On this date, December 3, 2013, a Prison escapee and killer, Jerry Duane Martin was executed by lethal injection in Texas. He was convicted of the murder of Corrections Officer Susan Canfield on September 24, 2007.
|Jerry Duane Martin|
INTERNET SOURCE: http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/martin1356.htm
Summary: Along with fellow prisoner and accomplice John Ray Faulk, Jr., Martin attempted an escape from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wynne Unit located in Huntsville. At the time, Martin was serving a 50-year sentence for attempted capital murder, a 40-year sentence for another attempted capital murder, a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault, and a 10-year sentence for failure to appear. While assigned to the "onion fields," Martin and Faulk overpowered a guard on horseback and fled. They engaged in a gun battle with guards and while Faulk overpowered guard Susan Cafield, Martin hijacked a truck, immediately driving at full speed straight toward Canfield, who was struck along with her horse, causing the death of both. Faulk then jumped in the passenger side of the truck, which sped from the scene. Faulk was captured shortly after he attempted to hijack another vehicle in a bank drive-through. Martin was arrested 2 hours later in a nearby woods after discarding his clothing. He was found in a tree wearing only his underwear. Martin's defense at his trial was that he did not intend to kill Canfield and that her death was accidental. He claimed that he was trying to turn away from the horse. The jury did not buy it. Accomplice Falk, already a convicted murderer with a life term, is awaiting retrial after a mistrial.
Martin v. State, Unpub. LEXIS 1160 (Tex. Crim. App. Oct. 31, 2012). (Direct Appeal)
Texas no longer offers a special "last meal" to condemned inmates. Instead, the inmate is offered the same meal served to the rest of the unit.
"I would like to tell the Canfield family I'm sorry. I'm sorry for your loss. I wish I could take it back, but I can't . . . I hope this gives you closure. I did not murder your loved one. It was an accident. I didn't mean for it to happen, but it happened. I take full responsibility." Martin also expressed love to his brother and friends who attended. "You know I'm at peace. God is the ultimate judge. He knows what happened."
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders
Jerry Duane Martin
Date of Birth: 03/28/1970
Date Received: 02/17/2009
Education: 10 years
Date of Offense: 09/24/2007
County of Offense: Leon C/V from Walker
Native County: Collin
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 5' 09"
Prior Prison Record: TDCJ # 585762, Dallas County, 10 yr sentence from Harris County for Theft of Property $750-$20,000; released to Shock Probation; returned under TDCJ # 795994, 50 yr sentence from Collin County for Attempted Capital Murder with a Deadly Weapon, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Failure to Appear; incarcerated at the time of this offense.
Summary of incident: The subject and co-defendant were working in the field squad at the Wynne Unit. He took an officer's weapon, ran to a city parking lot and stole a City of Huntsville truck. The subject drove the truck into the horse of a female correctional officer causing her fall and resulting in her death.
Co-Defendants: John Ray Faulk, Jr.
Jerry Martin and John Ray Falk escaped from a work detail at the Wynne Unit near Huntsville, Texas on Sept. 24, and were recaptured that day.
Texas Attorney General
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Media Advisory: Jerry Duane Martin scheduled for execution
AUSTIN – Pursuant to a court order by the 278th District Court of Walker County, Texas, Jerry Duane Martin is scheduled for execution after 6 p.m. on December 3, 2013. In December 2009, Martin was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death by a Walker County jury.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals described the facts of the crime as follows: [Martin] was charged with capital murder, specifically, committing murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution. The evidence at trial established that on September 24, 2007, [Martin] was an inmate incarcerated for a felony offense at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (“TDCJ”) Wynne Unit located in Huntsville. He and fellow inmate John Falk were assigned to the same work squad that morning to hoe and aerate the onion patch. The Wynne Unit onion patch is outside the main perimeter fence of the prison and adjacent to the City of Huntsville Service Center (“Service Center”). The Service Center was, at that time, separated from prison property by only a chain-link fence in some portions and a barbed-wire fence in others.
