Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Tuesday, February 23, 1999

MEDIA ADVISORY

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Norman Evans Green who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, 1999.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

Norman Evans Green was convicted for the capital offense of murdering Timothy Adams during the commission and attempted commission of robbery, a capital offense. The murder occurred in San Antonio, Texas.

The facts surrounding Green's commission of capital murder are set forth in the published opinion of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on direct appeal of Green's conviction and sentence, to wit:

Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence at trial established the following facts. On February 13, 1985, Wilson Lucas, a retired educator, was visiting a friend who lived at a set of apartments located directly behind a Dyer Electronics in San Antonio. Lucas testified that, at about midday of February 13, he came into contact with [Green] and his co-defendant in the parking lot of the apartment complex. His suspicions aroused by their behavior, Lucas stated that he carefully looked both men over, as well as the vehicle they were near, during the several minutes he was in contact with them. Lucas said that the two men were still at the apartment complex when Lucas and his friend left. He also testified that about twenty minutes after he left the complex, he heard over the radio that the adjacent Dyer Electronics store had been robbed and the attendant had been shot. Lucas and his friend then went to Dyer's and subsequently gave a statement to police. Shortly before Lucas had his encounter with [Green], Gerry Rickhoff, the store manager at Dyer Electronics, and his eighteen-year-old employee, Timothy Adams, the victim in this case, were commencing what appeared to be another ordinary work day. Rickhoff recalled in testimony that business had been slow that morning, but that [two men] had come into the store in the early afternoon. Rickhoff told the jury that he noticed that the vehicle in which the men had arrived [which was later shown to belong to [Green]] was old and in poor condition. He stated that the victim engaged the men in conversation, then one separated from the discussion and looked over the store. The men then left without asking about any particular equipment and without purchasing anything. Rickhoff identified [Green] as one of those two men. The other was later identified as one Harold Bowens. As Rickhoff prepared to leave for lunch, he noticed the same vehicle returning to the store and later identified the same two men as he had seen in the store previously to be the car's occupants. Rickhoff exited his car, returned to the store, and told Adams not to let the two "steal anything." Rickhoff then left for lunch. Upon arriving at his apartment shortly after leaving the store, Rickhoff received a phone call that there had been a shooting at the store. Next door to Dyer Electronics was a Midas Muffler Shop with Steve Robinson on duty as manager. Jeff Cochran and Randy Reece were also working there on February 13, 1985. Reece testified that at approximately 1:30 p.m. on that day, he heard sounds that his co-worker Cochran identified as gunshots coming from the direction of the electronics store. Reece stated that he then went to the front door of Midas and saw [two men], later identified as [Green] and Bowens, exit Dyer's and get into the same old, beat-up vehicle identified by Lucas and Rickhoff. Reece, Cochran, and Robinson then all ran over to the Dyer building. They found the victim, Adams, alive, but "covered in blood". Reece testified that as he approached the victim, Adams stated several times that he had been shot and needed an ambulance. Reece stated that he found the victim slumped over the cash register and then he helped him to the floor. Reece also told the jury that he overheard the victim tell Cochran, "They tried to rob me, but they didn't get anything." The Dyer stores' city manager, Leslie Daniels, testified that he called the store that afternoon only to have his call answered by Adams proclaiming to be dying and asking for help. Daniels had an employee contact the owner, Jerry Dyer. When Daniels arrived at the store, the police and ambulance were both at the scene. Daniels spoke to the victim who told him that [two men] who had been in the store earlier that day had done this to him and that Rickhoff knew who they were. Daniels later told the police that nothing appeared to be missing from the store. Officer Donald Weilbacher testified that Adams told him that [two men] had shot him during their attempt to commit robbery. After the police arrived at the scene of the shooting and questioned the witnesses, one officer broadcast a description of the suspects and the car involved. Officer James Holguin, of the San Antonio Police Department, testified that he located a car matching the description at an apartment complex. [Cochran and Reece were subsequently taken to this apartment complex where they positively identified the car as the one that the perpetrators had used in the incident]. He testified that when he pulled his vehicle close to the suspect vehicle, the two occupants exited the car and began walking in different directions. As the officer recognized the passenger as co-defendant Bowens, he decided to follow the driver, later identified as [Green]. [Green] ran when Holguin identified himself as a police officer. Although Holguin gave chase, he momentarily lost sight of the suspect. When the officer saw [Green] again, he had removed and discarded the jacket he had been wearing. [Green] managed to elude capture at that time. Other officers were on the scene by this time and Officer Harold Schott, also of the San Antonio Police Department, testified that he found a gun in the vicinity of where Holguin had chased the suspect. This location was very near the suspect's vehicle. The weapon was identified as a blue steel .38 caliber revolver with a four inch barrel. The six-shot revolver contained four spent shell casings and two live rounds of .38 caliber special Winchester Plus P ammunition. The bullets had been manually altered, with an "X" cut in the nose of each bullet. Schott testified that this type of alteration facilitates a more rapid expansion of the bullet upon impact, resulting in faster killing power. Schott explained that the fresh scratches on the gun indicated that it had been dropped on the ground fairly recently. Schott told the jury that he then fingerprinted the gun and was able to obtain prints. Fingerprint expert Officer Ricardo Contreras testified that he positively identified the prints taken from the gun as those of [Green]. None of the prints lifted from the weapon belonged to Harold Bowens. While other ridge prints were found, they were insufficient to make an identification. [Green] was subsequently arrested pursuant to a warrant and immediately advised of his constitutional rights. Detective Anton Michalec testified that [Green] was then taken to the police station where he was readvised of his rights and questioned. [Green] gave a four-page statement to the detective wherein he basically accused Bowens of planning the entire event and of firing the fatal shot. [Green] explained that when he and Bowens were on their way to pick up some 200 videocassette recorders, Bowens received a .38 caliber gun from a friend which he appeared to place on the floor of the vehicle. [Green] also claimed that Bowens had taken the gun into Dyer's and, when the victim would not cooperate, Bowens fired a shot into the floor of the store. Dr. Robert Bux performed the autopsy on Adams who had received gunshot wounds to the right elbow, the left anterior chest, and the abdomen below the rib cage. Billy Hazel also testified for the State. He explained that in 1985, he was placed in a cell with [Green] while Hazel was under arrest for burglary. Hazel related a conversation he had with [Green] in which [Green] stated that he had shot a salesperson at Dyer Electronics. [Green] told Hazel that Bowens had been with him and that he ([Green]) had made up his mind to rob the place. [Green] testified on his own behalf at trial. He admitted that he had been convicted twice previously and served time in prison. He admitted going to Dyer's with Bowen; however he maintained that he and Bowens were to "move" two hundred videocassette recorders and that it was an "inside deal." [Green] claimed that Bowens took the gun into the store without his knowledge and that Bowens shot the victim. [Green] also claimed that Bowens shot into the floor. [Green] told the jury that he was at the apartments behind Dyer Electronics, where he and Bowens had been seen by Lucas, earlier that day to visit his brother, but changed his mind. [Green] also made other statements to the jury which were inconsistent with what he had told the police in his earlier statement.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Green was indicted in Cause No. 85-CR-1174-A for the murder of Timothy Adams during the commission and attempted commission of robbery, a capital offense. In 1989, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Green's original conviction and sentence of death. On retrial, Green pleaded not guilty to the charge and was tried by a jury. Jury selection began on January 8, 1990, and trial on the merits began on January 22, 1990. The jury found Green guilty as charged on January 26, 1990. After hearing additional evidence relevant to punishment, the jury answered the special issues submitted pursuant to article 37.071(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Green was then sentenced to death by lethal injection, as required by law.

