Pursuant to an order of the 173rd Judicial District Court of Henderson County, Texas, Mays is scheduled for execution after 6:00 p.m. on March 18, 2015.

On May 17, 2007, Randall Wayne Mays shot and killed Deputy Sheriff Tony Ogburn, an on-duty peace officer. In the same exchange of gunfire, Mays also murdered Sheriff’s Investigator Paul Habelt and severely wounded Deputy Sheriff Kevin Harris. On May 13, 2008, in accordance with a Henderson County jury’s finding of guilt and answer to the statutory special issues, the trial judge entered a judgment of conviction against Mays for capital murder and sentenced him to death.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit provided the following summary of the underlying facts of the case:

In 2007, police officers responded to a “domestic violence – gunshot” call. All of them were in uniform, wearing badges, and driving marked vehicles. Although Mays was initially calm and courteous, he [Mays] fled into his house and barricaded himself when the officers began reading him his rights. He [Mays] later emerged holding a deer rifle. After the officers had failed several times to convince Mays to put down the weapon and give himself up, he [Mays] opened fire. He [Mays] shot Deputy Tony Ogburn and Officer Paul Habelt in the head, killing both, and shot Deputy Kevin Harris in the leg.


On May 13, 2008, Judge Tarrance entered a judgment of conviction against Mays for capital murder and sentenced him to death.

On April 28, 2010, the Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously affirmed Mays’s conviction and sentence on direct appeal.

On March 7, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Mays’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

Mays’s state habeas counsel then raised nine grounds of error in a state habeas application. After a live evidentiary hearing, Judge Tarrance entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending denial of relief. On March 16, 2011, the Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the state habeas court’s findings and conclusions in their entirety and denied relief.

On Oct. 17, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Mays’s second petition for writ of certiorari.

Mays filed a federal habeas petition in the United States Eastern District Court, Tyler Division. The Magistrate Judge filed a report recommending the petition be denied. On Dec. 18, 2013, the district judge adopted the report in full, entered a final order and judgment denying the federal habeas petition, and denied a Certificate of Appealability (COA).

On June 27, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of habeas relief and denied Mays a COA in a published opinion. The Fifth Circuit also rejected Mays’s petition for rehearing en banc.

On Jan. 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Mays’s third petition for writ of certiorari.

On July 10, 2014, Judge Tarrance, sitting for the 173rd Judicial District Court of Henderson County, Texas, entered an Execution Order and issued a Death Warrant setting Mays’s execution for March 18, 2015 after 6:00 p.m.

Mays filed a Motion for Hearing Regarding Stay of Execution in trial court seeking to stay the date of execution so as to challenge Mays’s competency for execution. Judge Tarrance denied the motion at a hearing on Feb. 19, 2015. He further instructed Mays to file a 46.05 motion challenging competency and set a hearing for the following week.

On Feb. 24, 2015, Mays filed his motion challenging competency to be executed pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Article 46.05. At a hearing on Feb. 27, 2015, Judge Tarrance denied this motion and held the date of execution in place. On March 2, 2015, Mays appealed this denial to the Court of Criminal Appeals. That appeal is pending.


For additional information and statistics, please access the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, www.tdcj.state.tx.us.