Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Friday, November 10, 2000

MEDIA ADVISORY

Tony Chambers Scheduled To Be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Tony Chambers who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 15th.

Chambers was convicted and sentenced to death for the November 1990 rape and murder of 11 year-old Carenthia Bailey in Tyler, Texas.

Chambers was seen leaving a school basketball game with Carenthia Bailey. She never returned home. Carenthia's body was found two days later in the woods near Dogan Middle School. It was determined that she had been strangled. There was also evidence that Bailey had been raped and there were twenty or more puncture wounds to her abdomen.

The same day Carenthia's body was found, Chambers admitted to police that he had met up with her at the basketball game, then walked with her into the woods where he had sex with Carenthia and strangled her.

EVIDENCE

  • Chambers made oral, written and videotaped confessions.
  • In a taped statement to police, the day Carenthia Bailey's body was found, Chambers admitted to having sex with Carenthia and strangling her.
  • A jailer overheard Chambers tell another inmate "You know that little girl that was killed; that was me."
  • When police told Chambers that Carenthia's body had been found, Chambers replied, "Oh no. Oh, my. I didn't mean to hurt her."
  • Four people who attended the basketball game that Carenthia attended, saw Chambers with her the night she disappeared.
  • Two witnesses saw Chambers after Carenthia's disappearance and he told them that he had killed her.

APPEALS TIME-LINE

  • October 27, 1993 - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Chambers' conviction.
  • December 8, 1993 - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied rehearing
  • May 16, 1994 - U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review.
  • March 18, 1998 - Court of Criminal Appeals denied Chambers' application for writ of state habeas corpus.
  • May 6, 1999 - A federal magistrate judge issued a report and recommended that Chambers' petition be denied, based on a second federal habeas petition Chambers filed in November 1998.
  • June 29, 1999 - District court adopted the magistrate's report and recommendation and denied habeas relief.
  • August 10, 1999 - District court denied permission to appeal.
  • June 20, 2000 - Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied permission to appeal.
  • July 24, 2000 - Court of Appeals denied rehearing.
  • October 24, 2000 - Chambers filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court which is pending.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

Chambers' girlfriend Juanita Benson testified at trial that while she and Chambers lived together, she frequently called police due to fights they had. Benson also testified that after she broke up with Chambers, he would come by and throw rocks at her house, pulled the phone cord out of the wall and set a bottle on fire and threw it into a window in her house.

Benson also said that Chambers threatened to shoot her in front of police if they came to arrest him. Chambers had been previously arrested for public intoxication, evading detention, traffic tickets, burglary and assault/retaliation.

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

11/16/2000 Johnny Paul Penry (Polk County)
12/05/2000 Gary 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 236th execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 72nd 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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