Appeals court turns down condemned San Antonio man

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Appeals court turns down condemned San Antonio man

Post  Jennie on Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:57 am

Appeals court turns down condemned San Antonio man

A San Antonio gang member sent to death row for gunning down 2 people outside a bar more than 14 years ago has lost a federal court appeal, edging him closer to execution.

Frank Moore, 49, was tried twice for the 1994 slayings of Samuel Boyd, 23, who was shot six times with a rifle, and Patrick Clark, 15, who was shot five times. Evidence showed both victims were shot while they were sitting in a car outside the Wheels of Joy Club.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out his conviction in 1998 because jurors were not allowed to consider lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and murder. Bexar County prosecutors retried Moore the following year and a jury convicted him of capital murder and again sentenced him to die.

It's that conviction and sentence the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld by refusing to grant what's known as a certificate of appealability which would allow Moore's appeals to move forward.

Testimony showed Moore and his half-brother Tyron Parks got into a fight with Boyd and Clark in the parking lot of the night club. Testimony from a medical examiner said both victims were "acutely intoxicated." Defense lawyers argued Clark had tried to run Moore down with the car.

In the appeal, Moore's lawyers argued prosecutors withheld evidence from the owner of a security company who offered an affidavit that the shootings could have been in self-defense, backing up Moore's claims.

But the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, in its ruling posted late Monday, said the affidavit always was available to Moore and his lawyers, was not new evidence, was "highly speculative," and "almost entirely consisted of inadmissible hearsay, and, importantly, it was vague to boot, lacking any specificity."

The appeals court also rejected arguments that three references to Moore's first trial made at the second trial were improper and should have resulted in a mistrial and that his trial lawyers were ineffective because they should have conducted a more thorough investigation.

Court documents show Moore belonged to a violent gang called the East Terrace Gangsters and was a "sergeant-at-arms" for the Black Panthers, responsible for obtaining, hiding and distributing weapons. The court file also said while Moore was locked up, he took an active role in a race riot, attacked a guard, had other incidents of violence and had been a member of the Crips gang since he was 14.

During the punishment phase of his trial, prosecutors showed that just before he was arrested three days after the Boyd and Clark slayings, Moore was arrested for an unrelated crime and was found carrying a revolver in his waistband, that he had previous convictions for negligent homicide, attempted murder and drug possession and delivery. Less than a month before the killings, he was arrested for selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer.

Moore first went to prison in 1984, receiving five years for attempted murder. He was released on mandatory supervision less than 2 years later, was returned to prison as a violator within nine months, then was discharged in 1989.

In 1991, he received an 8-year term for cocaine possession but was paroled after just 4 months. He returned to prison in 5 months with a 20-year term for delivery of cocaine but was paroled after serving just over 2 years. The double slaying occurred about 10 weeks later.

(source: Associated Press)

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