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James Paul COLLIER

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: March 14, 1995
Date of arrest: 9 days after
Date of birth: January 7, 1947
Victims profile: Gwendolyn Joy Reed, 51, and her son, Timmy Reed, 32
Method of murder: Shooting (30-30 rifle)
Location: Wichita County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on December 11, 2002
 
 
 
 
 
 


Summary:


Collier planned to kidnap his 13-year-old daughter when he went into the home of her stepfather, Phillip Hoepfner, with a shotgun on March 14, 1995.

The girl, who had moved to Oklahoma with her mother, was in Wichita Falls visiting Hoepfner for spring break.

Collier fired his first shots through the glass storm door on Hoepfner's home and then entered, killing Timothy Don Reed, 31, who lived there with Hoepfner, and also Reed's mother, Gwendolyn, 51.

Collier didn't know either of the victims he confessed to killing after police caught him in New Mexico. Collier insisted on defending himself during his 1996 capital murder trial.

He had previously been convicted of two counts of selling narcotics (September and October 1970), robbery (July 1971), and assault (March 1987).

Final Meal:

REQUESTED 30 jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, a baked potato, French fries, a T-bone steak, a chocolate malt, one gallon of vanilla ice cream and three cans of Big Red. He was GIVEN fried fish, chicken fried steak, baked potato and ice cream. No word on the Big Red.

Final Words:

"The only thing I want to say is that I appreciate the hospitality you guys have shown me and the respect. And the last meal was really good. That is about it. Thank you guys for being there and giving me a little bit of spiritual guidance and support."

ClarkProsecutor.org

 
 

Texas Attorney General

Media Advisory

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

James Paul Collier Scheduled to be Executed.

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information on James Paul Collier, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002.

On April 24, 1996, James Paul Collier was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Gwendolyn Joy Reed and her adult son, Timmy Reed, during the same criminal transaction in Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 14, 1995. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows:

FACTS OF THE CRIME

On the evening of March 14, 1995, James Paul Collier entered a home in Wichita Falls, Texas, where Collier's daughter was spending her spring break vacation, and shot and killed Gwendolyn Joy Reed and her adult son, Timmy Reed.

Neither of the two victims were related to Collier or involved in a dispute with him, but Collier's daughter was visiting her former stepfather, who lived in the house with Timmy Reed.

After the murders, Collier drove to New Mexico where he was apprehended. He gave a videotaped confession, during which he admitted shooting the victims.

In his confession, Collier stated that he initially went into the home with his rifle because he was angry at his ex-wife and daughter because they refused to have contact with him and because he believed his daughter had been sexually abused by her former stepfather. There was no evidence that the former stepfather abused Collier's daughter.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

  • 03/14/95 - James Paul Collier murdered Gwendolyn Joy Reed and Timmy Reed.

  • 04/19/96 - A jury found Collier guilty of capital murder.

  • 04/24/96 - Following a separate punishment hearing, the trial court sentenced Collier to death.

  • 01/10/97 - Collier filed a direct appeal brief raising four points of error.

  • 06/19/97 - While his direct appeal was pending, Collier filed a state writ of habeas corpus petition.

  • 12/12/97 - On direct appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence.

  • 01/14/98 - On state habeas, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief on all 24 of Collier's claims.

  • 02/11/98 - The Court of Criminal Appeals denied Collier's petition for rehearing on direct appeal.

  • 02/27/98 - The Court of Criminal Appeals issued the mandate.

  • 10/13/98 - The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review off direct appeal.

  • 10/01/99 - Collier filed a federal writ of habeas corpus petition raising five claims.

  • 12/13/99 - The State filed an answer and moved for summary judgment.

  • 05/09/01 - The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, denied habeas relief.

  • 05/22/01 - The district court entered final judgment.

  • 06/21/01 - Collier filed notice of appeal and an application for certificate of appealability raising eight claims.

  • 07/09/01 - The district court denied COA.

  • 09/13/01 - Collier filed an application for COA in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

  • 11/19/01 - The State (through current TDCJ-ID Director Janie Cockrell) filed its opposition to COA.

  • 07/25/02 - The Fifth Circuit denied a COA in a published opinion.

  • 08/19/02 - Trial court sets the execution date for Dec. 11, 2002.

  • 10/23/02 - Collier petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari review.

