Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

MEDIA ADVISORY

Jeffery Lynn Williams Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Jeffery Lynn Williams, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, 2002.

On May 5, 1995, Jeffery Lynn Williams was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Barbara Jackson Pullins during a robbery, which occurred in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 26, 1994. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

On the evening of Oct. 26, 1994, a male intruder awakened nine-year-old Jamie Jackson by strangling her with his hands. The man stopped choking Jamie and ordered her to take off her clothes. When Jamie told him that she would not let him rape her, he struck her in the mouth. The intruder then raped the young girl and threatened, "If you tell anybody, I'll kill you." He then stole several items from the bedroom and left the apartment.

After she heard the intruder leave, Jamie crept into the living room where she found her mother, Barbara Jackson Pullins, lying motionless on the floor. When she couldn't get a response from her mother, Jamie ran to her grandmother's nearby apartment for help.

When Houston police officers arrived at the apartment, they found Pullins dead on her living room floor. She was found wearing only a pair of panties, and her feet had been bound together by a telephone cord. Pullins also suffered several burn injuries, and officers observed a number of burnt paper towels scattered around the room. Police discovered blood on the kitchen floor and in the kitchen sink, and a smoldering cigarette on the stove. They also collected an unidentified palm print and thumb print from the kitchen sink and the bedroom door.

An autopsy of Pullins' body revealed that she died as a result of asphyxia due to strangulation. Medical examiners also discovered second and third degree burns to Pullins' jaw, neck, upper-torso, belly, arm, hand, thighs, and ankles. Examiners concluded that one burn appeared to have been caused by an iron; other burns were caused by a lit cigarette and by burning paper towels. They also discovered that Pullins' fingers had been burned to where one of the fingernails had become charred. The burns all appeared to have been inflicted after Pullins' death in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Shortly after arriving at the scene, investigators began to interview residents of Pullins' apartment complex. During the interviews, they located a woman named Patricia Allen, who was an acquaintance of Jeffery Lynn Williams. Allen related that earlier that evening, Williams had come to her apartment and was acting in a very unusual manner. After pacing the floor of Allen's apartment for about 20 minutes, Williams indicated that he was going to the store to buy cigarettes. Allen was able to direct police to an adjacent apartment complex where Williams lived, but police did not get an answer when they knocked on Williams' door.

Police also discovered that Pullins' car was missing. They soon located the car parked in Williams' apartment complex.

The following day, police received a Crime Stopper's tip that Williams had committed the homicide. As a result, the police arranged for a photo array in which Jamie identified a photograph of Williams as her attacker. Police also obtained a set of Williams' fingerprints for comparison with the palm and thumb print found inside Pullins' apartment. Both prints matched Williams.

After Houston police obtained search and arrest warrants, they returned to Williams' apartment and placed him under arrest. Investigators searched the residence and found a number of items that had been stolen from Pullins' apartment, including Pullins' purse and keys, a jacket, telephone, VCR, television, and a pistol.

Williams was then transported to the police station where he gave a series of three videotaped statements. In his final statement, Williams indicated that he had gone to Pullins' apartment to steal some money, but claimed that he did not plan to kill her. Williams stated that he forced his way inside with a knife and cut Pullins during a brief struggle. He then forced Pullins to disrobe and tied her feet together with a phone cord. After starting to rape the victim, Williams stopped because he did not "get anything out of it." Williams recalled that he then tied Pullins up again, shared a cigarette with her and talked to her. Williams stated that he "just went off," placed a plastic bag over Pullins' head and strangled her to death with the cord from an iron. Williams then burned her body. Williams also admitted to having strangled, raped and injured nine-year-old Jamie.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

March 9, 1995 - A grand jury indicted Williams in the 174th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, for the offense of capital murder. The indictment charged Williams with murdering Barbara Pullins during the course of a robbery.

May 2, 1995 - A jury convicted Williams of capital murder.

May 5, 1995 - Following a separate punishment hearing, Williams was sentenced to death.

December 18, 1996 - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Williams' conviction and sentence in a published opinion.

January 29, 1997 - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied rehearing.

March 3, 1998 - Williams filed an application for writ of habeas corpus with the trial court.

November 3, 1999 - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Williams' application for habeas relief in an unpublished order.

January 27, 2000 - Williams filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

April 5, 2001 - The federal district court denied Williams habeas relief and refused to grant him a certificate of appealability.

January 4, 2002 - The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of federal habeas relief by also refusing to grant a certificate of appealability.

February 12, 2002 - The state trial court signed an order setting Williams' execution for Wednesday, June 26, 2002.

March 30, 2002 - Williams filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court seeking review of the Fifth Circuit's decision.

June 10, 2002 - The United States Supreme Court denied Williams' petition for writ of certiorari.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

During Williams' state capital murder trial, the prosecution presented the following evidence of Williams' lengthy criminal history.

April 28, 1989 - At age 17, Williams was adjudicated as an adult for the first time. He pleaded guilty to the felony offense of auto theft based on an incident that occurred on March 31, 1989. He was placed on probation, ordered to pay a $400 fine and ordered to spend 30 days in the Harris County Jail.

June 12, 1989 - Williams and another man crashed a pair of stolen vehicles into a ditch. A nearby resident named Sivco Volchev saw the two men emerge from the wrecked vehicles and initially tried to ask if they needed help. However, Volchev quickly realized that the cars had been stolen. He then told a neighbor to call police and set out in his own car to find the two men. When he pulled up next to Williams, Williams pulled a gun on him. Volchev sped away but Williams fired a shot which struck and flattened his rear tire.

June 30, 1989 - Williams pleaded guilty to the felony offenses of aggravated assault and theft of a motor vehicle based on the incident involving Volchev. Williams was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in the Texas Department of Corrections on each offense to be served concurrently. Williams' prior probation from his April 1989 conviction was also revoked, and he was sentenced to four years confinement in that case.

January 30, 1990 - Williams was paroled from the Texas Department of Corrections.

June 27, 1990 - Williams pleaded guilty to the felony offense of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle committed on April 27, 1990. He was sentenced to 10 years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections.

April 26, 1991 - Williams was paroled from the Texas Department of Corrections.

July 15, 1991 - Williams pleaded guilty to the felony offense of auto theft committed on June 22, 1991. He was sentenced to 25 years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections.

March 11, 1994 - Williams was paroled from the Texas Department of Corrections.

MISCELLANEOUS

For additional information and statistics, please log on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, www.tdcj.state.tx.us.

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