Four squads had been turned out to work that day, each consisting of twenty inmates with a single armed guard on horseback. Each guard carried a .357 revolver with six bullets. An armed supervising sergeant accompanied the squads in the fields. Finally, a “high rider” also patrolled the squads. The high rider was another guard on horseback who patrolled outside the prison fence on Service Center property and acted as the “last line of defense” in the event of an escape attempt. The high rider carried a .357 revolver with six bullets and a .223 rifle with four rounds. The high rider that day was Officer Susan Canfield, an experienced rider and guard.
[Martin] was part of squad number five, which was assigned to work in the portion of the onion field closest to the Service Center. Officer Joe Jeffcoat oversaw [Martin’s] squad. Falk was assigned to the row in their squad's section farthest from the fence, and [Martin] voluntarily took the row next to him. Jeffcoat testified that [Martin] and Falk were friends and that they usually worked together. He also noted that he had never had any problems with the pair before that day.
After the squads had been working for a while, [Martin] approached Jeffcoat asked him to hold his watch because it had broken. Jeffcoat agreed. When [Martin] got about 20 feet from him, Jeffcoat heard something to his left; he turned to see Falk walking towards him from the other side. When he turned back towards [Martin], [Martin] was already at Jeffcoat's side reaching for his .357 revolver. [Martin] and Jeffcoat began struggling over the gun, and Jeffcoat yelled for help. Falk then started shoving Jeffcoat out of his saddle. [Martin] was able to get the gun as Jeffcoat came off his horse on top of him. Jeffcoat began to wrestle with [Martin], but Falk came around and [Martin] tossed the gun to him. Jeffcoat let go of [Martin] and started after Falk, but Falk pointed the gun at him. At this time, Jeffcoat heard his superior, Field Sergeant Larry Grissom, yell to get down, so he did. [Martin] and Falk then fled through the barbed-wire fence and onto Service Center property. Grissom and the other guards focused on apprehending Falk because Falk had the gun. [Martin] ran off in another direction. Grissom fired twice at Falk, but Falk ran behind some equipment. Guards from two of the other squads also fired shots at Falk but to no avail.
At this point, the high rider, Canfield, engaged in a gun fight with Falk. Canfield advanced on Falk while firing at him with her revolver. When Canfield expended her bullets, Falk ran at her as she was trying to remove her rifle from its scabbard. The two engaged in a struggle for the weapon while Canfield attempted to turn her horse away from Falk. However, once Falk jabbed his stolen revolver in her ribs, Canfield ceased struggling and Falk took the rifle. Falk then backed away. Meanwhile, during the gunfight, [Martin] ran to a truck parked outside the Service Center sign shop. Larry Horstman of the City of Huntsville sign shop testified that the truck was a one-ton, flat-bed pick-up truck with toolboxes on the side. He stated that he always parked the truck about 10 feet from the sign shop door and left the keys in it. Jeffcoat testified that he saw the truck parked in the same spot every time he was working in the onion field.
[Martin] got into the truck and sped straight towards Canfield. Horstman testified that he heard his truck take off “real fast.” Other witnesses testified that the truck was “floorboarded,” “going as fast as it could go,” “being revved at high rpms,” leaving acceleration marks as it hit Canfield and her horse just after Falk backed away. Canfield and the horse went up onto the hood of the truck. Canfield's back and shoulders hit the windshield and her head struck the roof. Canfield was then launched into the air and came down on her head, shoulder, and neck. There was no evidence [Martin] tried to brake before hitting Canfield or that the truck slid into her and her horse; however, he did turn toward the Service Center exit while, or immediately after, striking her with the truck. Witnesses also testified that there was enough room in the Service Center lot that [Martin] could have avoided hitting Canfield.
After striking Canfield and her horse, [Martin] stopped the truck and Falk ran to the passenger side and got in. Jeffcoat testified that they then “took off as fast as the truck could go.” Jay Miller, a fire hydrant technician with the Service Center, saw [Martin] take the truck and managed to follow it as it left the Service Center lot. Miller called 9–1–1 and remained on the phone during the chase. Miller testified that at one point the truck's passenger sat up in the windowsill of the truck and pointed a rifle at him. Miller further testified that the passenger fired at him, but his vehicle was not hit. Miller continued to chase them on and off the highway until the truck pulled into a parking lot and the inmates got out and ran into some nearby woods. Miller parked his vehicle to block the road and then chased the inmates on foot to see if they were going to come out on the other side of a fence at the bank next door. The police arrived at this time and Miller directed them towards the bank.
