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  1. #11
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    Jury chosen in case of accused child killer

    The final member of a jury was selected Friday in the capital murder case of a man accused in the stomping death of his 3-month-old son.

    A jury of seven women and five men, along with two alternate jurors, are expected to hear the case against Travis James Mullis beginning March 7 in Judge John Ellisor’s 122nd District Court in Galveston.

    Mullis, 24, is accused of stomping on the head of his only child, Alijah, on Jan. 29, 2008.

    Prosecutors are seeking a capital murder conviction and the death penalty.

    Wildlife sightseers found Alijah’s body on a hurricane levee near the easternmost end of Galveston’s seawall.

    Mullis was arrested in Philadelphia, and in a Feb. 2, 2008, videotaped interview with Philadelphia homicide investigators, he described in great detail and acted out the final moments of his son’s life.

    Mullis told investigators he was stressed out and that the only way to make his son stop crying was to kill him, according to the videotaped statement ruled admissible in court last month.

    Mullis put his thumbs on the boy’s throat until he could hear a gurgling sound. He stomped on Alijah’s head three or four times, according to the video.

    Mullis threw the car seat and grabbed a lifeless Alijah, tossing the boy by both legs in the same direction, the recording states.

    Philadelphia police placed a tissue box on the floor and asked Mullis to show them the force he used. Mullis then lightly stepped on the box, the video revealed.

    Mullis remains jailed in solitary confinement on a $1 million bond.

    The jury pool was expected to include 1,600 people, but prosecutors Donna Cameron and Kayla Allen and defense attorneys Robert K. Loper and Gerald Bourque selected a jury from the first draw of 400 people.

    Attorneys questioned jurors for two weeks before finalizing the panel, Cameron said.

    http://www.khou.com/news/Jury-chosen...116534988.html

  2. #12
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    Trial begins for alleged baby-killer

    Travis Mullis faces the death penalty in a trial that begins today in Galveston for allegedly stomping his 3-month-old son to death because the baby wouldn't stop crying.

    Mullis, 24, of Alvin, is also accused of attempting to sexually molest Alijah Mullis on Jan. 30, 2008, before crushing the baby's skull and dumping the body and infant car seat alongside a road on Galveston Island.

    He also faces enticing-a-child charges in Brazoria County for allegedly taking an 8-year-old girl from her bed and asking her to remove her pants. Mullis allegedly returned the girl without molesting her after she became upset.

    The 14 jury members, including two alternates, were selected last month.
    Troubled past

    Mullis's tortured family history and mental illness are likely to be revealed during the trial. Mullis, in an interview, said he was sexually abused as a child and shunned by his mother, who rarely bothers to write and does not visit him in jail.

    Neighbors in the Baltimore, Md., suburb where he grew up said his mother moved out of their home there without telling her son where she was going.

    As a juvenile, Mullis was sent to a juvenile treatment facility because of improper relations with a younger relative.

    A police officer who once lived next to Mullis in Baltimore said he moved his family to another state because he feared for his child.
    Turned himself in

    The day of Alijah's death, Mullis, Alijah and the child's mother, Caren Kohberger, 20, were living in an Alvin trailer park where a friend had invited them to stay because they were penniless, according to police and interviews with those who knew the couple.

    Kohberger handed her son over to Mullis as he left on an errand early the morning of Jan. 30, but ended up on the far east end of Galveston Island where a paved berm separates the highway from a remote section used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dump mud dredged from navigation channels.

    A couple driving along the top of the berm looking for wildlife later that morning discovered Alijah's body and the car seat. Mullis disappeared and police began a nationwide search.

    Several days later Mullis walked into a Philadelphia police station and announced that he was wanted in Texas.

    He said in a statement to Philadelphia police that he became frustrated when his son wouldn't stop crying and stomped on his skull until he felt it give way.

    Mullis was returned to Galveston where bond was set at $1 million.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/7460020.html

  3. #13
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    Witness in Mullis murder trial recalls finding infant's body

    GALVESTON — Jesse Zaro, discovered the body of 3-month-old Alijah Mullis Jan. 29, 2008, face down about 25 feet from the edge of Seawall Boulevard in a remote area of Galveston Island known as Cherry Hill.

