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Roderick Newton - Texas
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Thread: Roderick Newton - Texas

  1. #1
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    Roderick Newton - Texas

    Facts of the Crime:

    On March 9, 1999, Newton and one co-defendant carjacked Jesus Montoya, 20, forced him to an ATM at gunpoint, then shot and killed him.

    Newton was sentenced to death in March 2000.

  2. #2
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    On March 31, 2008, Newton was denied a Certificate of Appealability by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

    Opinion is here:

    http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions...0022.0.wpd.pdf

  3. #3
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    April 1, 2008

    HOUSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of a Texas death row inmate condemned for abducting a Dallas man from a car wash, forcing him to make an ATM withdrawal from a bank and then fatally shooting him.

    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal from Roderick Newton, 30, convicted of the March 1999 slaying of Jesus Montoya, 20. Montoya was shot twice and left dead in a field in Mesquite, east of Dallas.

    At the time of the killing, Newton was wanted by authorities in Dallas for violating probation from an earlier misdemeanor theft conviction.

    He does not have an execution date. All executions in Texas and other states are on an informal hold until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a Kentucky case that is challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection as the method of execution.

    A second man charged in Montoya's case, Julian Paul Williams, testified against Newton and accepted a 10-year prison term.

    In his appeal, Newton raised five issues, including a challenge to the rejection of a potential juror and accusing the prosecutor of improperly questioning Newton's right not to testify. He also questioned the trial court judge's answer to a jury question during punishment, questioned the judge's handling of mitigating evidence, and said his trial lawyer was ineffective by failing to present evidence that could have spared him the death penalty.

    Newton's lawyers acknowledged some of his claims had not been exhausted in the state courts but blamed that on a poor lawyer initially handling the appeal.

    The New Orleans-based appeals court released its decision late Monday.

    At his trial eight years ago, prosecutors presented evidence that Newton, a native of Hartford, Conn., had 27 misdemeanors and felony offenses over a seven-year juvenile and adult criminal record.

    Montoya was shot after being forced to withdraw $200 from an ATM. Evidence showed Newton also took Montoya's shoes and necklace, then pawned the jewelry the next day.

    Newton was arrested about two weeks later after Williams was picked up during a traffic stop and cooperated with police. Newton was arrested after a police chase that ended with him crashing into a car, then running from the scene on foot. He was found a few minutes later hiding in a trash bin.

  4. #4
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    July 21, 2009

    Media Advisory: Roderick Newton scheduled for execution

    AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information about Roderick D. Newton, Jr. who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2009.

    In 2000, Newton was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder and robbery of Jesus Montoya. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

    FACTS OF THE CRIME

    On March 8, 1999, Roderick Newton and Julian Williams went to a car wash in Pleasant Grove in Dallas looking for someone to rob. Newton, who was armed, started a conversation with Jesus Montoya who was washing his truck. After a few minutes, Newton, Williams and Montoya left the car wash and drove to a bank, where Newton forced Montoya to withdraw $200 from an ATM.

    Newton next drove Montoya’s truck to a vacant field, where he told Montoya to take off his shoes, forced him out of the truck, took his gold chain and cross, and shot Montoya several times. Newton left Montoya in the field and drove his truck back to the car wash, where he and Williams got back into Newton’s car and drove away.

    The next afternoon, Newton pawned Montoya’s gold chain and cross.

    On March 9, 1999, a neighbor noticed that Montoya’s truck was still at the car wash. After discovering Williams’s fingerprint on glass in the passenger’s side of Montoya’s truck, Mesquite police arrested Williams who gave a statement implicating Newton in Montoya’s murder. Mesquite police then attempted to arrest Newton, who led them on a high speed car chase before finally being arrested. In processing Newton’s car, Mesquite police discovered a .35 caliber gun and two Texas ID cards in the vehicle’s glove box.

