Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002

MEDIA ADVISORY

Rex Warren Mays Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Rex Warren Mays, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2002.

On Sept. 18, 1995, Rex Warren Mays was sentenced to die for the capital murders of Kristin Wiley and Kynara Carriero in Houston, Texas, on July 20, 1992. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

On the afternoon of July 20, 1992, 14-year-old Jeremy Garza found the bloody bodies of his 10-year-old sister, Kristin Wiley, and her 7-year-old best friend, Kynara Carriero, in his bedroom. Both girls were naked from the waist down and had been stabbed about 20 times. Autopsies revealed that both girls died of stab wounds to the neck and head. Though they also suffered vaginal trauma, no semen was found.

Rex Warren Mays, who lived next door to Jeremy Garza and Kristin Wiley, had been fired from his job earlier that same day. One-and-a-half years later, Mays confessed to killing Kristin and Kynara, confirming investigators' suspicions.

As Mays related in his voluntary statement to the police, he left his workplace on July 20, 1992, at about 2:45 p.m., feeling upset about losing his job and concerned about how he would convey the news to his wife. Though he drove home, he parked his car a few houses down the street from his own residence and walked to his neighbor's house. Upon hearing loud music from within the home, Mays pushed open the unlocked front door and called for Kristin Wiley. As he walked through the house, he saw Kristin and Kynara running away from him. Mays followed them and asked them to lower the volume on the stereo. Kynara answered, "No, we're not going to turn it down! Just get out of the house!" Then, Mays began stabbing both girls with a knife he took from the kitchen.

When he was certain they were dead, Mays crawled out of the house through a window leading to the backyard, and was about to climb over the privacy fence when he remembered that he left his car parked down the street. Mays re-entered the Wiley house through the same window, and walked out through the front door.

Upon reaching his car, Mays placed the murder weapon and his bloody shirt in a duffle bag that he kept in his car. He then drove home, parked his car in his garage, told his wife that he had been fired, and showered to wash away the blood that had splattered onto his legs.

Shortly thereafter, when emergency personnel appeared on the scene, Mays observed the commotion, allowed the victim's mother to use his telephone, and invited several law enforcement officers into his house for refreshments. The next day, he washed his bloody clothes, threw the knife into a nearby ravine, and placed the duffle bag in the garbage.

Blood traces from Mays' laundered clothing revealed DNA that linked to the victims' DNA. Crime scene investigators also found blood on the privacy fence that separated Mays' backyard from the Wiley's.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 12, 1994, Mays was indicted for capital murder in the 176th District Court of Harris County, Texas. He pleaded "not guilty." Trial on the merits began Sept. 5, 1995, and on Sept. 12, 1995, the jury returned a verdict of "guilty." Following a separate punishment hearing, the same jury answered "yes" to the future dangerousness special issue and found that no mitigating circumstance warranted that Mays be sentenced to life imprisonment. Consequently, on Sept.18, 1995, the trial court assessed punishment at death.

In February 1997, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals abated Mays' appeal and remanded the case to the trial court for factual findings and conclusions of law regarding the admissibility of Mays' written confession. After the trial court filed its findings of fact and conclusions of law on that issue, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Mays' conviction and sentence in an unpublished opinion. Mays then petitioned for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, but was denied on Oct. 12, 1999. In that same year, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied his state petition for habeas relief.

On March 31, 2000, Mays filed his federal habeas petition. The federal district court denied both relief and a certificate of appealability on Feb. 22, 2001. On Jan. 3, 2002, the Fifth Circuit also denied Mays' request for a certificate of appealability.

On or about July 2, 2002, Mays filed a petition for certiorari to the Fifth Circuit. The Supreme Court denied Mays' petition for certiorari review on Sept. 12, 2002.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

No evidence was introduced at trial showing that Mays had been previously charged with any crime.

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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