Smith Co. death row inmate dodges execution, for now - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Smith Co. death row inmate dodges execution, for now

Posted: Updated:
Christina Muse & Son Cody (Courtesy Muse Family) Christina Muse & Son Cody (Courtesy Muse Family)
TYLER (KYTX) -

Attorneys for Troy Clark called for a reprieve Monday in the murderer's ongoing attempts to avoid the death penalty.

Clark was convicted in 1998 of killing 20-year-old Christina Muse and was believed to have exhausted all of his legal avenues for avoiding the death penalty earlier this year.

During a hearing in Smith County's 7th District Court, Clark's trial attorney, Bobby Mims, raised the issue of two recent Supreme Court rulings that some people read to expand the rights of defendants in capital crimes when they're raising appeals based on ineffective assistance of council. Mims asked the court to hold off on setting Clark's execution date.

One of Clark's appellate attorney, Jeff Haas, told Judge Kerry Russell the rulings put attorneys in his position in an ethical dilemma.

Clark, when asked directly, asked Judge Russell to go ahead and set his execution date.

Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham argued that the defense attorneys should have raised the issue earlier and had not properly informed the court of their intent to do so. Bingham reminded the judge that Clark himself was not asking for a stay.

Clark then told Judge Russell he was not sure what was going on.

Judge Russell explained that the attorneys were essentially asking that he appoint a fourth attorney to explore what, if anything, could be done based on the new ruling to potentially save Clark's life.

Bingham argued that setting a date would not preclude Clark's defense raising this issue in the future.

Later in the hearing, Clark told Judge Russell he would not mind waiting to see whether this new opportunity might result in staying his execution or reversing it all together.

Russell said he had been prepare to set an execution date 91 days in the future, and that he did not believe that would allow for enough time to involve the necessary state level agencies in pursuing an additional appeal.

Ultimately, the proposed date was vacated with a tentative plan to appoint new representation for Clark as he pursues a new appeal.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Texas is among hottest job markets

    Web Exclusive: Texas is among hottest job markets

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:42 AM EDT2014-09-15 13:42:30 GMT
    The city you live in could play a major factor in landing that dream gig if you're on the job hunt.  A new survey is suggesting parts of the country expect an increase in the labor force.More >>
    The city you live in could play a major factor in landing that dream gig if you're on the job hunt.  A new survey is suggesting parts of the country expect an increase in the labor force.More >>
  • Kilgore Restore Projects Gain Support

    Kilgore Restore Projects Gain Support

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:05 AM EDT2014-09-15 04:05:28 GMT
    KILGORE (KYTX) - This group of men and women gather around this chipped, scratched, and vandalized sign that welcomes people into Dansby Village to discuss plans to fix it. Abandoned stores around this neighborhood show signs of a once thriving community, and this group is hoping to attract businesses back. Their first project is repairing these entry signs. Founder of RESTORE! Kilgore, LaMont Wheat says making the neighborhood look better is the first step to attracting businesses."Our inten...More >>
    KILGORE (KYTX) - This group of men and women gather around this chipped, scratched, and vandalized sign that welcomes people into Dansby Village to discuss plans to fix it. Abandoned stores around this neighborhood show signs of a once thriving community, and this group is hoping to attract businesses back. Their first project is repairing these entry signs. Founder of RESTORE! Kilgore, LaMont Wheat says making the neighborhood look better is the first step to attracting businesses."Our inten...More >>
  • Tyler woman warning others about scam

    Tyler woman warning others about scam

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:19 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:19:12 GMT
    TYLER (KYTX) - An East Texas woman avoids a scam that she says could have cost her thousands of dollars.More >>
    TYLER (KYTX) - An East Texas woman avoids a scam that she says could have cost her thousands of dollars.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.