Walker County Deputy Brian Smallwood arrived at the bank to see [Martin] and Falk run to a red truck that was in the drive-thru lane. Falk entered through the driver's door and shoved the female driver over. [Martin], who now had the rifle, jumped into the bed of the truck. Huntsville Police Sergeant Ron Cleere also observed this and got out of his vehicle with his gun drawn, but the inmates drove off before he could attempt to stop them. Cleere fired at the truck's tires seven times hitting one of them, but the truck did not stop. Both Smallwood and Cleere pursued the red truck.
Falk drove the truck onto the interstate but exited after only 3/4 of a mile. He pulled onto a grassy field next to some woods because the right front tire was shredded. Smallwood pulled his car into a ditch 50 yards away from the red truck. [Martin] stood up in the bed of the truck and pointed the rifle at Smallwood. Smallwood heard a shot as he opened his door. Smallwood fired at [Martin] as [Martin] ran into the woods. Cleere arrived and fired at [Martin] as well. Falk got out of the truck and also ran for the woods. Cleere saw [Martin] again on the edge of the woods, using the base of a tree to steady the rifle. Cleere went to retrieve his own rifle from his car, but when he returned he did not see [Martin]. [Martin] then stood up and Cleere fired at him with his rifle, but [Martin] got away. When other officers arrived, they set up a perimeter around the wooded area. The owner of the truck was unharmed.
Huntsville police Lieutenant Daryl Slaven apprehended Falk behind the Walmart on the other side of the wooded area. When Falk heard the police car, he stopped and put his hands in the air. The authorities searched for [Martin] in the wooded area on horseback and using dogs. The rifle was found lying in the woods with three rounds still in it. After approximately two hours, [Martin’s] boots and some clothing were found hidden in the dirt of a creek bed. [Martin] was eventually discovered hiding in a tree wearing only his underwear.
Dallas County Medical Examiner Tracy Dyer testified that Canfield died from a significant impact that caused an unsurvivable hinge fracture to her skull which went from ear to ear. Viewing photos of the damage to truck, Dyer opined that it would have taken a “significant amount of velocity” for Canfield's body to have caused the dent at top of the windshield. She noted that Canfield also sustained a depressed skull fracture as well as external injuries including bruising and lacerations to her head, hands, arms, trunk, and legs. Veterinarian Richard Posey testified that Canfield's horse had extensive injuries from a bullet wound, plus trauma to its left hip, scrapes on its hips and hock, and a swollen joint on its front leg from the impact. The horse had to be put down.
In December 2009, a jury found Martin guilty of the offense of capital murder. The jury answered the special issues submitted pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 37.071, and the trial court, accordingly, set Martin’s punishment at death. On Oct. 31, 2012, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Martin’s conviction and sentence on direct appeal. On June 27, 2012, Martin filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in the convicting court; however, Martin expressed his desire to waive habeas review. On June 14, 2013, the trial court held a hearing to determine if Martin’s decision to waive appeal was intelligently and voluntarily made. The trial court concluded that Martin “made a knowing, voluntary, uncoerced intelligent decision to end his appeals, and it recommended that [Martin] be permitted to end all further habeas actions.” The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with the trial court’s recommendation and dismissed Martin’s pending application, holding that all claims raised in that application, as well as any that could have been raised, were waived.
On Sept. 16, 2013, the 278th Judicial District Court of Walker County, Texas, set Martin’s execution date for Dec. 3, 2013. Martin has not sought federal habeas review of his conviction and sentence, and has no appeal pending at this time.
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. Once a defendant is found guilty, however, jurors are presented information about the defendant’s prior criminal conduct during the second phase of the trial – which is when they determine the defendant’s punishment.
At the time he killed Canfield, Martin was serving a 50-year sentence for attempted capital murder, a 40-year sentence for another attempted capital murder, a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault, and a 10-year sentence for failure to appear.