    PROCEDURAL HISTORY

    Mar. 8, 1999 — A Dallas County grand jury indicted Newton for the capital murder of Jesus Montoya.
    Feb. 25, 2000 — Judgment was entered after a jury found Newton guilty of capital murder as alleged in the indictment.
    Mar. 1, 2000 — The jury answered the punishment special issues affirmatively. The court assessed a sentence of death.
    Jan. 31, 2001 — Newton filed a direct appeal with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
    Dec. 10, 2001 — Newton filed for state habeas relief in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
    June 12, 2002 — Newton’s conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
    Jan. 15, 2003 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Newton’s application for state habeas relief.
    Jan. 14, 2004 — Newton filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus in a U.S. district court.
    Mar. 28, 2007 — The federal district court denied Newton’s federal habeas petition.
    Apr. 15, 2007 — Newton filed a motion for a certificate of appealability (“COA”) with the U.S. district court.
    Apr. 25, 2007 — The federal district court denied Newton’s COA motion.
    Nov. 27, 2007 — Newton requested a COA in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
    Mar. 13, 2008 — Newton’s request for COA was denied by the Fifth Circuit Court.
    July 28, 2008 — Newton filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Oct. 6, 2008 — Newton’s petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Mar. 24, 2009 — The trial court judge signed a death warrant, ordering Newton be executed after 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2009.

    PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

    In May, 1993, Newton threatened to kill two officers after he was arrested for making terroristic threats to an elderly person.

    One of Newton’s neighbors testified that in October 1993, someone stole several items from her car. While Newton was never arrested for this crime, the neighbor testified that she later recovered the items from Newton’s home.

    In November 1993, when one of Newton’s teachers confronted him for sleeping in class, Newton attacked him, forcing the teacher to physically remove Newton from the classroom and call police. Newton later telephoned the teacher and threatened to “eliminate” him.

    In 1994, Newton was stopped for suspicious behavior, but ran from the police. When finally caught, he falsely identified himself.

    In November 1996, an officer saw Newton and another person working under the hood of a car. As the officer approached them, they immediately started walking away from the car. When the officer attempted to speak with Newton, he again ran from the police. Newton was eventually convicted of evading arrest for this incident.

    In October 1997, when stopped for traffic violations, Newton identified himself by another name, but stated he did not have any form of identification. Newton was later convicted of failing to identify himself as a fugitive from justice.

    In November 1997, Newton was convicted and given a probated sentence for unlawfully carrying a weapon and theft of services. His probation was later revoked because Newton failed to comply with its terms.

    In December 1997, Newton led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle. Newton eventually ran from the car, but was later arrested. Newton was convicted of evading arrest and possession of marijuana.

    In February 1998, Newton robbed two women. In relation to this incident, Newton was found guilty of two counts of theft of property from a person, and sentenced to five years probation.

    Newton’s probation officer testified that Newton did not attend his first probation meeting because eight days after being placed on probation, he was arrested again for a burglary of a vehicle. Newton later lied to the officer about his place of residence. At his second meeting with his probation officer, Newton tested positive for marijuana. Newton failed to make any more of his required probation meetings, and his probation was consequently revoked.

    Newton also caused problems while he was being held in the Dallas County Jail for the capital murder of Jesus Montoya. Specifically, Newton assaulted and threatened an officer.

    http://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=3061

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    July 21, 2009

    Texas inmate likely to get reprieve from execution

    A convicted murderer facing execution this week for an abduction and slaying a decade ago likely will get a reprieve after Dallas County prosecutors turned over misplaced evidence to defense attorneys.

    Attorneys for Texas death row inmate Roderick Newton said the 1st of 3 statements given to detectives by a co-defendant who testified against Newton was improperly withheld from his trial lawyers. It could have been used to discredit the codefendant's testimony but defense attorneys didn't know it existed.

    The claim was among several appeals issues Newton's attorneys filed with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, asking it to block the lethal injection set for Thursday in Huntsville.

    Newton, 31, was convicted in the death of Jesus Montoya, 20, of Dallas, who was abducted from a car wash, forced to make an ATM withdrawal, robbed of his jewelry and then fatally shot and dumped in a vacant lot in Mesquite.

