THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Media Advisory: Troy Albert Kunkle Scheduled For Execution

AUSTIN Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information about 38-year-old Troy Albert Kunkle, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. January 25,2005.

In 1985, Troy Albert Kunkle was sentenced to die for the August 1984 capital murder of Stephen Horton in Corpus Christi. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

At about 6 p.m. on August 11, 1984, then 18-year-old Troy Albert Kunkle and three companions drove from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. They saw Stephen Horton walking along a road and offered him a ride. They demanded his wallet.

Kunkle then told one of his colleagues to kill Horton. When he refused, Kunkle took the gun and stuck it up against Horton’s head and said, We’re going to take you back here and blow your brains out. After one of his companions drove the car behind a skating rink, Kunkle shot Horton in the back of the head. They opened the car door, pushed the body out, and they took Horton’s wallet.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Oct. 17, 1984 A Nueces County grand jury indicted Kunkle for the capital murder of Stephen Horton.
Feb. 22, 1985 A jury found Kunkle guilty of capital murder.
Mar. 1, 1985 The court assessed a sentence of death following a punishment hearing.
June 18, 1986 The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Kunkle’s conviction and sentence.
July 3, 1989 Kunkle’s first petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
July 27, 1989 Kunkle filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in the trial court.
Aug. 30, 1989 The U.S. Supreme Court declined to rehear Kunkle’s certiorari petition.
Feb. 3, 1993 The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Kunkle’s application for writ of habeas corpus.
Aug. 24, 1993 Kunkle filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.
Oct. 4, 1993 The U.S. Supreme Court denied Kunkle’s second petition for writ of certiorari.
Jan. 10, 1995 The federal district court dismissed Kunkle’s petition for habeas relief for failure to exhaust state court remedies.
Mar. 1, 1995 Kunkle filed a second application for writ of habeas corpus in the trial court.
Mar. 29, 1995 Based on the trial court’s recommendation, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Kunkle’s second application for writ of habeas corpus.
Apr. 28, 1995 Kunkle filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus in a Corpus Christi U.S. District Court.
Sept. 2, 2002 The federal district court granted summary judgment, denied Kunkle’s petition, and denied permission to appeal.
Feb. 13, 2003 Kunkle requested permission to appeal from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Dec. 9, 2003 The Fifth Circuit Court partially denied permission to appeal and partially granted permission to appeal, but affirmed the district court’s denial of habeas relief.
Jan. 28, 2004 The Fifth Circuit Court declined to rehear the case.
Apr. 27, 2004 Kunkle filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Oct. 4, 2004 -- The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari.
Nov. 15, 2004 -- Kunkle filed a successive application for a writ of habeas corpus.
Nov. 17, 2004 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed Kunkle's application.
Nov. 18, 2004 -- Kunkle filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S.Supreme Court and a request for permission to file a successive petition for writ of habeas corpus in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court stayed Kunkle's execution pending resolution of the certiorari petition.
Dec. 13, 2004 -- The Supreme Court denied certiorari review and dissolved the stay of execution.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

Kunkle had no prior criminal record, but was a problem student who was frequently disciplined for truancy, smoking, and classroom disruption.

MISCELLANEOUS

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