last statement: “I just want to tell my family I love them, and I thank the Lord Jesus for giving me another chance and for saving me.”


Robertson County



Walker County

Gary Johnson (449th Execution)
Died January 12, 2010 (Received August 19, 1988)

• April 30, 1986 – during burglary of Triple Creek Ranch west of Huntsville with brother Terry Johnson, shot ranch foreman James Hazelton and Peter Sparagana; each was shot three times with at least two different pistols; Gary was a former employee of the ranch where he repaired fences
• Last statement: “Tell my family goodbye. I can't see them. Jenny, you keep your promise to me, O.K.? Dell, you take care of Gaylene always. Dixie, watch over all the kids. Tell them thank you for coming down. Jennie, talk to them O.K.? Talk to Jennie, O.K. Dell, Dell, you tell the rest of them what they did was wrong for letting me fall for what they did. I never done anything in my life to anybody.”


Washington County




Lawrence Brewer (475th Execution)
Died September 21, 2011 (Received September 23, 1999)
(tried in Brazos County from Jasper County)
• June 7, 1998 – kidnapped James Byrd Jr. with two co-defendants, drove him to an isolated logging road, beat and tormented him, tied him to a logging chain hooked up to a pickup, then dragged Byrd to death; all three defendants were members of a white supremacist group
• Last statement: “No, I have no final statement.”

Jesse Jacobs (86th Execution)
Died January 4, 1995 (Received June 17, 1987)
(tried in Walker County from Montgomery County)
• February 21, 1986 – abducted Etta Ann Urdiales from her Conroe apartment, drove her south of The Woodlands, shot her in the head, wrapped her body in a sleeping bag and buried her; Jacobs went on six-month crime spree (nine robberies, six stolen vehicles); stopped in a stolen car near Sierra Blanco on September 9, was returned to Conroe three days later and confessed to the murder; body was discovered September 13; Urdiales was the ex-wife of Jacobs’ sister’s boyfriend; Jacobs said his sister offered him $500 and a place to stay if he killed Urdiales because she was pestering her ex-husband about child support and custody
• Last statement: “I have committed lots of sin in my life, but I am not guilty of this crime. I would like to tell my son, daughter and wife that I love them. Eden, if they want proof of them, give it to them. Thanks for being my friend.”

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