    Mullis, who faces the death penalty, is accused of stomping his son to death to keep him from crying. Prosecutors told Galveston County District Judge John Ellisor that they were dropping an accusation that Mullis attempted to molest his son before killing him.

    Later, Mullis held his forefinger under his nose, his hand covering his mouth, and nervously flicked his thumb as prosecutors projected onto a screen photos of his son's tiny body lying on the side of the road. He showed no expression as he gazed steadily at the images.

    The Zaros were driving along the top of a paved embankment watching for wildlife at about 9 a.m. when Zaro saw what he thought was an expensive doll. Then he realized it was the body of a baby.

    "It was lying there and it hurts my heart talking about this," Zaro said.

    Distraught, he ran to the car, then tried to flag down a passing dump truck before remembering that his wife had a cell phone.

    "I've never seen anything like this before and it's horrible Oh my God," Zaro says on a tape of the 911 call played for jurors. "Who would do something like this? It's a baby!"

    Zaro was the first witness to testify after opening statements by the prosecution and defense.

    Assistant Galveston County District Attorney Donna Cameron told the eight woman and six men on the jury, including two alternates, that testimony would show that Mullis confessed to killing his son. After fleeing and becoming a fugitive, Mullis surrendered to Philadelphia police.

    Without being asked, Mullis told police, "I stomped his head, I just kept stomping his head," Cameron said. "This defendant took his infant son, then stomped him and threw him like trash into that field."

    Defense attorney Robert Loper told jurors that although his client might have told police that he intended to kill his son, he was a 21-year old being questioned by veteran police officers. He was so willing to cooperate and tell his story that he told officers what they wanted to hear, Loper said.

    What Mullis meant is more important that what he said, Loper explained.

    "If he meant to stop his child from crying and didn't intentionally cause his death, you should find him not guilty of capital murder," Loper said.

    The innocence-guilt phase of the trial is expected to last a week. If he is found guilty of capital murder, jurors will decide in the second phase whether he deserves the death penalty.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/7460824.html

  4. #14
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    Philadelphia officer describes bizarre confession

    GALVESTON — A Philadelphia police officer testified Tuesday that a capital murder defendant surrendered and said he stomped the head of his 3-month-old son.

    Travis James Mullis, 24, faces the death penalty if convicted in the Jan. 29, 2008, stomping death of his 3-month-old son, Alijah.

    Wildlife sightseers found Alijah’s lifeless body, lying on his stomach on a berm near East Beach in Galveston.

    Prosecutor Kayla Allen called officer Michael Munroe, who testified that Mullis arrived about 2 p.m. Feb. 1, 2008, at Philadelphia police headquarters and said he was wanted on charges of murder, kidnapping and automobile theft.

    Munroe didn’t believe Mullis, but after verifying the information, he detained him and brought him inside the lobby.

    Mullis talks with police

    “He stated, ‘I stomped his head. I kept stomping his head,’” Munroe said, noting Mullis made the unsolicited statement three times.

    “I told him, ‘You don’t have to tell me anything, man,’” Munroe said.

    Mullis’ attorneys, Robert K. Loper and Gerald Bourque, claim their client is not guilty of capital murder because he didn’t intend to kill his son.

    “He didn’t say he stomped on his head because ‘it was my conscious objective to kill him?’” Bourque asked Munroe.

    “No sir,” Munroe said.

    Alijah’s Died ‘Instantly’

    Tuesday marked the second day of testimony in Judge John Ellisor’s 122nd District Court in Galveston.

    Dr. Nobby C. Mambo, a Galveston County medical examiner, performed an autopsy on Alijah. Mambo testified Alijah, who was 22 inches long and 14 pounds, died instantly of blunt-force trauma, the result of a homicide.

    Alijah had abrasions on his face and rectangular patterns on his skull that are consistent with someone stepping on his head with a shoe, Mambo said.

    Prosecutors also called two women who knew the accused child killer and portrayed the defendant as both an attentive father and a freeloader who didn’t work to support his family.

    The women gave jurors a glimpse into the defendant’s past.

    Michele A. Nichols first met Mullis in 2005 during an Internet chat where he pretended to own a record label and produce music, she testified.