Green's conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal by the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1992. The Court of Criminal Appeals denied rehearing on September 23, 1992. The United States Supreme Court denied his petition for writ of certiorari on April 5, 1993.

In August of 1993, Green filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in the state trial court. The state trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on May 5-6, 1994. On May 25, 1994, the state trial court issued its written findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation that Green's state habeas corpus application be denied. On July 12, 1994, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a one-page order denying Green's state habeas corpus application. On November 28, 1994, the United States Supreme Court denied Green's petition for writ of certiorari.

On December 5, 1994, Green filed in federal district court a 149-page petition for federal habeas corpus relief, a motion for stay of execution, and a motion for time to amend. In an order issued the same day, the district court granted the stay, appointed counsel, and gave counsel until January 31, 1995, to file an amended petition. However, Green never filed an amended petition. On March 20, 1995, the State filed a 70-page motion for summary judgment. On December 23, 1997, the district court issued a 198-page Memorandum Opinion and Order denying Green's petition for habeas corpus relief, denying Green's request for an evidentiary hearing, denying a certificate of probable cause to appeal ("CPC"), and vacating the previously issued stay of execution. Green filed notice of appeal on January 9, 1998. On November 11, 1998, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion denying Green's application for certificate of probable cause to appeal the adverse judgment of the district court. Thereafter, the state trial court scheduled Green's execution for February 24, 1999. Green then filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which is presently pending before the court.

On February 10, 1999, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed a second application for state writ of habeas corpus as successive (abuse of the writ). On February 23, 1999, the Fifth Circuit denied Green permission to file a second federal habeas petition.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

As noted above, Green admitted at trial that he had been convicted twice previously and served time in prison.

DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL

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

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

03/18/99      Steven Kenneth Staley (Tarrant County)
03/25/99      Charles Rector (Travis County)
03/25/99      Jeffrey Carlton Doughtie (Nueces County)
04/13/99      David Earl Gibbs (Montgomery County)
04/28/99      Aaron Christopher Foust (Tarrant County)
05/04/99      Jose De La Cruz (Nueces County)
05/05/99      Clydell Coleman (McClennan County)
05/14/99      Stanley Allison Baker, Jr. (Brazos County)

MISCELLANEOUS

If this execution is carried out, it will be the 171st execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 7th since General Cornyn took office

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