Lubbock man once again cleared to get death penalty - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock man once again cleared to get death penalty

Michael Yowell, image from KCBD NewsChannel 11 file video Michael Yowell, image from KCBD NewsChannel 11 file video
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

A federal judge in Lubbock on Wednesday cleared the way for Michael Yowell to be put to death.  An execution date has not been set and Yowell might have other avenues of appeal.

Yowell was convicted and condemned by a Lubbock jury in 1998 for the double murder of his parents.   Their badly burned bodies were found after a house explosion and fire.

Yowell appealed at both the state and federal levels.  In his federal appeal, he claimed that his defense team was inadequate enough to actually violate his Constitutional rights.

In 2010, U.S. District Judge Cummings was critical of defense attorneys Jack Stoffregen and Mark Fesmire in his ruling.  It said in part, "the actions of Yowell's trial counsel in failing to investigate and present compelling mitigation evidence fell so far below the standard of care required of counsel … as to constitute ineffective assistance of counsel."

The State of Texas appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which disagreed with Cummings and sent the case back to Lubbock.

On Wednesday, Cummings followed the instructions of the Fifth Circuit and issued a completely different ruling.  The new one says even if the defense was insufficient "Yowell failed to demonstrate that it prejudiced his defense."

The new ruling also says, "Yowell even instructed his counsel not to take any action that would result in the possibility of a life sentence because he wanted a death sentence."

In addition to other claims, Yowell has brought up the issue of mental health.  So far, the state and federal appeals courts have not been swayed.

The Lubbock County District Attorney's office can now take the case back to a State District Judge and request an execution date. 

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

    Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 17:43:15 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:32 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:32:56 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

  • NKorea says Pence remarks were 'stupid,' willing to not meet

    NKorea says Pence remarks were 'stupid,' willing to not meet

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:51 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:51:44 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:32 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:32:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.
  • Syria state-run media reports US-led airstrike on army posts

    Syria state-run media reports US-led airstrike on army posts

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:11 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:11:43 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:32 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:32:10 GMT
    A Pentagon spokesman said there was "no information" to confirm or deny the reports. (Source: Raycom Media)A Pentagon spokesman said there was "no information" to confirm or deny the reports. (Source: Raycom Media)

    Syrian government-run media outlet is reporting that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have struck Syrian army positions in eastern Syria near the front lines with the Islamic State group.

    Syrian government-run media outlet is reporting that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have struck Syrian army positions in eastern Syria near the front lines with the Islamic State group.

Powered by Frankly