    Mullis Lived Rent Free

    Mullis, facing eviction, flew from the East Coast to Houston and lived with Nichols, her former husband and their children.

    Nichols eventually moved to Alvin, where she allowed Mullis, his girlfriend, Caren Kohberger, and Alijah to move into her mobile home.

    Nichols testified neither Mullis nor Kohberger, Alijah’s mother, helped by paying rent or buying food.

    When Alijah became fussy, Mullis tended to him the majority of the time, calming him, feeding him and changing his diaper, Nichols said.

    “What did Caren do during the day?” special prosecutor Lyn McClellan asked Nichols.

    “Not a thing,” Nichols said.

    Nichols didn’t know where Mullis and Kohberger received cash to buy cigarettes or gas.

    Eviction Threatened

    While supporting a nine-person household and with finances diminishing, Nichols’ then-boyfriend, Darrell L. Nichols, on the night before Alijah’s death gave Mullis and Kohberger an order: Find a job and contribute to the household or move.

    In a video expected to be presented as evidence, Mullis tells Philadelphia police investigators he feared eviction and bickered with Kohberger.

    He left the mobile home with Alijah and drove to Galveston where he failed at attempts to comfort the crying child.

    “The only way to make him stop crying was to kill him,” Mullis said on video.

    Mullis left Alijah’s body on the berm and drove Kohberger’s car to the East Coast where he surrendered.

    Alijah’s Grandmother Testifies

    Carolyn Entriken, of New Jersey, testified Tuesday about her daughter, Kohberger, leaving for Texas in 2006. She learned by e-mail that Kohberger was pregnant with Alijah.

    Entriken flew with her former husband to Houston to see her first grandchild when Alijah was a month old.

    The family went to Kemah and a Galveston beach in front of the convention center. Prosecutors showed jurors family photos, most taken by Mullis, of the outing.

    Entriken found Mullis to be talkative and personable. He asked her if he could marry her daughter. Entriken didn’t expect him to ask and didn’t know how he would provide for her.

    Entriken returned home and dreamed of seeing her grandson in a few months, but she buried Alijah in May 2008, in Greenwich, Conn., under the name Alijah James Kohberger.

    Kohberger Had ‘Emotional Issues’

    Kohberger was arrested in connection to her son’s death in Brazoria County on a charge of endangering a child. The charge remains pending.

    Authorities allege she sent Alijah off with Mullis the morning of his death, knowing the defendant was volatile and potentially violent.

    Entriken brought Kohberger home to New Jersey.

    “I would say she had emotional issues,” Entriken said, noting Kohberger suffered from periods of depression.

    Kohberger was placed at Bellevue Hospital in New York, one of the nation’s largest mental-health facilities.

    Kohberger lives in Stamford, Conn., where she works in the retail field. Kohberger is enrolled in college and is doing well, Entriken said.

    Testimony is expected to resume with the state possibly resting its case as early as today.

    Prosecutors are expected to play a video today of Mullis’ statements to police, in which he describes in vivid detail Alijah’s final moments.

    The defense is not expected to call witnesses, according to discussions outside the presence of the jury.

    http://galvestondailynews.com/story/216838

  5. #15
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    Jury to deliberate accused child killer’s fate


    GALVESTON — Jurors are expected to deliberate today the fate of an accused child killer who confessed on videotape to stomping his 3-month-old son to death to stop him from crying.

    Prosecutors and the defense rested their cases Thursday in the capital murder trial of Travis James Mullis, who faces the death penalty if convicted in the Jan. 29, 2008, slaying of his son, Alijah.

    Mullis, 24, admitted on videotape to Philadelphia homicide investigators that he intentionally killed his son. Wildlife sightseers found Alijah’s body, clad only in a diaper, on a berm near East Beach in Galveston.

    “I believed the only way to make him stop crying was to kill him,” Mullis told detectives after surrendering Feb. 1, 2008, at Philadelphia police headquarters.

    Prosecutors played the videotape while Philadelphia police Detective Robert Hesser was on the stand.

    Pausing only to sip water and smoke a cigarette, Mullis detailed the final day of his son’s life and how he then fled to the East Coast.

