Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, October 31, 2000

MEDIA ADVISORY

Gary Wayne Etheridge Scheduled To Be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Gary Wayne Etheridge who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 8th.

Etheridge was convicted and sentenced to death for the February 1990 murder and sexual assault of 15 year-old Christie Chauviere.

Etheridge murdered Christie as he was attempting to rob Christie's mother Gail. Etheridge worked in the apartment/condominium complex managed by Gail Chauviere. Etheridge knew where Gail and her children lived because he had followed her home several days earlier to pick up a stray dog Gail was going to give him.

On the evening of February 2, 1990, Gail arrived home from work to find Etheridge's car in her driveway. She entered her home and found Etheridge sitting on a couch with her daughter Christie, looking upset, nearby. Etheridge demanded the money that Gail was known to bring home from the apartment complex. Gail told Etheridge she would give him the money and pleaded with him not to hurt Christie. Etheridge ended up stabbing Gail numerous times and knocking her into a semi-conscious state. He then sexually assaulted and repeatedly stabbed Christie, killing her.

Etheridge fled the scene in Gail's car. A neighbor across the street saw Etheridge leave. Etheridge was arrested five days later as he was hitchhiking back to Texas after wrecking and abandoning Gail's car in Mobile, Alabama. An off-duty Houston police officer spotted Etheridge hitchhiking and arrested him.

EVIDENCE

  • When Etheridge was arrested he said to the officer, "Yes, I know I'm under arrest for killing that 15 year-old girl. I'm sorry for what I did, and was going back to Brazoria County to turn myself in."
  • Etheridge confessed to the murder in a written statement shortly after being arrested.
  • A day after Etheridge was arrested, police tape recorded his statement. In that statement, Etheridge said, "I killed a girl."
  • Blood evidence from the crime scene matched Etheridge's profile.
  • Joe Juarez, a neighbor who lived across the street from the Chauvieres, saw Gail's car pull out of the driveway and drive towards him with only one person in the car.
  • After the taped interview, police allowed Etheridge to talk to his father. Police recorded the phone call with Etheridge's knowledge. In the call, Etheridge told his father to tell anyone that harassed the family that he (meaning Etheridge himself) killed Christie. Etheridge also said that he wanted to go to the press so he could tell them that he killed Christie.
  • Gail Chauviere identified Etheridge as the attacker and stated that he did not have anyone else with him.

APPEALS TIME-LINE

  • June 22, 1994 - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Etheridge's conviction.
  • May 10, 1995 - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied rehearing.
  • October 10, 1995 - U.S. Supreme Court denied Etheridge's petition for writ of certiorari.
  • April 23, 1997 - Etheridge filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in state court and an amended writ on June 18, 1997. The trial court conducted a hearing via affidavits and entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending the denial of relief.
  • April 1, 1998 - Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief.
  • May 19, 1999 - District court denied relief and permission to appeal, based on a petition for federal habeas corpus Etheridge filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
  • February 2, 2000 - United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied permission to appeal, affirming the district court's denial of relief.
  • October 16, 2000 - U.S. Supreme Court denied Etheridge's petition for writ of certiorari.
  • Etheridge has filed a petition for clemency which is currently pending before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

The following individuals testified about certain incidents at the punishment phase of Etheridge's trial.

  • Kyle Teat, a field supervisor for the Brazoria County Juvenile Probation Department testified about Etheridge breaking into a car and violating his probation.
  • Bonnie Barker, of the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department, testified about adult offenses Etheridge was convicted of, including driving with a suspended license, driving while intoxicated, burglary, and aggravated assault.
  • Herbert Wright testified that Etheridge was on parole in 1989 for an aggravated assault incident and violated that parole when he murdered Christie Chauviere.
  • Charles Wagner, with the Freeport Police Department, testified about Etheridge having a bad reputation among area law enforcement.
  • Larry Bullard, with the Freeport Police Department, testified about Etheridge being caught selling cocaine in a sting operation.

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

    11/09/2000 Miguel Angel Flores (Hutchinson County)
    11/14/2000 Stacey Lamont Lawton (Smith County)
    11/15/2000 Tony Chambers (Smith County)
    11/16/2000 Johnny Paul Penry (Polk County)
    12/05/2000 Garry Dean Miller (Jones County)
    12/06/2000 Daniel Joe Hittle (Dallas County)
    12/07/2000 Claude Howard Jones (San Jacinto County)
    01/09/2001 Jack Wade Clark (Lubbock County)
    01/18/2001 Alvin Goodwin (Montgomery County)
    01/22/2001 Steven Anthony Butler (Harris County)

MISCELLANEOUS

    If this execution is carried out it will be the 234th execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 70th since General Cornyn took office.

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