  • 12/03/02 - The State (through TDCJ-ID Director Janie Cockrell) filed a brief in opposition.

  • 12/09/02 - Collier filed a supplemental stay application and a supplemental certiorari petition.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

Evidence was introduced during the punishment phase that Collier had been convicted of two counts of selling narcotics (September and October 1970), robbery (July 1971), and assault (March 1987).

The victim of Collier's 1970 robbery testified that Collier sneaked up from behind him and hit him in the head with an industrial-size broom, almost knocking him unconscious. Collier then threatened to rape him, and to kill him with a shotgun.

The victim of Collier's 1987 assault testified that he previously worked at a Sonic fast food restaurant, and that Collier erupted when he did not find salt in the sack with his hamburger. Collier pulled the 15 year old's shirt over his head so he could not swing back, and then stomped the teenager in the face several times.

Evidence was also introduced regarding an unadjudicated assault in December 1994, wherein Collier struck an individual on the head with a beer bottle and cut his face, inflicting injuries which required receiving approximately 380 stitches.

In addition, in January 1995, Collier was arrested for DWI and during an inventory of the vehicle, the officer discovered an illegal sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

The State also presented testimony regarding Collier's physical assault of one jailer and his threats toward other jailers while he was locked up in the Wichita County Jail awaiting his capital murder trial.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Richard Coons testified that he reviewed the three-and-a-half hour video-taped statement made by Collier the day after the crime, and that he did not find any evidence that Collier's judgment and insight were impaired by mental illness or that Collier was insane at the time of the offense.

Dr. Coons also stated that, based on a hypothetical case matching all the evidence admitted at both stages of trial, Collier would pose a continuing danger to society.

 
 

ProDeathPenalty.com

James Paul Collier was sentenced to die for the March 14, 1995, slaying of Gwendolyn Joy Reed in Wichita County. Reed's son, Timothy Reed, was also killed in the attack. Both Joy and Timmy were shot repeatedly with a 30-30 rifle in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Nine days following the shootings, Collier fled to New Mexico where he was arrested. Collier reportedly went to the residence to kidnap or murder his 12-year-old biological daughter.

 
 

Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson

Txexecutions.org

James Paul Collier, 55, was executed by lethal injection on 11 December 2002 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two people.

In March 1995, Collier's 13-year-old daughter, Tina, was spending spring break with her former stepfather, Philip Hoepfner. Hoepfner lived in Witchita Falls in a house with Tim Reed, 32.

On 14 March, Collier, then 48, went to the home armed with a rifle. He shot Reed's mother, Gwendolyn Joy Reed, 51, three times through a glass door, killing her. He then entered the home and chased down Tim Reed. After the first shot, Tim yelled, "It's Jimmy!" Collier shot him three times, killing him. Hoepfner fled and escaped harm. Reports did not indicate whether Tina was present.

Collier was apprehended nine days later in New Mexico, after he was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. He was taken back to Texas, where he confessed. In his confession, he admitted shooting the Reeds. He stated that he went to the home because he was angry at his daughter and ex-wife because they refused to have contact with him.

He said that he believed Hoepfner had sexually abused his daughter. There was no evidence of this, however. Collier did not know the Reeds. At his trial, authorities claimed that Collier went to the home to kidnap Tina.

When Collier asked for permission to represent himself, his court-appointed lawyer, John Curry, tried to dissuade him, as did prosecutors and the judge. Nevertheless, Collier insisted, and after he was deemed mentally competent, his request was granted. "It was horrible," Curry recalled in an interview.

"He couldn't have done anything more to get himself on death row than he did, short of threatening the judge and jury." For example, Curry said that the jury watched Collier's daughter, Tina, recoil in the witness chair as he approached her to question her.

A psychologist testified that Collier's IQ was somewhere in the range of 78 to 91. The threshold for mental retardation is generally considered to be 70.

Collier had a previous conviction for robbery, two assault convictions, and two convictions for selling narcotics. He received a 5-year sentence for the robbery conviction and served 2˝ years in prison from October 1971 to March 1974.

In January 1995, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, and the arresting officer found an illegal sawed-off shotgun in his vehicle. One of Collier's prior assault victims testified that when he was a teenager working at a Sonic restaurant, Collier beat him violently when he found out there was no salt in his bag. According to the district attorney, Collier's own mother took out a restraining order against him in 1987.