    Consumed with stress over the fear of eviction from a crowded mobile home in Alvin, Mullis said he’d reached his breaking point when he left with his son and drove to Galveston.

    Panic-driven Screams

    Alijah awoke in the car, possibly from Mullis’ panic-driven screams.

    Mullis tried to comfort Alijah, taking him from the car seat, cradling and bouncing him on his knee.

    “I laid him crossways in the back seat and proceeded to put my hands around his throat,” Mullis said in the video. “(I) applied pressure with my thumbs on his breathing tube. I heard him begin to gurgle.”

    Alijah wiggled and became more upset. Mullis was scared and freaked out, he said in the video.

    Mullis put Alijah on the concrete berm and stomped on the infant’s head three or four times, he said. During the interview, police placed a tissue box on the floor, asking Mullis to demonstrate the amount of force he used. He appeared to step lightly on the box three times.

    Alijah died instantly from blunt-force trauma, the medical examiner testified. Mullis tossed the car seat down the berm, grabbed Alijah by the feet and threw him in the same direction, the video states.

    Contemplating suicide, Mullis went to East Beach but decided against driving into the shallow water of the Gulf.

    He passed by Alijah’s body while leaving Galveston. He made his way to Baltimore, where he believed, mistakenly, his father lived.

    No Mention Of Stops

    Mullis gave detailed descriptions of his many stops at churches along the way, where he begged for gasoline and food money.

    There are some contradictions in the video. Mullis said he drove his girlfriend’s 2002 Hyundai Accent, which holds about 12 gallons of gasoline, from a motel parking lot off Interstate 10, apparently in East Texas, to Tallahassee, Fla.

    The car, owned by Alijah’s mother, Caren Kohberger, was incapable of making the 600-mile journey on one tank of fuel.

    Philadelphia police recovered a pellet gun from the car, and Scott Pena, a Galveston police crime scene investigator, testified he found gasoline receipts in the car from LaPlace, La., Gulfport, Miss., and Marianna, Fla.

    Although Mullis gives precise details of his other stops, he doesn’t mention stopping in Louisiana, Mississippi or Marianna.

    No Defense Witnesses Called

    Although Mullis claimed to suffer from bipolar disorder and other mental health disorders, his defense team presented no witnesses on his behalf.

    Judge John Ellisor, of Galveston’s 122nd District Court in Galveston, sent jurors home Thursday before lunch. Ellisor is expected to read the charge against Mullis this morning.

    Prosecutors Donna Cameron, Kayla Allen and Lyn McClellan want the jury to consider only the capital murder charge and objected to the defense asking the judge to include a lesser charge of serious bodily injury to a child.

    Defense attorneys Robert K. Loper and Gerald Bourque claim Mullis is not guilty of capital murder because it wasn’t his conscious objective to kill Alijah.

    Both prosecutors and the defense are expected to present closing arguments.

    If the jury finds Mullis guilty, prosecutors will ask the panel to sentence the defendant to death.

    Mullis was accused of sexually assaulting Alijah, but prosecutors abandoned that charge at trial, saying evidence related to the charge could be presented to the jury if there is a punishment hearing.

    http://galvestondailynews.com/story/217214

  6. #16
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    Father guilty in stomping death of 3-month-old son

    GALVESTON — A Galveston County jury took about an hour today to convict Travis James Mullis of capital murder for stomping his 3-month-old son to death more than two years ago.

    Mullis, 24, sat with his hand over his mouth as he has for the entire five-day trial, betraying no emotion.

    The defense asked that the jury be polled, and the judge asked each juror individually whether they agreed with the guilty verdict. All said yes.

    Galveston County District Judge John Ellisor dismissed the seven women and five men on the jury and told them to return Monday for the penalty phase of the trial, where they will decide whether Mullis deserves the death penalty.

    Mullis’s attorneys portrayed him as being duped by police into saying he intended to stomp his 3-month-old son to death, but prosecutors told jurors in closing arguments that even Mullis admitted that he was well treated.

    "They were setting the wheels of justice in motion to kill him," defense attorney Gerald Bourque said as he urged jurors to convict Mullis, 24, of injury to a child rather than capital murder.

