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Gaylon George WALBEY Jr.





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 4, 1993
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: July 8, 1974
Victim profile: Marionett Beyah, 46 (his foster mother)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife / Beating with a fire extinguisher
Location: Galveston County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on August 12, 1994. Overturned 2009

United States Court of Appeals
For the Fifth Circuit


Gaylon George Walbey, Jr. v. Doug Drekte


Gaylon George Walbey, Jr. v. Nathaniel Quarterman



Man's death sentence overturned

Galveston Daily News

January 23, 2009

A Galveston man convicted of capital murder in the brutal killing of a college instructor in 1993 will remain on death row while prosecutors decide whether to appeal the reversal of his death sentence.

Gaylon George Walbey Jr., 34, was sentenced to die in the May, 4, 1993, slaying of Marionette Beyah, who had been his foster mother in 1988 and 1989. Police found Beyah, 46, bludgeoned to death inside her island home. Police said she interrupted Walbey's burglary of her residence.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion Monday reversing Walbey's death sentence, citing ineffectiveness of council during his punishment hearing. As the reason for the reversal, the court's opinion states defense attorney Roger Ezell failed to investigate mitigating circumstances of Walbey's mental state, childhood and a host of other potentially mitigating circumstances.

Ezell, who works for the appellate division of the Galveston County District Attorney's Office, said Thursday he disagreed with the court's decision and would have no part in the state's proceedings regarding Walbey.

Reasons For Reversal

The court stated Ezell waited until the week before the hearing to prepare for Walbey's punishment phase and only skimmed the records provided by the district attorney on Walbey's background.

Ezell failed to contact potential witnesses, namely Walbey's mother, and others who had direct knowledge of Walbey’s "troubled" childhood, the opinion states.

Ezell also didn’t probe Walbey's relationship to Beyah, even though there were no impediments to conducting an investigation or to hiring a mitigation expert, the opinion states.

The appeal of Walbey’s death sentence has been ongoing for 14 years, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and a federal appeals court judge upheld the death sentence, Ezell said.

Guilty Plea Withdrawn

Walbey originally agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, but changed his mind, Ezell said.

"There was a prisoner from death row at the court house for a hearing, and they put him in the same holding cell with the prisoner," Ezell said. "The guy talked him (Walbey) into rolling the dice. That prisoner now of course has been executed."

The appeals court ordered a new punishment phase of Walbey's capital trial or the imposition of the appropriate noncapital alternative sentence.

Joel Bennett, 1st-assistant criminal district attorney for Galveston County, said no decision has been made on whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state has 14 days to decide whether to ask the appeals court to reconsider its opinion or 90 days to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, said Tom Kelley, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General.


Gaylon George Walbey



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