A jury convicted Collier of capital murder in April 1996 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence in December 1997. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.

In a death row interview, Collier said that he decided to defend himself when his lawyer told him that the best he could hope for was a life sentence. "I didn't know nothing about law, except I watched 'Perry Mason' with the kids. That was my whole schooling as far as courtroom tactics," he said.

Collier described himself as mentally ill, a "child in a man's body." "Back when I was young, I got into a lot of trouble because I had all those disorders," he said. "Most of my trouble was caused by other people, not something I did." Of his prior convictions, he said, "The DA made it look like I was some kind of notorious criminal, but most of that stuff wasn't nothing but minor stuff."

In a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant Collier a stay of execution. The dissenters were Justice John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

For his final meal, Collier requested a T-bone steak, 30 jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, a baked potato, french fries, a chocolate malt, a gallon of vanilla ice cream and three cans of Big Red. He was served fried fish, chicken fried steak, a baked potato, and ice cream.

There were no witnesses to Collier's execution, other than reporters, the warden, and the chaplain. "The only thing I want to say is that I appreciate the hospitality you guys have shown me and the respect," Collier said in his last statement. "The last meal was really good. That's about it." The lethal dose was begun. Collier was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m.

 
 

Killer Who Represented Himself Executed

Houston Chronicle

AP - December 11, 2002

HUNTSVILLE -- A Wichita Falls man who insisted on defending himself during his 1996 capital murder trial for the shooting deaths of a woman and her son was executed Wednesday.

"I only want to say that I appreciate the hospitality that you guys have shown me and the respect," James Paul Collier said to the chaplain and warden. He made no mention of the killings during his final statement. There were no witnesses for either Collier or his victims' family. "The last meal was really good," Collier said about the fried fish, chicken fried steak, baked potato and ice cream he ate, only a portion of which matched his final request. Collier had asked for a T-bone steak, 30 jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, a baked potato, french fries, a chocolate malt, one gallon of vanilla ice cream and three cans of Big Red.

"Thank you guys for being there and giving me a little spiritual guidance and support," he said, his words drifting off. He then twitched, began coughing and let out one loud snore as the drugs took effect. Collier was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m., eight minutes after the drugs began flowing through an IV placed above a tattoo on his right arm.

Collier's court-appointed attorney, prosecutors and the judge unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade him from representing himself at his trial. "He is one of the more difficult individuals I have ever dealt with largely because he is so stubborn," defense attorney John Curry said. "He wanted what he wanted and wouldn't listen to anything else."

After Collier was deemed competent to defend himself, Curry said he was left with no choice but to sit and watch along with jurors as Collier questioned witnesses, fell victim to legal snafus and made the daughter he had gone to kidnap on the day of the shootings recoil in the witness chair as he approached her, the public defender said. "It was horrible," Curry recalled. "He couldn't have done anything more to get himself on death row than he did, short of threatening the judge and the jury."

Collier was the 33rd and final person to be executed in Texas in 2002. His death brought the total to 289 since Texas reinstated the death penalty in 1982. At least 14 executions are scheduled in the first three months of 2003.

Authorities believe Collier planned to kidnap his 13-year-old daughter when he went into the home of her stepfather, Phillip Hoepfner, with a shotgun on March 14, 1995. The girl, who had moved to Oklahoma with her mother, was in Wichita Falls visiting Hoepfner for spring break, Wichita County District Attorney Barry Macha said. "He could not understand why she would prefer the stepfather over him," said Curry, who added Collier wanted to have a close relationship with his daughter but hadn't spent much time with her.

Collier fired his first shots through the glass storm door on Hoepfner's home and then entered, killing Timothy Don Reed, 31, who lived there with Hoepfner, and also Reed's mother, Gwendolyn, 51. Collier didn't know either of the victims he confessed to killing after police caught him in New Mexico.

Collier, who describes himself as a mentally ill "child in a man's body," said he wanted to be found innocent and decided to defend himself when Curry told him the best he could hope for was a life sentence. "I didn't know nothing about law, except I watched `Perry Mason' with the kids," Collier, 56, said recently from death row. "That was my whole schooling as far as courtroom tactics."

