July 1, 1999
Charles Daniel Tuttle #999183
To Kathy’s family and
friends that were unable to attend today, I am truly sorry. I
hope my dropping my appeal has in some way began your healing
process. This is all I am going to do to help you out in any way
for the nightmare and pain that I have caused you, but I am
truly sorry and I wish I could take back what I did, but I can’t.
I hope this heals you.
To my family: I love
you. When the tears flow, let the smiles grow. Everything is all
To my family: I love
35, the former construction worker of Smith County who beat a woman
to death while robbing her home, was executed on July 1, 1999.
Tuttle clubbed and murdered Catherine Harris, 42, of Tyler, in the
head 10 times and punctured a hole between the eyes with a claw
hammer on Feb. 24, 1995. David Landry, Tuttle’s friend and Harris’s
nephew, found Harris’s body in her home.
The body was stuffed under a
pile of clothes and blankets. Tuttle and Landry had been staying
with Harris, but Tuttle was asked to leave when he did not help with
Tuttle told officials
his attempt was to knock Harris out with a blow to the head and rob
her. The murder took place when she started screaming. Tuttle hid a
bloody towel, hammer and his bloody shirt, stole credit cards and
cash from Harris’s purse, then fled in her Dodge Dakota truck.
Tuttle left Tyler to stay with friends and visit family in the
Police arrested Tuttle Tuesday
afternoon, Feb. 28 in his father’s hospital room. When Tuttle was
arrested, police found him with a loaded .357-revolver, Harris’s
credit cards and truck key.
Trial testimonies concluded
that the head and claw parts of the claw hammer were consistent with
Harris’s head wounds. Hair fibers were microscopically examined from
the bloody towel and Harris’s clothing and concluded to match
Tuttle’s DNA. Tuttle appeared coherent and unintoxicated at the time
of the arrest.
On Nov. 5, 1997
Tuttle refused his right to an appeal, and on Feb. 17, 1999 he was
convicted of capital murder and scheduled for execution on July
Tuttle’s execution, he turned to Harris’s family and asked
forgiveness. Tuttle died at 6:28 p.m. on July 1, 1999 about seven
minutes after the lethal injection.
Charles Daniel Tuttle, 35, 99-07-1, Texas
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Convicted killer Charles Daniel Tuttle chose to
go to the Texas death chamber Thursday evening for fatally beating a
Tyler-area woman with a claw hammer more than four years ago during
a robbery at her home.
Mr. Tuttle died at 6:28 p.m., seven minutes after the flow of lethal
Mr. Tuttle, who turned 35 last Saturday, refused to allow his
attorneys to file appeals on his behalf. He was the 15th prisoner to
be executed in Texas this year.
In his final moments, Mr. Tuttle turned his head toward members of
the victim's family who watched through a window and apologized for
"I hope my dropping my appeals has in some way began your healing
process. This is all I can do to help you out in any way for the
nightmare and pain that I have caused you. I am truly sorry and I
wish I could take back what I did, but I can't."
David Dobbs, the assistant Smith County district attorney who
prosecuted Mr. Tuttle, said, "You have to in some degree, in some
light, commend him for taking responsibility when so many of these
whiny killers don't."
Cathy Harris, 42, was beaten to death Feb. 24, 1995, her body
wrapped in blankets and stuffed in a closet of her trailer home. Mr.
Tuttle, a friend of her nephew's, had been staying at her home but
had been asked to leave because he wasn't paying his share of the
The nephew, David Landry, discovered the body. In a conversation
early on the day of the murder, Mr. Tuttle told Mr. Landry he had
watched the movie Natural Born Killers three times the previous day.
The violent 1994 movie is about a pair of serial killers who are
glorified by the media.
Four days after the killing, Mr. Tuttle, a former construction
worker, was arrested in Beaumont, about 200 miles to the south. He
told police he'd been high on methamphetamine and just wanted to
knock her out "like you see on TV" to steal from her.
The murder weapon, a claw hammer, was found behind a washer and
dryer at the trailer.
Mr. Tuttle requested an extensive final meal that included four
fried eggs, four sausage patties, a chicken-fried steak, a bowl of
gravy, five pieces of toast, five tacos with meat and cheese, four
Dr Peppers and five mint sticks.