The victims of the attempted capital murders and the aggravated assault were peace officers, and the facts of those crimes are as follows. On Aug. 15, 1994, after police were called to Martin’s mother’s home regarding a domestic disturbance with shots fired, Martin led the responding officers on a high-speed chase. Martin was driving between 60 to 70 mph on a two-lane country road, and drove through yards adjacent to homes. During the chase, Martin was seen waiving a gun, and exchanged gunfire with the officers. Martin eventually turned off the road into a maize field and positioned his truck so that it faced back toward the road. Martin got out of the truck holding a gun to his head. A stand-off ensued that lasted several hours. Other officers, sharp shooters, and police negotiators came to the scene, but, per policy, the officers were ordered not to return fire if Martin fired his weapon. A sheriff's negotiator, attempted to get Martin to surrender and turn over his gun. The negotiator spoke with Martin while behind a bulletproof shield. Martin threatened to kill the negotiator, and did fire a shot in close proximity to him. Martin fired other shots, one coming close to another officer. Martin was eventually arrested, and no one was harmed.
Following his arrest Martin was released on bond but fled Texas and failed to make his court appearance. Martin was arrested in Kansas in 1997 and returned to Texas to face charges for aggravated assault, two attempted capital murders, and failure to appear.
|Jerry Duane Martin|
Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson.
Jerry Duane Martin, 43, was executed by lethal injection on 3 December 2013 in Huntsville, Texas for killing a guard while escaping from prison.
In 1991, Martin was convicted of theft and sentenced to ten years in prison. As a consequence of Judge William Wayne Justice's strict prison population caps that were in effect at the time, he was released on "shock probation." In 1995, he was returned to prison with a 50-year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted capital murder. On 24 September 2007, Martin, then 37, was working in a field squad outside the Wynne Unit in Huntsville with fellow inmate John Falk, 40. Their squad of twenty prisoners was assigned to work in an onion patch outside of the main prison fence. The onion patch was adjacent to the City of Huntsville Service Center, which was separated from prison property by a fence that was made of chain link in some places and barbed wire in others. A guard on horseback was assigned to each of the four prisoner squads working that day. Another guard on horseback patrolled the service center.
After the squads had been working for a while, Martin approached Officer Joe Jeffcoat, who was guarding his squad. Martin told Jeffcoat that his watch had broken, and he asked him to hold it for him. Jeffcoat agreed, and let Martin come closer. Jeffcoat then heard something to his left; he turned to see Falk walking towards him from the other side. When he turned back towards Martin, Martin was already at his side reaching for his .357 revolver. They began struggling over the gun, and Jeffcoat yelled for help. Falk then joined in the struggle, pushing Jeffcoat off of his horse. Martin was able to get the gun. He tossed it to Falk. Falk pointed the gun at Jeffcoat. Jeffcoat then heard his supervisor yell at him to get down, so he did.
Martin and Falk fled through the barbed-wire fence to the service center, then ran in separate directions. The guards focused on Falk, since he had the gun. Three guards fired shots at him, but were unable to hit him. Guard Susan Canfield, 59, who was patrolling the service center, then fired at Falk with her revolver until it was expended. As she reached for her rifle, Falk ran at her. He was able to take her rifle from her after a struggle. He then backed away from her. Meanwhile, Martin found a one-ton, flat-bed pickup truck in the service center that had its keys inside. Martin stole the truck and rammed it into Canfield and her horse just after Falk had backed away from her. The officer and the horse were thrown onto the hood of the truck. Canfield's back and shoulders hit the windshield, and her head struck the roof. She was then propelled up into the air, coming down on her head, neck, and shoulder. Martin then stopped the truck and let Falk in the passenger seat. They then sped away.
Jay Miller, who worked at the service center, followed the truck after it left the parking lot. He called 9-1-1 and remained on the phone during the chase. Miller testified that at one point, the truck's passenger aimed the rifle at him and fired at him, but missed. Miller continued the chase on and off the highway until the truck stopped in a parking lot and the inmates fled into the woods. Miller parked his vehicle to block theirs and then followed them on foot. Walker County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Smallwood and Huntsville Police Sergeant Ron Cleere arrived at a bank that was on the other side of the woods from where the prisoners stopped the truck. They both saw Falk run up to a pickup truck that was in the drive-through lane. Falk opened the driver's door, shoved the driver over, and got in. Martin, who now had the rifle, jumped into the bed of the pickup. Cleere fired seven shots at the pickup's tires, hitting one of them, but the truck did not stop. Smallwood and Cleere then pursued the pickup.
