TJ Jones Executed For Willard Davis Murder

TJ Jones was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of Willard Davis

According to court documents seventeen year old TJ Jones would carjack seventy five year old Willard Davis who would be fatally shot during the robbery. TJ would be arrested shortly after with the murder weapon on him

TJ Jones would be convicted and sentenced to death

TJ Jones would be executed by lethal injection on August 8 2002

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TJ Jones Texas Execution

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When Was TJ Jones Executed

TJ Jones was executed on August 8 2002

TJ Jones Case

Jones, 25, who was 17 when he was arrested for killing an East Texas man during a 1994 carjacking, was executed Thursday evening.

Strapped to the Texas death chamber gurney, Jones greeted his mother, an aunt and two friends with smiles. He then turned to apologize to relatives of the 75-year-old retired electrician, Willard Davis, who was gunned down outside his Longview home after surrendering his car to Jones and three accomplices.

“I regret the pain I put y’all through,” he said. “I hope y’all can move on after this.”

He looked back toward his mother and told her he loved her.

“Take care,” he said.

Seven minutes later, after a lethal mixture of drugs was pumped into his arms, he was pronounced dead

Jones became the 20th inmate put to death this year in Texas and the second in as many days.

Jones’ sentence, particularly because of his age at the time of the crime, renewed criticism of capital punishment from traditional death penalty opponents.

Among them was the European Union, an organization of European delegates to the United States, which said in a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry that the execution of juvenile offenders “is contrary to widely accepted human rights norms and the minimum standards of human rights set forth by the United Nations.”

Texas is among 22 states that allow capital punishment for 17-year-olds.

“First of all, Texas law says if you’re 17 or older, you’re an adult for all purposes,” said Alfonso Charles, a Gregg County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Jones. “And the Supreme Court has said even a 16-year-old is.

“And personally, I feel a 17-year-old knows right from wrong, especially the actions that T.J. did.”

Jones, who had exhausted his legal avenues and had no appeals in the courts as his execution date approached, became the 12th Texas inmate and the 20th in the United States put to death since 1976 for a murder committed when the killer was younger than 18. In May, and amid much greater outcry from death penalty opponents, Napoleon Beazley received lethal injection in Texas for killing the father of a federal judge. Like Jones, Beazley was 17 at the time of the crime.

Only about a half-dozen protesters stood quietly outside the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit as the execution took place Thursday.

Evidence showed Jones and three partners approached Davis the mid-afternoon of Feb. 2, 1994, and demanded his red Chrysler LeBaron. Davis gave up the car but balked when they ordered him into the car and was shot in the head with a .357-caliber Magnum.

Witnesses saw Jones and his companions get in the car and drive away. Davis’ wife of 56 years, Geraldine, heard the shots from inside her house and was among the first to see the body.

“It has been easier than I thought,” she said after watching Jones die. “I guess I should think 8 years is quick according to what some of them have been. I’m just glad it’s over. I have a lot of sympathy for his mother. I really do. I hope she’ll be able to go on too, like I will have to.”

“I’m just glad the jury’s sentence is finally being carried out,” Charles, who also witnessed the punishment, said. “The right thing happened tonight.

All four teenagers were arrested soon after the shooting when the car was disabled by a blown tire.

Jones’ partners were convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity and received long prison terms.

Testimony showed Jones lived in a gang house with the then-16-year-old mother of his child and was addicted to smoking marijuana laced with embalming fluid. He had been arrested repeatedly as a juvenile for burglary and police said the gang was believed responsible for numerous assaults.

Three days before the Davis killing, authorities determined Jones shot a convenience store clerk during a robbery in nearby Tyler. The victim survived five gunshot wounds and testified against Davis in the punishment phase of the capital murder trial.

Another two executions are set for next week, and two more for later in the month, including Toronto Patterson, who was 17 in 1995 when he was arrested for shooting a mother and her two young daughters at their home in Dallas.

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