Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Wednesday, February 10, 1999

MEDIA ADVISORY

Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Danny Lee Barber who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. Thursday, February 11, 1999

FACTS OF THE CRIME

Danny Lee Barber was convicted for the capital offense of the murder of Janie Ingram while in the course of committing and attempting to commit the offense of burglary of a habitation. The murder occurred in Dallas County, Texas.

On October 8, 1979, the victim's body was discovered by her mother, Ruth Clowers, and brother, Roy Clowers, who went to the victim's house to see why she had not joined them for dinner. They found the back door of the house unlocked and decided to investigate. When Roy stepped into the kitchen, he discovered a large pool of blood. He found his sister in her bedroom, her body naked and smeared with blood. He and his mother called the Balch Springs police.

Dr. Thomas Gilchrist, a Dallas County medical examiner, testified that Janie Ingram died on or around October 8, 1979, after receiving at least twenty blows to her head with a blunt object. His autopsy revealed that the skin on her head had been literally ripped from her skull by the force of her attacker's blows, and the brain itself showed signs of bruising. Bruises covered her face and head, and her nose was broken.

Investigating officers discovered Barber's bloody palm print at the scene of Janie Ingram's murder.

In a confession, Barber described the murder of Janie Ingram:

On October 8, 1979, at about 11:00 p.m., I parked on Cheyenne Road. I walked to Janie Ingram's house on Lake June. I was wearing boots, blue jeans, a shirt, a beanie hat, brown leather gloves. I knew this was Janie

Ingram's house because I had cut down a tree for her and she paid me $10.00 for cutting it down. I picked up a piece of pipe in Janie's back yard, it was about a foot and a half long, it had a cap on one end. I was going to use a pipe to open a window, but I found the door in the breeze way unlocked. I went in this door and when I turned around I was facing someone who said, "Who is it?" Then she started screaming. She wouldn't be quite [sic], so I hit her with the pipe I was holding in my hand. I hit her three or four times with the pipe, I went bananas and I don't remember if I hit her anymore. I turned the light on and saw it was Janie Ingram that I had hit. She was laying in a puddle of blood, I took my gloves off and felt for a pulse on her neck and wrist. I went down the hall and into the bedroom. I looked under the bed and around the room. I found a purse with forty dollars in it. I got a pillow case off the bed and put the purse in it. I went back and got Janie and drug her down the hall and into the bedroom. I tried to get her onto the bed but I couldn't. I tried to clean some of the blood off of her and got blood all over me. I had her laying on her back on the floor at the end of the bed. I tried to have sex with her. I then went into the bathroom in that bedroom and took a shower. I left the house the same way I got in out the back door.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Barber was indicted on May 19, 1980, in the Criminal District Court No. 3 of Dallas County, Texas, in Cause No. F80-6421-LJ, the murder of Janie Ingram while in the course of committing and attempting to commit the offense of burglary of a habitation, a capital offense. Barber pled not guilty, and he was tried before a jury. On August 1, 1980, the jury found Barber guilty of capital murder. A separate punishment hearing ensued, and on August 6, 1980, the same jury answered affirmatively the two special issues submitted pursuant to Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 37.071(b) (Vernon 1973). In accordance with state law, the trial court assessed Barber's punishment at death.

Barber appealed directly to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed in part and abated the appeal. The case was then remanded to the trial court for a jury trial on the issue of Barber's competence to stand trial in 1980. In December of 1987, a jury found Barber to have been competent to stand trial. Barber appealed the finding of competence to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed Barber's conviction and sentence on September 14, 1988. Barber did not seek rehearing, and his execution was set for January 2, 1989. Barber filed a stay of execution and petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the stay pending the disposition of Barber's petition for writ of certiorari, which it denied on March 20, 1989.

The trial court then scheduled Barber's execution for October 30, 1991. Barber filed another application for state writ of habeas corpus on May 9, 1991. On October 17, 1991, the trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending that relief be denied. On October 22, 1991, Barber filed a Motion for Stay of Execution and Submission of Case in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Court of Criminal Appeals granted the stay of execution and set for submission one claim. The court issued an opinion denying relief on February 23, 1994, and denied Barber's motion for rehearing on May 11, 1994. Barber then filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which the Court denied on January 9, 1995.

Thereafter, Barber filed a motion for appointment of counsel to assist him in filing a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. A federal district court granted that request, and Barber filed his federal habeas petition on July 21, 1995. On April 30, 1997, the federal district court denied relief. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of relief on June 23, 1998, by denying a certificate of probable cause to appeal, and denied Barber's petition for rehearing on August 10, 1998. Barber then filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which the Court denied on November 16, 1998.

On December 7, 1998, Barber filed another application for state writ of habeas corpus, which was dismissed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on December 8, 1998. Barber then filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which the Court denied on December 9, 1998.

The sole matter presently pending is an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from a civil rights lawsuit relating to clemency procedures. Barber had previously received a stay of execution relating to that action by the lower federal district court approximately two hours before his previously scheduled execution.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

At the punishment phase, the state introduced, via Barber's confessions, evidence of three other brutal murders Barber committed over a period of approximately two years immediately prior to the instant offense. Barber confessed to shooting and killing Raymond Curlee in the course of committing or attempting to commit burglary of Curlee's home, then attempting to have sex with the body. Barber also confessed to the beating death of Mary Ellen Caperton and the shooting death of Mercedes Mendez. Barber told police he had engaged in consensual sexual intercourse with each of the women before killing them.

The state also presented evidence that Barber had shot James Whittaker in an attempt to commit murder (Barber stated in his confession that he "aimed the rifle just to the man's left and shot" just to "have some fun with him"), and that Barber had burglarized his wife's aunt's residence and beat her.

DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL

There was no evidence of drug or alcohol use in connection with the instant offense.

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

2/16/99     Andrew Cantu (Taylor)
2/24/99     Norman Evans Green (Bexar County)
3/09/99     Robert Lookingbill ( Hidalgo)
3/18/99     Steven Kenneth Staley (Tarrant County)
3/25/99     Charles Rector (Travis)
3/25/99     Jeffrey Carlton Doughtie (Nueces)
4/13/99     David Earl Gibbs (Montgomery County)
4/28/99     Aaron Christopher Foust (Tarrant)
5/04/99      Jose De La Cruz (Nueces)
5/05/99     Clydell Coleman (McClennan)

MISCELLANEOUS

If this execution is carried out, and if George Cordova is executed on February 10, 1999, this will be the 169th execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 5th since General Cornyn took office

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Contact Ted Delisi, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050