Mays’ fate lies with visiting judge

Posted by : admin | On : August 3, 2017

By D.A. Mark Hall
Special to The News ATHENS–Beginning Aug. 9, a three-day hearing in the 392nd District Court has been scheduled in the Randall Mays case to determine his competency to be executed. Mays has resided on Death Row since 2008 for killing Henderson County Sheriff ’s deputies Tony Ogburn and Paul Ha-belt at Mays Henderson County home. Mays has exhausted all of his State and Federal appeals, with his last execution date previously set in 2015. Days prior to imposition of his sentence, his new attorneys from the Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs,filed a motion suggesting that he was legally incompetent to be executed under Texas law. After an initial determination by then judge Carter Tarrance that Mays was competent, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the decision and ordered that experts be appointed to evaluate Mays for competency to be executed which requires that the defendant understand why he is being executed, and that it is imminent. Tarrance appointed three separate experts to evaluate him, which took place over the last year and a half.
The August hearing will provide visiting judge Joe Clayton with the information needed to make a ruling upon the issue of competency, and ultimately deter-mine if the death sentence received by Mays will be carried out.
“This has been a long running battle to fulfill the sentence imposed by a jury in 2008 that has spanned the administration of three different District Attorneys,” Hall said. “I sincerely hope that we can bring this painful chapter to a close, and allow the families of the slain officers the opportunity to know that justice has been carried out.”
The week following the Mays hearing, Hall and Rumar will be back in court selecting a jury in the case of Clyde Jason Tennison, who is alleged by indictment to have killed his girlfriend Deborah Allen, in July 2014 in rural Henderson County near Payne Springs. The case is expected to last at least a week in the 3rd Dis-trict Court before Judge Mark Calhoon.