Friday, March 14, 2014
AUSTIN – Pursuant to an order from the 187th District Court of Bexar County, Ray Jasper is scheduled for execution after 6 p.m. on March 19, 2014.
On Jan. 20, 2000, Jasper was sentenced to die for the Nov. 28, 1998, robbery-related capital murder of David Alejandro.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals described the murder as follows:
David Alejandro owned and operated a music recording studio where musicians could have their music professionally recorded for a fee. This business required the use of various pieces of electronic equipment such as computers, soundboards and microphones. Jasper and some of his friends frequently recorded their rap music at the studio. At some point, Jasper decided to steal Alejandro’s equipment in order to make money from its sale. Aware that Alejandro would be able to identify him, Jasper also decided to kill Alejandro so that there would be no witnesses. He enlisted the help of two friends to assist in removing the heavy equipment from the studio.
On November 21, 1998, Jasper purchased large bags from a [sporting goods] store. A week later, he and his accomplices drove two vans to Alejandro’s studio. Jasper and one accomplice carried concealed knives. The three had made an appointment at the studio and spent about two hours there while Alejandro recorded their music before they decided it was time to kill him. Jasper slashed Alejandro’s throat from ear to ear, but did not kill him. Jasper and one accomplice continued to attack Alejandro until he died as a result of multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen. Jasper covered the body with a sheet taken earlier from Jasper’s bed, and the group began loading equipment into the vans. Jasper fled on foot when an off-duty police officer arrived to investigate the scene, but was apprehended days later outside his home.
On December 2, 1998, Jasper confessed to police that he had planned the crime and recruited two accomplices. His confession describes events in detail that were later corroborated by Jasper’s girlfriend, Christina Breton, police officers, security guards, and physical evidence discovered by investigators. Breton testified that several days before the commission of the crime, Jasper had told her about his plan to steal Alejandro's equipment and kill him.
PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY
Under Texas law, the rules of evidence prevent certain prior criminal acts from being presented to a jury during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. However, once a defendant is found guilty, jurors are presented with information about the defendant’s prior criminal conduct during the second phase of the trial – which is when they determine the defendant’s punishment.
The prosecution presented witnesses who testified (1) Jasper had been found in possession of marijuana while on school property, (2) Jasper was sent to an alternative campus and later expelled, (3) on March 20, 1997, Jasper was observed driving 62 mph in a 45 mph zone and, when a police officer attempted to pull over the vehicle Jasper was driving without a driver’s license, Jasper led the officer on a high speed chase which reached speeds exceeding ninety miles per hour and which did not end until Jasper crashed his vehicle on a set of railroad tracks, (4) on November 23, 1998, just days before David Alejandro’s murder, an off-duty San Antonio Police robbery detective spotted Jasper, who appeared to be serving as a lookout for a burglary, and when the officer approached and identified himself as a law enforcement officer, Jasper charged, repeatedly struck and assaulted the officer with such ferocity that the officer felt compelled to throw his handgun away until he could establish control over Jasper, (5) Jasper’s fingerprint was found on the exterior of a rear window, inside the backyard, of the residence where Jasper had been spotted by the officer Jasper assaulted, and (6) David Alejandro was a music composer and singer who gave many other artists a chance when they were just beginning their careers.
On June 1, 1999, a Bexar County grand jury indicted Jasper for robbery-related capital murder.
On Jan. 18, 2000, after a trial in the 187th District Court of Bexar County, jurors found Jasper guilty of capital murder.
On Jan. 20, 2000, after a punishment hearing, the judge in open court sentenced Jasper to death. On Jan. 24, 2000, the district court signed an order sentencing Jasper to death.
On Sept. 4, 2001, Jasper filed his first state application for habeas corpus relief.
On Nov. 28, 2001, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Jasper’s conviction and sentence on appeal.
On Aug. 20, 2008, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied Jasper’s application for habeas corpus relief.
On July 31, 2009, Jasper filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in the federal court for the Western District of Texas.
On Jan. 19, 2011, the federal district court denied Jasper’s petition for habeas corpus relief.
On April 26, 2012, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment denying habeas corpus relief.
On Dec. 10, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review.
On Oct. 17, 2013, the 187th District Court of Bexar County signed an order scheduling Jasper’s execution to take place on March 19, 2014.
For additional information and statistics, please log on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, www.tdcj.state.tx.us.