TX: Preston Hughes III - Police lied about teen's dying
Tue Nov 13, 2012 13:25

Killer's lawyer says police lied about teen's dying accusation
By Allan Turner | November 12, 2012

Late on Sept. 26, 1988, La Shandra Charles, bleeding profusely from neck wounds in a west Houston field, told police the name of her assailant: "Preston." The 15-year-old's dying accusation, along with the assertion that her attacker lived nearby, led police toPreston Hughes III, a New York-born warehouse worker on probation for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Hughes, 46, is to be executed Thursday for the murders of Charles and her 3-year-old cousin, Marcel Taylor, who also was stabbed.

Charles' statement to police Sgt. Don Hamilton loomed large in Hughes' trial, with prosecutors telling jurors that without it Hughes would have gone "scot-free."

Now, though, Hughes' attorney Pat McCann, is arguing in state and federal petitions that police lied on the witness stand. He buttresses the argument with a sworn statement from a deputy Tarrant County medical examiner that Charles, with her left carotid artery and jugular vein severed, would have lost consciousness within a minute of the attack.

"It is simply not medically feasible that this young woman, particularly given the fact that one's heart rate accelerates during stress, and thus blood loss occurs more rapidly, could have spoken to the officers as they claimed," wrote Dr. Robert White, who was chief medical examiner in Nueces County before joining the Fort Worth forensics department.

Search questioned

McCann said "about 13 minutes" would have elapsed before the police sergeant reached Charles.

"That's obviously this guy's opinion," Asssistant District Attorney Lynn Hardaway said of White's affidavit. Hardaway noted that, in the police report of the crime, a medical technician also reported hearing the teen's accusation. "Unfortunately," Hardaway said, "he didn't testify."

In his petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, McCann also questions the legality of a police search of his client's apartment. Police records, he said, show officers checked items from Hughes' apartment into custody three hours before he supposedly signed a consent-to-search form.

The state pardons board is scheduled to consider Hughes' bid to have his death sentence commuted to life in prison on Tuesday.

The petitions to the Supreme Court and the pardons board are among the latest in a case that occasionally has brought the killer into conflict with his court-appointed attorney. Earlier this month, McCann, assigned to handle criminal court appeals, suffered a setback when Hughes refused to authorize him to represent him in a civil court attempt to block the state from using its single-drug lethal injection protocol.

In a recent interview, Hughes expressed dissatisfaction with McCann and earlier lawyers.

Hughes offered police two contradictory confessions, but, in his interview, denied that "police typed what I said."

"I never killed anyone," he said.

Hughes also denied he had sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl and later shot at her - crimes for which he had been placed on probation. He offered an account of his actions on the night of the murder, including a meeting with friends for drinks. Upon arriving at his southwest Houston apartment, Hughes said he took his dog for a walk, crossing the field in which Charles and Taylor were killed.

"I didn't hear or see anything," he said, adding that he returned and stayed in his apartment until police knocked at his door. He said he was acquainted with Charles, who was a friend of a man who once shared Hughes' apartment.

'Tragically twisted boy'

In his latest filings, McCann also submitted a report from an investigator, who said Hughes and his sister had been sexually abused as children by their uncle.

"No jury has ever seen this evidence because no one ever looked," McCann advises the pardons board. "His jurors never got a full picture of the abused boy who turned into the sad man before them. They came out of that trial thinking that Preston was a monster, not a tragically twisted boy, tortured by memories of sadistic abuse at the hands of an older figure of trust."