    Defense attorney Robert Loper argued that Mullis never intended to kill his son, Alijah Mullis, but only wanted to make him stop crying.

    Assistant Galveston County district attorneys Kayla Allen and Donna Cameron argued that Mullis was advised of his rights numerous times before freely admitting that he intended to kill his son and that he knew it was wrong. Cameron said he even complimented Philadelphia police officers who took written and videotaped statements from him on their courtesy.

    "What he tells you is, ‘to stop him from crying, I knew I had to kill him," Allen told jurors. "That’s capital murder, plain and simple."

    Cameron told the seven women and five men on the jury that after stomping on his son’s head, early Jan. 29, 2008, on the side of a Galveston road, "He just hurls him like garbage."

    She quoted Mullis as saying, "I just wanted to get it away from me." Cameron said, "It was no longer a child it was evidence that linked him to the crime."

    Finally she told the jury, "I want you to stand up for Alijah," asking jurors to find Mullis guilty of capital murder.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/7467876.html

  7. #17
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    Mullis’ death penalty hearing Monday

    Prosecutors are expected to ask a jury today to sentence to death a man convicted of fatally stomping Alijah, his 3-month-old son.

    Travis James Mullis, 24, of Alvin, was convicted Friday of capital murder by the same jury, which deliberated his fate for less than an hour.

    Mullis confessed on videotape to Philadelphia police to the Jan. 29, 2008, stomping death of his son to stop his crying.

    Sightseers found Alijah’s body on an isolated berm near Galveston’s East Beach. Mullis then fled to the East Coast before surrendering Feb. 1.

    Jurors must reach a unanimous decision on two questions related to future dangerousness and mitigating evidence before a death sentence could be imposed.

    Mullis’ defense team of Robert K. Loper and Gerald Bourque presented no witnesses during five days of trial testimony.

    The team did list 10 expert witnesses, including psychologists, a prison expert, a neonatologist, a forensic DNA expert and a psychiatrist.

    In a Dec. 30 jailhouse interview with The Daily News, Mullis said he moved to Texas when he was 18 and he was sexually abused as a child.

    Mullis, a native of Abingdon, Md., said he was diagnosed in March 1999 with bipolar disorder, which originally was misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    If the jury of seven women and five men sentences Mullis to death, he would become the second inmate on Texas’ death row from Galveston County.

    Gaylon George Walbey Jr., 36, was sentenced to die for a 1993 murder in Galveston, but an appeals court overturned the sentence, saying his attorney failed to investigate his troubled childhood and mitigating mental-health circumstances.

    Although Mullis was charged with capital murder and aggravated sexual assault of a child, prosecutors abandoned the sexual assault charge at trial, saying it could be used during a punishment hearing.

    Mullis’ penalty phase would mark the first death penalty hearing in Galveston County since the mid 1990s. The state has executed five inmates from Galveston County since 1994.

    +++

    Galveston County Death Penalty Sentences

    On Death Row

    • Gaylon George Walbey Jr., 36

    Prior occupation: Laborer

    Walbey was convicted of capital murder in the May 4, 1993, slaying of his former foster mother, Marionett Beyah, 46, who was a Galveston College instructor.

    When Walbey was 18, he broke into Beyah’s Galveston home, and upon her return stabbed her 12 times in the neck and back and hit her nine times in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records.

    On Jan. 19, 2009, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Walbey’s death sentence on grounds his attorney failed to investigate mitigating circumstances related to Walbey’s mental state and troubled childhood.

    Walbey remains at the Galveston County Jail, pending a new sentencing hearing.

    Inmates Executed Since 1994

    • Robert Alan Shields Jr., 30

    Prior occupation: Sales

    Shields was executed Aug. 23, 2005, and declined to give any last words.

    Shields was convicted of the Sept. 21, 1994, slaying of Paula Stiner, 27, during the burglary of her Friendswood residence.

    When Stiner returned from work and confronted Shields, then 19, he beat her with a hammer and repeatedly stabbed her. Stiner suffered 28 cut and stab wounds.

    • James Roy Knox, 50

    Prior occupation: Drywall finisher

    Knox was executed Sept. 18, 2001, and declined to give any last words.

