Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
TX: Cleve Foster - The U.S.SC gave a last-minute STAY
Wed Jan 12, 2011 14:10

Ex-recruiter's execution for 2002 Fort Worth slaying is halted at last minute
Posted Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

Express your opinion in a letter to the editor
By Michael Graczyk

The Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE -- The U.S. Supreme Court gave a last-minute stay of execution Tuesday evening to a Desert Storm veteran and former Army recruiter convicted of raping and killing a Sudanese immigrant in Fort Worth in 2002.

Cleve Foster, 47, known as "Sarge" on Death Row, had eaten his final meal and was waiting to walk a few steps to the death chamber when the court's brief order was received just before 6 p.m., a prison spokesman said.

The court offered no explanation for its decision or why justices other than Justice Antonin Scalia participated. Scalia can act alone on Texas execution appeals. But he can also ask other justices to vote on whether to hear an appeal.

The order indicated that Scalia and Justice Samuel Alito dissented from the majority vote and would have allowed the execution to proceed.

When prison officials asked Foster whether he was surprised to get a reprieve, he said, "I was and I wasn't. I gave it to God a long time ago."

He also said he was gratified by support from friends, calling it "really humbling."

Foster's execution would have been the first this year in Texas.

Foster has always maintained that his co-defendant, Sheldon Ward, was responsible for fatally shooting 30-year-old Nyaneur "Mary" Pal on Feb. 13, 2002.

Ward, one of Foster's Army recruits, was also condemned for the slaying. He died of cancer last year in prison.

In their latest appeal, Foster's attorneys argued that his conviction was flawed because trial lawyers failed to arrange for a blood-spatter expert to dispute a detective's testimony that Ward couldn't have killed Pal and moved her body to where it was found all by himself. If they had presented such testimony, there was "at least a reasonable probability that the result of Mr. Foster's trial would have been different," appellate attorney Clint Broden said.

Prosecutors insisted that evidence showed that Foster actively participated in the woman's killing, offered no credible explanations, and lied and gave contradictory stories about his sexual activities with Pal. His eleventh-hour appeal "recycles the stale arguments that state and federal courts have already considered in rejecting Foster's protestations of innocence," Jonathan Mitchell, an assistant Texas solicitor general, wrote in the state's response.

Foster declined to speak with reporters in recent weeks. In 2005, he told The Associated Press that he viewed the evidence against him as prosecutors "pulling stuff out of their hat."

"I didn't do this," he said of Pal's killing.

Mary Pal was seen talking with the pair at a Fort Worth bar the night before her body was found in a ditch in the 9800 block of Heron Drive near Lake Worth.

A gun recovered from the motel room where Foster and Ward lived was identified as the murder weapon. It was also identified as the gun used two months earlier to kill Rachel Urnosky, 22, at her Fort Worth apartment.

Pal's blood and tissue were found on the weapon, and DNA evidence showed that both men had sex with Pal.

Ward said the sex was consensual. Foster said he was passed out from sleeping pills at the time Pal would have been shot.

Ben Leonard, a former Tarrant County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Foster, said Foster's appeals were "baloney."

"These guys raped and executed two women," he said. "They were Ted Bundy starter kits."

Read more:

  • Execution set today in 2002 Fort Worth slaying Posted Monday, Jan. 10, 20111 BY TIM MADIGAN Barring a last-minute intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, former Army... more
    • TX: Cleve Foster - The U.S.SC gave a last-minute STAY — Petra., Wed Jan 12 14:10
      • Victims' families distressed by delay of Cleve Foster's execution Posted Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 BY TIM MADIGAN Assured by officials that convicted killer Cleve Foster had... more
        • Supreme Court lifts stay of execution in Fort Worth slaying Posted Tuesday, Jan. 18, 20110 BY TIM MADIGAN The U.S. Supreme Court today denied the appeal of condemned killer ... more
          • TX: Cleve Foster - New execution date setPetra., Sat Jan 29 17:06
            New execution date set for death row inmate Last Update: 1/28 10:35 pm A new execution date has been set for a death row inmate charged in the murder of a Texas Tech student and convicted of killing... more
            • Death Row inmate denied last-minute clemency in Fort Worth murder case Posted Monday, Apr. 04, 20110 The Associated Press Condemned prisoner Cleve Foster has moved a step closer to execution... more
            • Death Row Inmate Seeks Reprieve Over Drug Method By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS Published: April 4, 2011 A former Army recruiter convicted of killing a woman he met in a Fort Worth, Tex., bar nine years ago is... more
              • Supreme Court Issues Stay of Execution By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS Published: April 5, 2011 The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday morning granted a temporary stay of execution to Cleve Foster, a former... more
                • TX: 2. Stay this year for Cleve FosterPetra., Tue Apr 5 13:44
                  Tuesday, April 5, 2011 The U.S. Supreme Court Has Stopped Today's Scheduled Execution of Cleve Foster in Texas The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday morning granted a stay of execution to Cleve... more
                  • TX: A Horror at Every TurnPetra., Sat Apr 9 07:08
                    EDITORIAL A Horror at Every Turn Published: April 7, 2011 Cleve Foster, a former Army recruiter convicted of murder, was scheduled to be executed earlier this week in Huntsville, Tex., when the... more
                  • U.S. Supreme Court blocks tonight's Texas execution Associated Press April 5, 2011, 11:19AM The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the first scheduled execution of a Texas death row inmate using... more
            • Texas set to use new drug in Tuesday execution By MICHAEL GRACZYK © 2011 The Associated Press April 3, 2011, 3:22PM LIVINGSTON, Texas — Cleve Foster says he's not afraid to die — but he doesn't want... more
            • Judge denies request to block execution drug By Jim Vertuno Associated Press Posted April 2, 2011 at 12:36 a.m. AUSTIN — A Texas judge on Friday refused to block Texas' switch to a new lethal... more
              • Execution of woman's killer still being challenged Posted Saturday, Apr. 02, 2011 BY MELODY MCDONALD More than nine years ago, on Valentine's Day, construction workers... more
                • One sided discussiontimmie, Mon Apr 4 21:39
                  So I see this site has become even more of a one sided discussion board. In fact this is not a discussion board anylonger.
                  • Re: One sided discussionPetra., Thu Jun 21 17:16
                    damn... do debate about this torture receive 3 execution dates and stopping the murder an hour before in one year. Cleve Foster, 47, known as "Sarge" on Death Row, had eaten his final meal and was... more
                  • Texas excecution cell empty today againPetra., Tue Apr 5 13:47
                    What do you have to say?
                  • Texas' switch in execution drugs warrants proper review Posted Monday, Apr. 04, 2011 A state-administered execution isn't supposed to inflict as much pain and horror on the convicted killer as the... more
                  • Re: One sided discussionMal Reynolds, Tue Apr 5 11:35
                    I like how they have to keep recycling old posts to make it look like there is even minimal activity on this board. lol!
            • Execution Set for April, But State Out of Key Drug • by Brandi Grissom Judges have set the dates for four more executions this year, and all of them scheduled to take place after the state's supply... more
              • Texas: New execution drug chosenPetra., Wed Mar 16 15:38
                New execution drug chosen By Mike Ward | Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Texas will change the three-drug cocktail it uses to execute condemned criminals — switching from the difficult-to-get sodium... more
          • TX: Cleve Foster -Sister Speaks OutPetra., Thu Jan 27 17:24
            Sister of a Henderson Man on Death Row Speaks Out Reported by: Drew Gardner January 26, 2011 The family of a Henderson man sitting on death row in Texas is speaking out to FOX 7. They are revealing... more
Click here to receive daily updates
List by Petra Hädrich-Kabacali (moderated)