Facing execution, killer receives reprieve during last meal
TEXAS: While having his "final" meal, a convicted murderer who was set to be executed received a reprieve from a federal judge.
Prosecutors had insisted the man had feigned mental illness to avoid the Texas death chamber.
The 45 year old African American convicted murderer had sought habeus corpus relief from the US Circuit court after his appeal had been denied in the federal court of appeals.
The Associated Press Texas News has an article discussing questions of mental illness which led to the reprieve.
For an article on life on Texas Death Row see here.
Gerald Eldridge, 45, was condemned for the fatal shooting of his ex-
girlfriend and her daughter nearly 17 years ago in Houston. Attorneys
contended he was too mentally ill to receive lethal injection and made
those arguments in an appeal to the courts.
U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston agreed to delay the
scheduled punishment for 90 days after the Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals had rejected the appeal Monday.
Gerald Cornelius Eldridge was too intelligent for his own good. At
least that is what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
concluded when it denied Eldridge’s request for a certificate of
appealability on the issue of whether mental retardation renders him
ineligible for the death penalty.
A Houston jury voted to convict Eldridge and sentenced him to death
for killing his former girlfriend, Cynthia Bogany, and her nine-year-
old daughter, Chirissa. The case arose out of a shooting spree that
took place on January 4, 1993, the day on which Eldridge shot Chirissa
between the eyes at point-blank range and then shot Bogany twice in
the head. Eldridge also wounded his own son, Terrell, and another
Eldridge broke into Bogany’s apartment and shot Chirrisa as she slept
on a couch. After chasing Cynthia’s boyfriend from the apartment he
returned to the living room and shot his natural 7-year old son
Terrell in the shoulder. He then chased down Cynthia on a stairwell
outside the apartment and shot her to death as she begged for her
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Omaha, Nebraska, United States