    Knox was convicted in the November 1982 robbery and fatal shooting of Joseph Sanchez, 39, who owned Joe’s Pharmacy in Galveston.

    When Sanchez refused to surrender drugs, Knox, then 31, shot him through the heart and demanded drugs from employee Ronald Dya, who surrendered $80 in Demerol. Knox fled with cash.

    • Timothy Lane Gribble, 36

    Prior occupation: Mechanic, roofer

    Gribble was executed March 15, 2000, and his last words included an apology.

    Gribble was convicted in the September 1987 sexual assault and strangulation of Elizabeth "Libby" Jones, 36, of Clear Lake Shores.

    Gribble, then 24, worked on the victim’s home and returned after work under the guise he left his wallet. Gribble drove Jones to an isolated place in League City and strangled her with the sash of a robe she wore.

    Gribble’s prior prison record included an indictment in the June, 13, 1987, strangulation death of Donna Weis.

    • Warren Eugene Bridge, 34

    Prior occupation: Cashier, restaurant worker

    Bridge was executed Nov. 22, 1994, and said only "I’ll see you" in his final words.

    Bridge was convicted in the Feb. 10, 1980, robbery and fatal shooting of convenience store clerk Walter Rose, 62. Rose was shot four times with a .38-caliber pistol and died Feb. 24, 1980. Bridge, then 19, and a co-defendant robbed the store of $24.

    • Harold Amos Barnard, 51

    Prior occupation: Carpenter

    Barnard was executed Feb. 2, 1994, and in his final words prayed to God, saying he was sorry for his sins.

    Barnard was convicted of the June 6, 1980, robbery and fatal shooting of convenience store clerk Tuan Nguyen, 16. Barnard shot Nguyen once in the heart with a sawed-off, .22-caliber rifle in a Galveston store managed by the victim’s family. Barnard, then 37, and three co-defendants were arrested 30 minutes later on Interstate 45 just north of Galveston. Police found the murder weapon in the car.

    Pre-1994 Executions

    • Chester Wicker, 37, was executed Aug. 26, 1986.

    The state also lists the executions of Humphrey Henderson; Joseph Saulter; Herman Ross; Richard McMurrin; and Carl Harris between 1923 and 1973.

    This story was brought to you thanks to khou.com’s partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.

    http://www.khou.com/news/local/Mulli...117928509.html

  8. #18
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    Children testify of abuse in Mullis trial

    Hiding behind a big, blue stuffed animal on her lap, a nervous 11-year-old girl reluctantly testified Monday that Travis James Mullis asked her to pull her pants down in the early morning darkness a few hours before he used his foot to crush his 3-year-old son's skull.

    The halting testimony of the girl, who was 8 when the incident occurred, was one of a series of sexual misconduct allegations, coupled with testimony about violent behavior. on the first day of the punishment phase of his capital murder trial before state District Judge John Ellisor. Mullis was convicted Friday of killing his son, Alijah, on Feb. 29, 2008, to make him stop crying.

    Prosecutors asked the seven women and five men to sentence him to death. Life in prison without parole is the only other option. The Mullis trial is the first death penalty case in Galveston County since 1995.

    The girl's 12-year-old brother testified that Mullis twice asked him to pull down his pants, a 19-year-old cousin testified that Mullis molested her when she was 8, and Assistant District Attorney Kayla Allen told the jury that evidence would show that Mullis sexually molested his son before killing him.

    Prosecutors dropped a sexual assault charge against Mullis at the beginning of the guilt-innocence phase of the trial last week.

    Long pauses followed questions to the 11-year-old, who seemed to take refuge behind her stuffed animal. She said Mullis asked her to pull her pants down, then tried unsuccessfully to pull them down when she refused.

    Mullis' cousin is from the Baltimore suburb where Mullis grew up. She testified he molested her repeatedly and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. The identities of these witnesses are being withheld because of the sexual assault allegations.

    Mullis is the victim of sexual abuse as well, defense attorney Gerald Bourque told jurors.

    Mullis was sexually assaulted by his adoptive father when he was 3, Bourqe said.

    "Inside that family, pedophilia is rampant," Bourque said, referring to the father's side of the family.

