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Charles Daniel TUTTLE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: February 24, 1995
Date of arrest: 4 days after
Date of birth: June 26, 1964
Victim profile: Catherine Harris, 42
Method of murder: Beating with a claw hammer
Location: Smith County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on July 1, 1999
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Date of Execution:
July 1, 1999
Offender:
Charles Daniel Tuttle #999183
Last Statement:

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 right.

To my family: I love you.

Warden, ATW.

 

Charles Tuttle, 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 the bills.

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 Beaumont area.

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 1,1999.

Immediately before 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 drugs began.

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 the killing.

"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 bills.

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.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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