Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Friday, Nov. 15, 2002

MEDIA ADVISORY

Craig Neil Ogan Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Craig Neil Ogan, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002.

On June 29, 1990, Craig Neil Ogan was sentenced to die for the capital murder of police officer James C. Boswell, which occurred in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 8, 1989. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

In late 1989, Craig Neil Ogan moved to Houston, Texas, from St. Louis, Missouri, where he voluntarily acted as a confidential informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

A DEA agent acted as Ogan's supervisor in Houston. The DEA agent told Ogan that he could not carry a weapon under any circumstances, per DEA policy. He also told Ogan to "just let his face be known" around Houston and instructed him not to be involved in any drug deals.

Despite these explicit instructions, Ogan insisted on arming himself and continued to seek involvement in drug transactions. On Dec. 8, 1989, Ogan called the DEA agent from a Houston restaurant. Ogan told him that a deal had fallen through and resulted in an armed confrontation. Ogan told the agent that he feared for his life and asked him to come to the restaurant and escort Ogan safely off the premises.

The DEA agent arranged for Houston police officers Darryl O'Leary and Steven Hanner to escort Ogan out of the restaurant. Ogan asked the officers to take him to his apartment so that he could remove papers and tapes related to a DEA investigation. At Ogan's apartment, the officers observed Ogan pack his belongings, including what appeared to be a .38-caliber pistol, a sawed-off shotgun, and at least two hunting knives. Officers O'Leary and Hanner then followed Ogan as he drove to a motel.

Ogan checked into his motel room and attempted to make several long-distance telephone calls, but the service was disconnected because Ogan had not left a deposit for long-distance calls. When Ogan went to the office to pay for his calls and to leave a deposit, he also complained that the heater in his room was not functioning. As he complained, he became louder and more upset, but eventually left the office area.

A short time later, Ogan returned to the motel office and renewed his complaints. He told the desk attendant that he did not want to pay for his long-distance calls and wanted his money back. Ogan became more angry. The attendant threatened to call security at which time Ogan began kicking at the office door. The desk attendant then called 9-1-1 for assistance. Ogan left the motel, and, seeing a police car across the street, walked to the passenger side of the car and knocked on the window.

Houston police officers Morgan Gainer and James Boswell had pulled into the parking lot to stop a car for a traffic infraction, and were unaware of the dispute between Ogan and the motel clerk. In response to Ogan's knock, Officer Boswell rolled down his window and asked what Ogan wanted. Ogan responded, "DEA dropped me off out here, and I'm cold." Officer Boswell told Ogan to back away from the car until the officers finished the traffic stop.

Ogan knocked on the window a second time. Officer Boswell opened the door and again asked Ogan to step back. Ogan told Officer Boswell that he was an informant for the DEA and that he was cold. Officer Boswell again told Ogan that he would have to wait. Ogan instead repeated his statement a third time. Officer Boswell told Ogan, "You need to get out of here if you are not willing to step out of the way and wait. You either need to leave, or you are going to jail."

Officer Boswell then got out of the police car. Ogan demanded that Boswell give him immediate assistance. Officer Boswell took his gun from the holster and, holding it behind his right leg, reached into the police car to unlock the back door. Ogan then, without warning or provocation, shot Officer Boswell in the head.

After seeing his partner fall against the back door of the police car, Officer Gainer chased and caught Ogan, wounding him in the process.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On June 25, 1990, Ogan was convicted in Harris County, Texas, for the intentional murder of Houston police officer James C. Boswell. After a separate punishment hearing, Ogan was sentenced to death on June 29, 1990. The conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Supreme Court denied Ogan's petition for writ of certiorari on March 28, 1994. The Court of Criminal Appeals denied Ogan's application for state writ of habeas corpus on April 28, 1999.

On Sept. 29, 2000, the district court denied Ogan's federal writ of habeas corpus, as well as his request for an evidentiary hearing and a certificate of appealability (COA). Ogan filed an application for COA to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 29, 2001, and the Director filed a response in opposition on Feb. 28, 2001. On Dec. 12, 2001, pursuant to the issuance of the Supreme Court's opinion in Penry v. Johnson, 532 U.S. 782 (2001), the Fifth Circuit requested that both parties file supplemental briefing regarding the applicability of Penry II to Ogan's case. After hearing oral argument, that court denied Ogan's request for COA on June 28, 2002. Ogan filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court on Oct. 30, 2002.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

While Ogan had numerous unadjudicated assaults where charges were dismissed, he has no prior criminal record.

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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