    His mother, who was his adoptive father's half-sister, was obese, smoked four packs of cigarettes a day, drank numerous cups of coffee daily, and was smoking the day before Mullis was born, Bourque said.

    His mother's unhealthy habits contributed to Mullis' need for an operation soon after birth. As he lay in the hospital recovering from surgery, his mother refused to touch him, Bourque said.

    "It was a tragic life he was born into," Bourque said. "It started badly and it just got worse."

    While cross-examining prosecution witnesses, Bourque reeled off a long list of mental health problems that afflicted Mullis, ranging from head-banging and depression to suicidal tendencies.

    Perhaps even more damning to Mullis was a list of initials of family and acquaintances that Mullis' adoptive uncle, Steven Barry, 45, of Baltimore, described as Mullis' hit list. Further testimony is expected to reveal more about the list and its origin.

    Proving that Mullis is a future danger to others would give the jury a reason to condemn him to death. Texas is one of two states where future dangerousness merits execution.

    Mullis, 24, and Caren Kohberger, Alijah's mother, were jobless and penniless when the family of the brother and sister who testified Monday allowed them to stay in their Alvin trailer.

    Worried that the girl would tell her parents about his conduct and they would be evicted, Mullis left the trailer where he lived and headed to Galveston to ponder his predicament with Alijah in the back seat.

    Kohberger had forced Mullis to take their son as a guarantee that he would return instead of staying away for days as he had in the past.

    Mullis, in a statement to police, said he stopped on a remote section of Seawall Boulevard. He began yelling and woke his son. Alijah began crying, according to Mullis' account, and he decided to kill him to keep him quiet. He said he stomped on the child's skull until he felt it give way.

    Mullis fled and and surrendered to Philadelphia police Feb. 1, 2008. He gave written and videotaped statements in which he gave a detailed account of the crime.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...o/7472174.html

  9. #19
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    Deputy: Mullis wrote 'hit list' on cell wall

    Travis James Mullis covered a wall in his cell in the Galveston County Jail with gang graffiti and a hit list with 62 names, according to testimony today that prosecutors hope will convince a jury to give him the death penalty.

    Mullis used ink and toothpaste to cover the walls in the cell he has inhabited since his arrest for stomping to death his son, 3-month-old Alijah Mullis, Jan. 29, 2008, to stop him from crying.

    The seven women and five men on the jury convicted him Friday of capital murder.

    Jail Deputy Kenneth Dunn, under questioning by Assistant Galveston County District Attorney Kayla Allen, said he discovered the graffiti.

    “Mullis told me those were people who (messed with him) at home,” Dunn testified.

    If prosecutors can show Mullis is a future danger, the jury will have a reason to sentence him to death.

    Under questioning by defense attorney Gerald Bourque, Dunn said that Mullis had also covered the wall with graffiti from white racist, black and Mexican-American gangs.

    He admitted that gangs kill non-gang members who appropriate their graffiti. Dunn also agreed that Mullis, because he had killed a child, would be at the bottom of the pecking order and his life would be in danger if he were sent to prison

    “We are seeing Travis James Mullis create his own death warrant,” Bourque said, noting that if any gang member had seen the graffiti he would have to report it to the gang leadership.

    Prosecutors are expected to present evidence that Mullis sexually molested his son before crushing his skull on a Galveston roadside and flinging his body away from the road.

    A 19-year-old woman, Mullis' adopltive cousin, testified Monday that he molested her when she was 8 in the Baltimore suburb where she and Mullis were raised.

    Also testifying were a 12-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, who testified that Mullis had attempted to molest them after their mother and her boyfriend took in the penniless Mullis, his girlfriend Caren Kohberger and their son, Alijah.

    The girl testified that Mullis asked her to pull her pants down in the early morning hours before he killed his son.

    Worried that the girl would tell her mother, Mullis left with his son in the rear seat of his car and drove to Galveston to ponder his predicament. He said in written and video statements that he killed his son to stop him from crying.

    He fled to Philadelphia, where he surrendered to police Feb. 1, 2008, and gave his statements.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/7472900.html

  10. #20
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    Investigator tells of convicted murderer's squalid childhood

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