Falk drove onto Interstate Highway 45, but exited after only 3/4 of a mile because the right front tire was shredded. He pulled into a grassy field next to some woods. Smallwood pulled his car into a ditch 50 yards away. Martin then stood up in the bed of the pickup, aimed the rifle at Smallwood, and fired, missing him. Smallwood and Cleere both fired at Martin as he ran into the woods. Falk also ran into the woods. The owner of the truck, Madilene Loosier, was unharmed. Other officers then arrived at set up a perimeter around the wooded area. Huntsville Police Lieutenant Daryl Slaven apprehended Falk within an hour. He stopped and surrendered when he was found. Police and deputies continued searching the area for Martin. They first found Canfield's rifle. After about two hours, they found Martin's boots and some clothing. About 3½ hours after the escape, he was captured while hiding in a tree wearing only his underwear.
Susan Canfield died of severe head injuries. Her horse suffered extensive impact injuries plus a bullet wound and was euthanized. Two weeks after Canfield's death, Martin wrote a letter to his brother, John, describing his escape attempt. "You will never know the resolve, the desperate courage it took for me to wrestle an armed guard off his horse - and take his gun away frome [sic] him, while having three other armed guards on horses shooting at you," he wrote. Martin's trial was moved two counties away to Leon County.
Larry Horstman, who drove the flatbed truck stolen from the service center, testified that he always parked the truck in the same spot every day and left the keys in it. Officer Jeffcoat testified that he always saw the truck parked in the same spot every time he worked in the onion field. Horstman further testified that he heard his truck take off "real fast." Other witnesses testified that the truck was "floorboarded" and "going as fast as it could go." Sergeant John Tucker, an accident reconstructionist with the Texas Department of Public Safety, testified that the tire marks indicated the truck accelerated while going into a turn near the point of impact. He stated that there was a clear space of over 40 feet on either side of Canfield in which Martin could have escaped the parking lot without hitting her. There was no evidence that Martin had braked or lost control of the truck.
Martin's defense at his trial was that he did not intend to kill Canfield and that her death was accidental. He claimed that he was trying to turn away from the horse. A jury found Martin guilty of capital murder in December 2009 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in October 2012.
Martin waived his right to further appeals in June 2013. He told the court that his decision was prompted by his father's death in February. "For the first time in my life, I felt what is was like to lose a loved one," he stated. "I think Mrs. Canfield's family deserves that closure." John Ray Falk Jr. was charged as a party to capital murder. In January 2013, District Judge Ken Keeling declared a mistrial after a dispute over the instructions to be given to the jury went on for 55 days. Keeling then recused himself from the case. Senior District Judge John Delaney ruled against the defense's double jeopardy motion in June, clearing the way from Falk to be retried.
More than 200 corrections officers stood outside the Walls Unit in Huntsville as Martin was being executed. With them was a riderless horse and a large photograph of Canfield. The victim's husband, Charles Canfield, and daughter watched Martin's execution from a viewing room. "I would like to tell the Canfield family I'm sorry," Martin said in his last statement. "I'm sorry for your loss. I wish I could take it back, but I can't ... I hope this gives you closure. I did not murder your loved one. It was an accident. I didn't mean for it to happen, but it happened. I take full responsibility." Martin also expressed love to his brother and friends who attended. "You know I'm at peace," he concluded. "God is the ultimate judge. He knows what happened." The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m.
"The fact is, he was escaping," Charles Canfield said to a reporter afterward. "I don't care if you intend it or not. You committed the act and, in this state, thank God we live in one where capital murder exists and where that punishment exists." Madilene Loosier, who was carjacked and briefly abducted during the escape, also attended Martin's execution. "I needed to see it for my brain to realize he was gone and I didn't have to be afraid anymore," she said. "It helped me."
Martin's was the 16th and last execution performed in Texas in 2013.