Robert Nelson Drew (Texas) Case Chart   Case Summary

 

DEFENDANT’S INFORMATION

Defendant’s Name

ROBERT NELSON DREW

Date of Birth

April 8, 1959

Defendant’s Race

White

Criminal History

None

Execution Date

August 22, 1994

TDC Number

755

Age at the time of crime

24

Age at the time of execution

35

THE CRIME

Date of Crime

February 21,1983

County

Harris County

Victim(s)

Jeffrey Leon Mays

Race of Victim(s)

White male

Relationship to Defendant (if any)

Traveling acquaintance

Offense Alleged

Capital murder

Factual summary of allegations

In the course of committing robbery against Mays, Drew intentionally caused the death of Mays by stabbing him.

In the course of the kidnap of Landrum – stabbing Mays intentionally and knowingly caused death of Mays by stabbing him with a knife.

Intention to cause severe bodily injury to Mays, and caused death of Mays by intentionally and knowingly committing an act clearly dangerous to human life.

While traveling in a car Mays and Drew got into an argument. After beating Mays in the car, Drew and Puralewski (accomplice) ordered Mays out of the car and stabbed him to death.

THE TRIAL

County where tried

Harris County

Trial Judge (name, address and telephone)

Hon. Charles Hearn, 263 District Court, Harris County, TX

Prosecutor(s) (name, address and telephone)

Eric Hagstette, Assistant DA with DA office of Harris County, TX

Defense Attorney(s) (name, address, and telephone)

Don Rogers and Richard Stephanow.

Plea

Not Guilty

Racial Makeup of Jury

Convicted of (statute)

Capital Murder – TX PC s.19.03 (a)(2)

Confession?

No

Accomplice(s)

Ernest Puralewski, who later admitted that he committed the murder alone

Eyewitness(es)

One (as well as Puralewski) – Bee Landrum, who later recanted his testimony and admitted that he did not, in fact, see what happened.

Scientific Evidence

No psychiatric testimony presented.

Jail House Snitch?

Defendant Testimony?

Exculpatory Evidence Offered?

Additional Punishment evidence by State

Mitigating Evidence by Defense

Drew’s Uncle – Donald Martelle – testified as to Drew’s broken and poverty stricken home background with a history of domestic problems and drinking problem.

Drew was average in school, had been married and divorced, had one child and was a drifter at the time of the murder.

Evidence of Mental Retardation, Mental Illness, and/or neurological damage?

"Applicant’s responses were consistent with counsel’s personal observation of applicant and corroborated counsel’s conclusions that neither insanity nor competency to stand trial were issues in applicant’s case."

Sentencing Date:

December 9, 1983

DIRECT APPEAL TO COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS

State’s appellate attorney

Defendant’s appellate attorney

William Kunstler, Bradford E. Yock

Date appellate brief filed

March 30, 1984

Grounds Raised

Appellant raised 12 grounds of error, encompassing:

Trial court erred in denying appellants out-of-time motion for new trial on basis of a lack of jurisdiction because the "new available" evidence warranted a new trial and because the jury misconduct occurred when parole was discussed.

Challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence to prove that the murder was committed in the course of committing robbery of the deceased and the sufficiency of the evidence to support an affirmative finding of the 2nd special issue submitted – that appellant was a continuing threat to society.

Four points of error re: improper jury argument of prosecutor.

Two points of error re: trial court error in sustaining challenges for cause to venire men Grover Smith and Archie Cotton.

Date of opinion

September 30,1987, conviction affirmed

Opinion citation

Drew v. State, 743 S.W. 2d 207 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987)

Cert to S. Ct?

Denied June 28, 1993.

STATE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

Writ Attorney

Ronald Kuby and William Kunstler

Rob Owen

Michael Jackson

Appointed, retained or volunteer?

Indigent, so either appointed or volunteer

Grounds Alleged

INNOCENCE:

Alternative murderer – Ernest Puralewski confessed in sworn affidavit fully exculpating Drew

Bee Landrum, only eyewitness, recanted

Tape with Landrum hours after killing in which he admitted he didn’t see murder was suppressed until 5 years after Drew’s trial

Execution of an innocent person violates 8th and 14th Amendment of US Constitution and Art 1 s. 13 of TX Constitution

AMENDED APPL FOR POST-CON WRIT OF Habeas Corpus

Prosecutor repeatedly used a hypothesis at voir dire that fundamentally misstated TX Law, in violation of TX and federal constitutional guarantees and resulted in inability of jurors to determine guilt reliably and to consider and give effect to mitigating evidence.

Writ Judge

Ruben Guerrero

Date of Decision

July 28, 1994

Decision

Denied

Cert to Supreme Ct.?

Denied Feb. 28, 1994

 

NEW EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE

Developed by:

writ attorneys

Presented to:

TX Court of Criminal Appeals

Summary:

Additional evidence that Puralewski had been claiming sole responsibility for the murder since his incarceration in Harris County Jail.

Alan Burns – inmate incarcerated with Puralewski sworn affidavit to above effect.

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