  • Friends and Activists: Fiction could not be stranger and more horrifying than this story. Please read and sign petition. Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement Save Preston Hughes III from Texas... more
    • TX: Hughes News: Your Turn to HelpPetra., Wed Nov 14 17:14
      PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW!! AND THE ABOLITION MOVEMENT ALSO THANKS WARD LARKIN FOR ALL HIS WORK! If you can go to Huntsville tomorrow, please do and join the Abolition Movement in protesting the legal... more
    • TX: Preston Hughes III - Police lied about teen's dying — Petra., Tue Nov 13 13:25
    • Preston HughesJJ Chauke, Sat Nov 10 00:54
      Hi All. I had been following the story of Mario Swain right until his last moments where he refused the 'last meal' and 'last words' due to the fear of what was about to be done onto him by the... more
      • Re: Preston Hughesxkittenx, Sun Nov 11 09:34
        Hi, David Dow who is the head of the innocence project was working on the Mario Swain case it was sad.He is now working full time on Preston's case hes just emailed me i will keep you informed on... more
      • Preston's case will be featured on The Other Side of Justice tomorrow, Sept 20. Please tune in:... more
        • TX: PRESTON HUGHES III: 15 OCT 2012Petra., Wed Oct 17 13:40
          • TX: IN RE PRESTON HUGHES, IIIPetra., Sun Nov 11 09:42
   IN RE PRESTON HUGHES, III A mandamus petition was filed on October 15, 2012. The IN RE PRESTON HUGHES, III A mandamus petition was filed on October 15,... more
          • Step aside Patrick McCann Petra., Mon Sep 24 16:17
            Step aside Patrick McCann at, you doesn't help our friend or are you dedicated to save a life? . Give him time... more
            • TX: Motion to Replace - Preston HughesPetra., Sat Sep 29 07:36
     Last Tuesday, Preston Hughes mailed a motion to federal court requesting that his current attorney, Patrick McCann, be... more
            • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann Petra., Thu Sep 27 11:31
              If so, someone should talk to Preston.
              • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann xkittenx, Mon Oct 1 08:54
                Hi Petra, I have been in touch with Preston he knows exactly whats going on.
                • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann Petra., Mon Oct 1 15:38
                  I see....for sure not D.Dow or McCann helped Preston to write the Pro Se Motion ..... On Monday, 24 September, the court ordered Patrick McCann to file a brief responding to Preston's motion that... more
                  • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann xkittenx, Tue Oct 2 09:37
                    The reason Preston wanted to change his lawyer is because he thinks he will get a new trial due to the illegal search of his apartment Petra which he wont and people have told him this but he wont... more
                    • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann Petra., Tue Oct 2 13:44
                      Unfortunately you convince none with the talk, not Preston and no judge or court before 15 November. Any file to the courts ready to save a life? until October 5th he has time. Have a nice meeting... more
                      • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann xkittenx, Wed Oct 3 05:11
                        ???. Someone has already met with him and you tell me exactly what good a petition does Petra? you give me one case where an inmate was saved due to a Petition?
                        • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann Petra., Wed Oct 3 12:08
                          • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann xkittenx, Wed Oct 3 13:07
                            Petra i know there are petitions about prestons case but my question to you was what good does signing a petition do? name one inmate that has left prison on the strength of a petition? see if... more
                            • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann Petra., Wed Oct 3 14:37
                              It takes one minute to support people fighting against the death penalty with a petition. And it is deadly only making phrases to support people on daeth row, a month and 12 days before an execution, ... more
                              • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann xkittenx, Thu Oct 4 11:40
                                How do you know that Pat McCann and David Dow have done nothing Petra? im interested to know where your information is coming from
                                  • Why post that? i knew that the same day it was denied Petra and frankly its the best thing that could have happened Preston's future depends on Pat McCann and David Dow both are working hard Petra,... more
                                    • 'Outside the box' South Texas College of Law professor Ken Williams described McCann's turn to a civil court to block the one-drug protocol as "thinking outside the box." "Usually you would to go a... more
                                    • Why post that? ...The board isN't only for you.... we now all know ... Preston has a month to live like Texas wants ... and the same court appointed attorney McC. since 10 years .... we all will be... more
                    • Monday, October 1, 2012 The Trial of Preston Hughes: Officer Vincent Cook Overview Houston Police Officer Vincent L. Cook ... more
            • Re: Step aside Patrick McCann xkittenx, Thu Sep 27 05:50
              Pat McCann is working along side David Dow on Prestons case both men are working closly together and are on top of things,I know as im in touch with both David Dow does not wish to change Prestons... more
              • You want play with names in an innocent case, another one Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said the lawsuit should be litigated, but is unlikely to stop any ... more
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