To fulfill a blood oath to one another, McCoy and
two other men abducted, raped and killed Cynthia Darlene Johnson,
18, a stranded motorist on the Gulf Freeway on Jan. 1, 1981.
One co-defendant, James Emery Paster, received a
life term but was executed for another murder.
The other testified against his confederates in exchange for a 35-year
(James Emery Paster v. Texas)
In October, 1980, Paster and two
accomplices, Stephen McCoy and Gary LeBlanc, agreed to kill Robert
Edward Howard at the suggestion of Howard's ex-wife and her current
husband. Paster sought and was promised $1,000 for the slaying. On
October 25, Paster, McCoy and LeBlanc were told that Howard would be
at the Legal Tender Club. They went to the parking lot, slit
Howard's truck tire and waited for him to leave the club. When
Howard noticed the flat tire, he opened his hood to get the jack.
Paster approached from Howard's rear and shot him in the back of the
According to evidence
introduced at the punishment phase of Paster's trial, he
suggested that the men should seek out two other people to
murder. Gary LeBlanc testified: "[Paster] said that we was all
in it together and somebody was going to have to do another
killing. All of us were going to have to do another killing....
He said that was [so] nobody can testify against somebody else."
In mid-November, 1980, the
trio forced Diana Trevino Oliver into their car, took her to a
field, raped her, and then McCoy stabbed her to death. On
December 31, 1980, the trio found Cynthia Johnson stranded on
the side of the road. They took her to a warehouse, raped her,
and after LeBlanc unsuccessfully attempted to strangle her,
Paster strangled her to death and drove a nail up her nose.
Texas Murderer Is Executed
The New York Times
May 24, 1989
Houston electrician was executed by injection early today for the
1981 slaying of a woman who was abducted and raped after her car
broke down on a freeway.
Stephen McCoy, whose final appeal was rejected by
the United States Supreme Court late Tuesday, was executed at 12:25
A.M. at the Walls Unit of the State Department of Corrections here.
He gave no final statement. The nation's highest court denied him a
stay by a 5-to-4 vote without comment.
Mr. McCoy was the 31st Texas convict and the
110th in the nation executed since the Supreme Court ruling in 1976
that allowed states to resume capital punishment.
Mr. McCoy was convicted in the slaying of Cynthia
Johnson, 18 years old, who was abducted as she was returning home
from a New Year's Eve party on Jan. 1, 1981.
According to trial testimony, Mr. McCoy and two
other men abducted the woman. Mr. McCoy raped her, then held her
legs down while James Paster and Gary LeBlanc strangled her with an
''The death penalty was made for people like
Stephen Albert McCoy to protect society from people like him and
from people like James Paster,'' said the prosecutor, George
Lambright. ''It was the cold-bloodedness of the acts.''
Mr. McCoy insisted he was in another room when
the woman was slain.
''I knew what was going on,'' he said in an
interview from death row. ''I just couldn't do anything about it.''
Mr. Paster, awaiting death for another slaying,
received a life sentence for the killing. Last month, he was caught
with another death row inmate in an unsuccessful escape attempt.
Mr. LeBlanc, who testified for the state,
received a 35-year prison sentence.