    Police arrested Julian Paul Williams, whose fingerprints were found in Montoya's truck, and Williams told them of Newton's involvement in Montoya's slaying. Williams served a 10-year prison term and is now free. Newton got death.

    Dallas County prosecutors found a written questionnaire from Williams — 1 of 3 statements he gave police in Mesquite — in a police file while reviewing the 10-year-old case within the past couple of weeks.

    At Newton's trial, his attorneys were aware of only 2 statements.

    In the newly discovered questionnaire, Williams told police he knew nothing of the slaying and wasn't involved, denials trial attorneys could have used to cast doubts on his later testimony.

    The district attorney's office gave the statement to Newton's appeals lawyers, who in their appeals court filing credited prosecutors for "remarkable candor" in making the disclosure.

    A ruling from the court will make the reprieve formal. Kimberly Schaefer, an assistant district attorney who handles capital case appeals in Dallas County, said it was nearly certain the execution would not take place.

    "I've told the victim's family I'm 99.99 % sure the execution is not going forward," she said.

    One of Newton's lawyers, David Finn, said he expects the execution to be postponed indefinitely.

    Newton's lawyers also had raised claims he was mentally impaired, making him ineligible for execution, a hearing should have been held on Newton's competency to stand trial and he had deficient legal help at his trial.

    Prosecutors opposed those claims but agreed to litigate the issue involving the codefendant's recently discovered statement. One possible outcome could be a new trial.

    Newton had more than 2 dozen misdemeanor and felony offenses on his record and was a probation violator wanted for Montoya's slaying when he tried to elude police during an evening rush-hour chase in March 1999. After slamming into a parked car and running off on foot, he was found a few minutes later hiding in a garbage bin.

    Police who arrested him had to use pepper spray to get Newton out of the trash container.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

  6. #6
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    July 22, 2009

    HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday stopped the scheduled execution of a condemned inmate after misplaced evidence surfaced related to the abduction, robbing and fatal shooting of a Dallas man a decade ago.

    Roderick Newton, 31, was set to die Thursday. Prosecutors and defense attorneys had anticipated a reprieve after Dallas County authorities gave Newton's lawyers a police questionnaire uncovered in a review of the case. The evidence was given to them within the last two weeks.

    Newton was condemned for the death of Jesus Montoya, 20, of Dallas, who in 1999 was abducted from a car wash, forced to make an ATM withdrawal, robbed of his jewelry and then shot and dumped in a vacant lot in Mesquite.

    Dallas County prosecutors cleared the way for the reprieve when they agreed Tuesday with Newton's attorneys that the courts should review the possible impact of the questionnaire, which was filled out by a key prosecution witness at Newton's trial but never given to Newton's trial lawyers.

    It was the first of three statements made to Mesquite detectives by a co-defendant who testified against Newton. Only two, however, were known to Newton's trial attorneys.

    The inmate's appeals lawyers, seeking to block the lethal injection, told the Court of Criminal Appeals it was improperly withheld and could have been used to discredit the co-defendant's testimony.

    Police arrested the co-defendant, Julian Paul Williams, whose fingerprints were found in Montoya's truck, and Williams told them of Newton's involvement in Montoya's slaying. He served a 10-year prison term and is now free. Newton got death.

    Prosecutors found the written questionnaire from Williams in a police file while recently reviewing the 10-year-old case. In the questionnaire, Williams told police he knew nothing of the slaying and wasn't involved, a story he changed in subsequent statements.

    The appeals court returned Newton's case to his Dallas County trial court for a hearing on the evidence issue. The appeals court also agreed with Newton's lawyers that their claim Newton was mentally impaired and ineligible for execution should be reviewed.

    The court dismissed other defense claims that Newton should have had a hearing on his competency to stand trial and that he had deficient legal help at his trial.

    Newton had more than two dozen misdemeanor and felony offenses on his record and was a probation violator when he became wanted for Montoya's slaying. He was arrested hiding in a garbage bin after fleeing on foot following a car chase that had ended with him crashing into a parked car.