Jurors took 12 minutes to sentence Collier to death for the fatal shootings.

The U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in June that executing the mentally retarded is unconstitutional, refused to block Collier's execution Wednesday. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens dissented. An IQ of 70 is generally considered the threshold for retardation.

Macha said Collier exceeds that threshold with an IQ somewhere in the range of 78 to 91, according to a neuropsychologist who testified at his trial. "James Paul Collier certainly is an example of where the death penalty is appropriate given the horrific facts in this case and his background," he said. "He is a violent person and has no regard for other people and their rights."

Collier says he had a bad reputation prior to the shootings. "Back when I was young, I got into a lot of trouble because I had all those disorders," he said. "Most of my trouble was caused by other people, not something I did."

During the punishment phase of Collier's trial, jurors heard about two 1970 narcotics convictions, a 1971 robbery conviction, a 1987 assault conviction and a 1995 driving while intoxicated arrest during which authorities said they found a 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun in Collier's car. "The DA made it look like I was some kind of notorious criminal," Collier said, "but most of that stuff wasn't nothing but minor stuff."

 
 

Texas Executes Last Killer of 2002

By Robert Anthony Phillips - TheDeathHouse.com

December 11, 2002

Huntsville, Texas - James Collier decided to defend himself when he was tried for a double murder. It took the jury 12 minutes to sentence him to death. And, it took only seven minutes to execute him Wednesday night. He was the 33rd condemned killer executed in Texas in 20002 - the highestin the nation. No further executions are scheduled this year.

Collier was put to death for the 1995 double murder of Gwendolyn Joy Reed and her adult son, Timmy Reed. Texas prosecutors said that on March 14, 1995, Collier entered a home in Wichita Falls and shot and killed the two. Collier’s daughter had been visiting her former stepfather who lived in the house with Timmy Reed. Collier then fled to New Mexico, where he was arrested.

In a videotaped confession, Collier, 55, stated that he initially went into the home with his rifle because he was angry at his ex-wife and daughter for refusing to have contact with him. He also believed his daughter had been sexually abused by her former stepfather, prosecutors said. There was no evidence that the former stepfather abused Collier's daughter, prosecutors said.

"I only want to say that I appreciate the hospitality that you guys have shown me and the respect," Collier said before dying. He had requested a last meal of that included 30 jumbo shrimp and a t-bone steak, said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. What he got was fried fish, chicken fried steak, a baked potato, assorted fruits and pastries, a chocolate malt and vanilla ice cream, she said. "He said it was good," Lyons said.

The lethal dose of chemicals began at 6:08 p.m. and Collier was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m., Lyons said.

 
 

Last Execution of Year Scheduled

By Mark Passwaters - The Huntsville Item

December 10, 2002

James Reed Collier, sentenced to death for the 1995 murders of two people in Wichita Falls, is scheduled to be executed this evening in the death chamber of the Huntsville "Walls" Unit. If the execution is carried out as scheduled, Collier will be the 33rd and last man put to death in Texas in 2002.

Collier's reasoning for killing Gwendolyn Joy Reed, 51, and her son Tim, 32, on the night of March 14, 1995, can be labeled bizarre. Collier had no dispute with the two and there is no substantive evidence the Reeds even knew him. From Collier's confession, it appears the two were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Collier, who had served prison time for a number of felonies - including the assault of a Sonic car hop after he did not find any salt in his bag - was reported to be upset that his ex-wife and 13-year-old daughter had cut off any communication with him. Indeed, Collier's daughter referred to her former stepfather, Phillip Hoepfner, as her father. Hoepfner was living with Tim Reed at the time of the killings.

On the night of March 14, Collier's daughter was on spring break in Wichita Falls and staying with her stepfather. Collier, who believed his daughter had been sexually assaulted by Hoepfner, arrived at the house with a shotgun. Neither Collier's daughter or Hoepfner were home at the time Collier arrived.

Seven years later, Collier has yet to fully explain the sequence of events which followed his arrival at the house. When the crime was recreated, it appeared Collier had shot Gwendolyn Reed three times through a glass window, then chased Tim Reed into the garage and shot him three times. Authorities suspected that Collier had intended to either kidnap or kill his daughter, though Collier has never said that was his primary motive.

