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Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Thursday, August 10, 2000

MEDIA ADVISORY:

Richard Wayne Jones Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Richard Wayne Jones who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22nd.

Richard Wayne Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the February 1986 murder of Tammy Livingston in Hurst, Texas. Livingston was stabbed to death 17 times and then the area around her body was set on fire.

Jones followed Livingston as she was leaving a Michael's store at about 7:30 p.m. As Livingston was backing out of a parking space, Jones ran to the back of her car, opened her car door and then forced himself into the driver's seat.

Later that evening, between 9:20 and 9:45, a Fort Worth resident heard screams coming from a vacant property. At about 11:20 that same evening, the Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a grass fire in the same area where someone had heard screams. It was there that firefighters discovered the charred remains of Tammy Livingston. Authorities determined that Livingston had been stabbed 17 times in the face and neck.

The night after Livingston's murder, Jones bought a pair of boots with a credit card in the name of Tammy Livingston. Later that night, Jones and a woman tried to buy groceries at a Fort Worth Safeway with a check from the account of Tammy and Russell Livingston.

The woman with Jones, Yelena Comalander, was arrested for trying to pass someone else's check.

The next morning, Livingston's car was recovered from a parking lot in Fort Worth. Jones' left thumb print was found on the inside of the front window of the driver's side of the car.

Police also found several of Livingston's belongings including her engagement ring and her inscribed wedding band, at an apartment that Yelena Comalander took them to.

Police arrested Jones a short time later.

The morning after Jones was arrested, an eyewitness to Livingston's kidnapping from the Michael's parking lot picked Jones out of a police line-up. Physical evidence also linked Jones to Livingston's murder. Jones also signed a written statement, admitting to the kidnapping and murder of Tammy Livingston.

Jones had been out of prison for less than five months when he committed this murder.

EVIDENCE

  • Jones signed a written statement admitting to kidnapping and murdering Tammy Livingston.
  • Jones' thumb print was found inside the front window of Tammy Livingston's car.
  • An eyewitness who saw Jones kidnap Livingston from the Michael's parking lot picked Jones out of a police line-up.
  • A pair of jeans and a shirt Jones was wearing the night of Livingston's murder were found to have blood on them that was the same blood type as Livingston's.
  • Jones bought a pair of boots with a credit card in the name of Tammy Livingston, the night after Livingston was murdered.
  • Jones and another woman, Yelena Comalander, tried to buy groceries with a check that was traced to the account of Tammy and Russell Livingston.

APPEALS TIME-LINE

  • Sept. 23, 1992 - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Jones' conviction and death sentence.
  • Nov. 4, 1992 - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied rehearing.
  • April 19, 1993 - U.S. Supreme Court denied Jones' petition for writ of certiorari.
  • May 25, 1994 - Court of Criminal Appeals denied state habeas relief based on the trial court's recommendation for denial.
  • June 28, 1994 - Court of Criminal Appeals denied Jones' request for reconsideration.
  • Oct. 29, 1998 - District Court entered final judgment denying federal habeas relief.
  • April 7, 2000 - Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed district court's denial of relief.
  • To date, Jones' petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court is pending.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

Testimony at the punishment phase of Jones' trial indicated that:

  • Jones pled guilty in January 1978 to burglary for which he was placed on probation.
  • That probation was revoked which resulted in Jones spending five years in jail.
  • Jones pled guilty in January 1979 to three counts of felony theft of property in Tarrant County. He was sentenced to seven years in jail.
  • Jones pled guilty in August 1983 to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in Tarrant County. He was sentenced to seven years in jail.
  • The manager of a Taco Bell in Grand Prairie testified at trial that he had identified Jones as one of two men who robbed the restaurant on Aug. 2, 1982. The manager testified that Jones held a gun on employees during the robbery.
  • A county jailer testified that while Jones' murder trial was going on, weapons (toothbrush with a razor attached and a razor blade) were found in his cell.

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

08/23/2000 David Earl Gibbs (Montgomery County)
08/30/2000 Jeffery Caldwell (Dallas County)
09/13/2000 Miguel A. Richardson (Bexar County)
10/04/2000 Stacey Lamont Lawton (Smith County)
11/01/2000 Jeffrey Dillingham (Tarrant County)
11/08/2000 Gary Wayne Etheridge (Brazoria County)
11/09/2000 Miguel Angel Flores (Hutchinson County)
11/15/2000 Tony Chambers (Smith County)

MISCELLANEOUS

If this execution is carried out, it will be the 229th execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 65th since Attorney General Cornyn took office.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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