    Texas leads the nation with 16 executions this year. At least 10 inmates have execution dates in the coming months. Scheduled to die next is David Wood, 52, a convicted serial killer facing lethal injection Aug. 20 for the slayings of six women and girls in the El Paso area over three months in 1987.

  7. #7
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    Today Newton's conviction and sentence were overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

    Opinon is here:

    http://www.cca.courts.state.tx.us/OP...PINIONID=20351

  8. #8
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    Dallas death penalty case thrown out by court

    HOUSTON — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has thrown out the conviction of a man sent to death row for the the abduction, robbery and fatal shooting of a Dallas man more than 11 years ago.

    The state's highest criminal court said Wednesday it agreed with a Dallas judge who found prosecutors at the 2000 trial of 32-year-old Roderick Newton improperly withheld evidence that could vindicate him.

    Newton was condemned for the 1999 death of 20-year-old Jesus Montoya, of Dallas. His body was found in a vacant lot in Mesquite.

    Newton was scheduled to die last year. His punishment was stopped after Dallas Courty authorities gave Newton's lawyers a police questionnaire uncovered in a review of the case. That evidence never had been given to Newton's trial attorneys.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7298889.html

  9. #9
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    Dallas death penalty case thrown out by court

    HOUSTON — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday threw out the conviction of a man sent to death row for the abduction, robbery and fatal shooting of a Dallas man more than 11 years ago.

    The state's highest criminal court agreed with a Dallas judge who found prosecutors had improperly withheld evidence that could have vindicated 32-year-old Roderick Newton at a trial in 2000.

    Newton was condemned for the March 1999 death of Jesus Montoya, 20, of Dallas. Montoya was abducted from a car wash, forced to make an ATM withdrawal and robbed of his jewelry. He was then shot and his body dumped in a vacant lot in Mesquite, immediately east of Dallas.

    Newton had been scheduled to die in July 2009 but the Court of Criminal Appeals stayed his execution after Dallas County authorities discovered a police questionnaire that had been filled out by a key prosecution witness but never given to Newton's trial attorneys.

    Newton's appeals lawyers argued the questionnaire — the first of three statements made to Mesquite detectives by a co-defendant who testified against Newton — was improperly withheld and could have been used to discredit the co-defendant's testimony.

    In the questionnaire, Julian Paul Williams told police he knew nothing of the slaying and wasn't involved. He changed his story in subsequent statements.

    Williams' fingerprints were found in Montoya's truck. He served a 10-year prison term and was released. Newton got a death sentence. Evidence showed that a day after the slaying, he pawned jewelry belonging to the murder victim.

    After stopping Newton's scheduled execution, the appeals court last year returned the case to his Dallas County trial court for a hearing on the evidence issue.

    Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said Wednesday that rather than retrying the case, his office and Newton's lawyers reached a plea agreement where Newton gets off death row in exchange for two stacked life sentences.

    "He's not getting out," Watkins said.

    Newton, a native of Hartford, Conn., had more than two dozen misdemeanor and felony offenses on his record. He was a probation violator when he became wanted for Montoya's slaying.

    About two weeks after Montoya's body was found, he was arrested hiding in a garbage bin after a police chase.

    In a second death penalty case, the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to further examine the nearly 3-decade-old case of Arthur Lee Williams for killing a Houston police officer.

    Williams was convicted of the fatal shooting of Daryl Wayne Shirley, 34, a Houston police detective, in April 1982. Shirley was gunned down as he tried to serve a warrant on Williams, who was wanted in Minnesota for parole violations.

    The appeals court asked for briefs from prosecutors and lawyers for Williams regarding questions about whether his trial attorneys did a proper job. Williams' appeal also raised questions about the constitutionality of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and how it applies to questions jurors must consider when deliberating a death sentence.

    Williams, 51, is among the longest-serving death row inmates in Texas. He was 22 when he was arrested two days after the shooting and has been on death row since May 1983.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7299689.html

  10. #10
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    Newton's been officially resentenced to life.

    http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/permanentout.htm

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