After the murders, Collier fled to New Mexico, where he was later arrested and charged with the killings. In a three-and-a-half hour videotaped statement made shortly after his arrest, Collier admitted to the crimes.

During his trial, which was held in April of 1996, Collier varied between representing himself and having a court-appointed defense attorney work his case. The confusion caused by Collier's decision, coupled with testimony from a Wichita County jailer that Collier had attacked him while waiting for trial, helped seal his fate. He was found guilty of the two murders on April 19 and sentenced to death five days later.

In subsequent appeals, Collier and his attorneys have claimed his judgment and insight were impaired by mental illness at the time of the crimes. Those claims, which also were raised during his trial, were discounted by a prosecution psychiatrist who said there was no evidence to support them. All appeals based on mental illness have been rejected by state and federal courts of appeal.

Collier's attorneys have filed one last appeal in the hopes of staying his execution, claiming he suffers from mental retardation. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Atkins V. Virginia case that it was cruel and unusual punishment to executed retarded convicts. If this last-ditch appeal fails, Collier will be executed sometime after 6 p.m. today.

 
 

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

James Collier - Dec. 11, 2002 - 6:00 CST, 7:00 EST

The state of Texas is scheduled to execute James Collier, a white man, Dec. 11 for the 1995 murder of Gwendolyn Joy Reed. Collier allegedly entered Reed’s house in search of his 12-year old daughter, who was spending her spring break there, and shot both Reed and her son with a 30-30 rifle. Questions concerning Collier’s competency remain unanswered, and despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s last minute stay of James Colburn’s scheduled execution Nov. 6, the state remains focused on killing Collier in the month of December.

The state of Texas continues to ignore factors such as competency and mental illness as it racks up six times as many executions as any other state in 2002. Colburn came within minutes of execution before the high court intervened in November, and Texas should react to that stay by proceeding with no less than extreme caution. Long before his trial, Collier expressed concerns about his own mental health, which now, in hindsight, casts doubt on the fairness of his pending execution.

His defense lawyers argue that the case never should have resulted in capital punishment in the first place, but the court’s refusal to instruct the jurors concerning parole eligibility during the penalty phase of the trial persuaded them to choose the death penalty. They cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s Simmons v. South Carolina decision, which overturned a case because the jurors did not realize life without parole was an option.

This is significantly different than Simmons, but holds a similar practical argument: since the jurors do not understand what a life sentence means in Texas (given the widespread myths about lenient parole laws), they essentially dismiss it as an option. Collier’s argument, which has been made in several Texas death penalty appeals in the past few months, makes a serious statement about the system’s role in encouraging juries to choose the death penalty over life imprisonment.

Had Collier’s trial court notified the jurors about the parole restriction in life sentences (inmates who receive a life sentence in Texas cannot be eligible for parole for at least 40 years), they would have employed a different threshold when determining his punishment. Unless they firmly believed that Collier, 48 years old at the time, would present a serious threat to society at age 88, his earliest time of release, they would have had more difficulty justifying the death penalty.

The state of Texas has accounted for more than half of the executions in the United States this year, and its continuing disregard for possible flaws in the process makes a mockery of the human beings who fall victim to its unjust system. Please write the state of Texas to request a stay for James Collier.

 
 

Murderers Executed in Texas, Mississippi

By Pam Easton - Austin American-Statesman

AP - December 11, 2002

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - A man who insisted on defending himself during his trial for the 1995 shooting deaths of a woman and her son was executed by injection Wednesday. Meanwhile, in Mississippi, a man was executed for the 1983 rape and mutilation murder of an 18-year-old woman, that state's second execution in 13 years.

In Texas, James Collier, 56, became the state's 33rd inmate to be put to death, and the last execution scheduled this year. Authorities believe Collier planned to kidnap his 13-year-old daughter when he took a shotgun to the Wichita Falls home of her stepfather, whom she was visiting in March 1995.

After firing shots through the glass storm door, he entered, killing Timothy Reed, 31, and Reed's mother, Gwendolyn, 51, who were living with the girl's stepfather. Collier didn't know either of the victims; he confessed to the killing after police caught him in New Mexico.

"I only want to say that I appreciate the hospitality that you guys have shown me and the respect,'' Collier said to the chaplain and warden as he awaited execution. Collier's court-appointed attorney, prosecutors and the judge had unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade him from representing himself at his trial.

