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Britta
Wood seeks reprieve
Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:22pm
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Wood seeks reprieve
By Caleb Chapman
The Daily Times

Published August 9, 2008
Jeffery Lee Wood does not deserve to die.

That’s the plea made in an application to the Texas Board of Pardons
and Parole seeking clemency for the man sentenced to death for the
1996 murder of a Kerrville convenience store clerk, Kriss Keeran.

“I think he is the ideal candidate for clemency,” said San Antonio
Attorney Scott Sullivan, who has represented Wood since 1999. “We are
asking for a sentence less than death.”

Wood is scheduled to die by lethal injection Aug. 21.

Wood’s roommate, Daniel Reneau, also was convicted of Keeran’s death.
Reneau was executed in 2002.

Evidence showed that Reneau entered the store at Texas 16 and
Interstate 10 just before dawn on Jan. 2, 1996 and shot Keeran.

Records show Wood was waiting outside the store and came in after
Keeran was shot.

Wood and Reneau then robbed the store of a video recorder with a tape
showing the incident, a safe and more than $11,000 in cash and
checks, according to reports.

The appeal to the state board points out that Keeran and William
“Bill” Bunker, the assistant manager of the convenience store, were
involved in discussions with Wood and Reneau prior to the robbery.
Apparently on the day of the incident, Keeran changed his mind and
did not cooperate.

“Reneau — the only person inside the store and who carried a weapon —
alone made the decision to take Keeran’s life,” the application
stated. “Mr. Wood’s culpability for Kriss Keeran’s death lies
somewhere between Daniel Reneau’s and Bill Bunker’s.”

Sullivan claims that because Wood did not pull the trigger, he is as
liable of the murder as Bunker, who was never charged in the case. He
said the prosecution wrongly accused Wood of being the mastermind
behind the robbery-turned-murder.

“He is a party (to the murder) in every sense of the word,” Sullivan
said. “We take issue with the prosecution calling him a mastermind. I
don’t think he is capable of being a mastermind.”

Sullivan said Wood’s unstable mental state most likely had a lot to
do with his death sentence. Wood refused to defend himself during his
trial.

“Having worked with him the last nine years, I know he can’t put
things together. He is not capable of that,” Sullivan said. “His
emotional history and mental history are real poor.”

Lucy Wilke, assistant district attorney for the 216th Judicial
District, said the verdict and sentence should stand.

“I think it is important that we honor the verdict of the jury who
heard all of the evidence — under oath. They were a very
conscientious jury,” Wilke said. “What the Parole Board has before it
on a petition is not under oath.”

Sullivan said he holds out hope the board will grant clemency because
of the low number of people who have been executed who were “just
parties to a murder.”

“When it comes to the governor, the only thing I can do is hope and
pray for the best,” Sullivan said. “I am very hopeful.”

http://web.dailytimes.com/story.lasso?ewcd=b775d38de68b5713

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