In Mississippi, Jessie Williams, 51, was convicted and sentenced to death for slashing the throat of Karon Pierce, then mutilating her body. He was executed by injection at the state penitentiary in Parchman. As she watched Williams die, the victim's mother, Waldine Riley, said, ``I wish to God she had the opportunity to die that peaceful.''

The execution was Mississippi's second in 13 years; the other was in July. It was carried out about two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Williams' last-minute appeal.

 
 

Texas Executes Killer Who Represented Self at Trial

Reuters News

December 11, 2002

HUNTSVILLE (Reuters) - Texas executed a man on Wednesday who shot to death a mother and her son in misdirected rage and later insisted on representing himself at trial.

James Collier, 55, became the 33rd person executed by lethal injection this year in Texas, which executes more people than any other state. Collier's execution was the last scheduled for the year in Texas, which has carried out 289 executions since resuming capital punishment in 1982.

Collier, a carpenter who dropped out of school after the seventh grade, was put to death for the March 14, 1995, murder of Gwendolyn Reed, 51, and her 32-year-old son, Timmy Reed in the north Texas city of Wichita Falls. Collier had no dispute with the Reeds, but was angry at Timmy Reed's roommate, who was the stepfather of Collier's 12-year-old daughter.

Authorities believe Collier had planned to kidnap his daughter, who lived with her mother in Oklahoma but had come to Wichita Falls, Texas to visit her stepfather. Prosecutors said that Collier was angry that the girl was visiting the stepfather rather than him. Collier, testimony showed, began shooting before he went into Reed's house and continued until both Reeds were struck repeatedly and killed.

Against the urging of his court-appointed defense lawyer, the judge and prosecutors, Collier represented himself at trial. It took less than 15 minutes for jurors to decide he should be sentenced to death, court records show. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to halt Collier's execution. "The only thing I want to say is that I appreciate the hospitality you guys have shown me and the respect. And the last meal was really good," Collier said while strapped to the gurney in the death chamber at the state prison in Huntsville, about 75 miles north of Houston.

"That is about it. Thank you guys for being there and giving me a little bit of spiritual guidance and support," he said before the lethal dose was injected into his veins. For his last meal, Collier requested 30 jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, a baked potato, French fries, a T-bone steak, a chocolate malt, one gallon of vanilla ice cream and three cans of Big Red soda.

At least 14 executions are scheduled in Texas during the first three months of 2003.

 
 

Collier to Be Executed

KAUZ News Channel 6

The execution of James Paul Collier is being carried out Wednesday. The Supreme Court denied a stay of execution late Wednesday afternoon. Collier was convicted of killing a Wichita Falls mother and son, Joy and Tim Reed, back in 1995.

Tim Reed's best friend shares his thoughts on this execution day. It's an emotional day for Cliff Morgan. The killer of his best friend, Tim, is paying for his crime -- a crime Morgan said that not only killed two people, but destroyed a family. “I was friends with the family for years since I was 15, 16 years old. Tim and I joined the Marines together, lifetime friends, ran around together ever since we got out, Tim and his mom were some of the most caring people,” Morgan said.

Wednesday is a day Morgan has been waiting for since 1995 -- the day Collier is put to death for murdering his best friends.

Collier went to the Reed's home looking for his ex-wife and her boyfriend, who lived at the residence. Joy and Tim Reed were the ones Collier found in the house, in the wrong place at the wrong time. “He shot Joy four times with a 30-30 at close range, he shot Tim three times. They never had a chance. He didn't just shoot, he continued to shoot, so I have no remorse of his death, he should have remorse for theirs,” Morgan said.

Morgan quit his job so that he could sit through every minute of Collier's three-month trial. “In his confession he stated, I don't know why I did it, I had already shot that man twice and he was laying there, just trying to crawl on his belly and he said I don't know why I did it and he's crying, he said, but I just stuck that 30-30 to him and did it again,” Morgan said.

And then, just like now, Morgan said Collier doesn't regret what he did. “I feel he is a menace to society and the thought of him ever getting out into public again, or even around general population in a prison, makes me feel comfortable with them putting him to death,” Morgan said. Morgan said Thursday will be a new beginning –- a time family said they'll be able to finally start living their lives.

 
 


James Paul Collier

 

 

 
 
 
 
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