Frank Basil McFarland (Texas)  Case Chart   Case Summary

 

DEFENDANT’S INFORMATION

Defendant’s Name

FRANK BASIL McFARLAND

Date of Birth

October 7, 1963

Defendant’s Race

White

Criminal History

juvenile offense of sexual assault

Execution Date

April 29, 1998

TDCJ Number

963

Age - time of crime

24

Age - time of execution

34

 

THE CRIME

Date of Crime

02/01/88

County

Tarrant County (Northeast)

Victim(s)

Terry Hokanson

Race of Victim(s)

White

Relationship to Defendant

N/A – met her in a topless club, he was a patron, she was a shoe shine girl.

Offense Alleged

capital murder in the course of committing aggravated sexual assault.

Actual Allegations

Intentionally causing the death of Terry Hokanson by stabbing her in the course of committing the offense of aggravated sexual assault.

Met Hokanson at a topless bar and arranged to meet her to party afterwards.

Along with Michael Wilson, McFarland took her in his truck to Hurst Park where she was raped and stabbed 43 times and then left to die behind a church under construction.

 

THE TRIAL

County where tried

Tarrant county – commenced October 26, 1989, verdict November 13, 1989

Trial Judge

Hon. Don Leonard, Judge Presiding, Criminal District Court # 3, Tarrant County, Texas, 76196

Prosecutor(s) (name, address and telephone)

Clair Theodore and Ken Dies – Assistant US DA’s, Southern District of Texas, 910 Travis, Suite 1500, Houston, Texas.

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

Hon. Tolly Wilson, 112 North Beach, Fort Worth, Texas, 76111Sharen Wilson, 400 The Professional Building, 303 West 10th St, Fort Worth, Texas, 76102

Plea

Not Guilty

Racial Makeup of Jury

?

Convicted of (statute)

capital murder – TX. Pen. Code. Ann. s.19.03 (a) (2)

Confession?

No.

Testimony of Revill – Wilson’s girlfriend re: confession by Wilson implicating McFarland. Suggestion this testimony could have been due to a deal with the authorities re: Revill’s illegal immigrant status.

Before Wilson’s funeral Detectives Blue and Teague had a telephone conference with Revill during which she did not implicate Wilson or McFarland.

Investigator Craig Teague admitted Revill’s status as an illegal immigrant was discussed when a videotape of her story re: Wilson’s alleged confession was made.

Alleged confession of Wilson to Mark Leonard Noblett re: Wilson and McFarland stabbing a woman in a church parking lot.

Accomplice(s)

Wilson – later murdered before McFarland’s trial

Eyewitness(es)

not specifically BUT

Angela Autrey – saw victim leave club with 2 men.

Cheryl Kepp – owner of club saw Victim leave with two men, one of whom she said was Timothy Todd Tickle.

Warren, Mires and Rich – three boys who saw white car with red roof drive away and then saw Victim before she died.

Scientific Evidence

Special Agent Blythe – FBI’s Microscopic Analysis Unit – analyzed the hair samples found in the victim’s hands and found that they were not consistent with the known hairs of Wilson/McFarland.

Testimony that the DNA from semen found on the victim matched McFarland’s semen, but 6% of the Caucasian population would also have the same characteristics.

Evidence that McFarland had hair on the back seat of his car which matched the rabbit hair coat worn by victim – but McFarland’s girlfriend had a rabbit hair coat she had previously worn in the truck.

Jail House Snitch?

NO – but police informant– Mark Noblett testified against McFarland(worked as police informant in other cases)

Defendant Testimony?

Defense presented no testimony or evidence

Exculpatory Evidence Offered?

None

Additional Punishment evidence by State

Witnesses testified about McFarland’s bad character which should have been inadmissible in guilt phase of trial

Mitigating Evidence by Defense

Suzie Weber – testified she lived with McFarland since 1986 and never had any serious problems.

No legal consequences to McFarland as a result of attack on Ruth McGuire – Juvenile offense.

 

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

None

Sentencing Date:

November 15,1989 – Jury decided. November 27, 1989 – sentence passed.

 

DIRECT APPEAL TO COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS

State’s appellate attorney

Defense appeal cites Ken Dies and Clair Theodore – BUT State’s reply is done by: Tim Curry, C. Chris Marshall and Edward L. Wilkinson of The Office of the Criminal D. A. Tarrant County, Texas, 76196

Defendant’ Attorney

Jack V. Strickland and Michael Logan Ware, The Bryce Building, 909 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102, Telephone: 817-338-1000.

Date appellate brief filed

Nov. 13, 1991

Grounds Raised

No innocence claim, but note failure to put on mitigating evidence.

Date of opinion

September 23, 1992 – opinion by Campbell J. Overstreet and Benavides JJ concur Clinton J dissents Baird J not participating.

Opinion citation

McFarland v. State, 845 F.2d 824 (1992)

Cert to S. Ct?

Denied petition for writ of certiorari – June 7, 1993

 

STATE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

Writ Attorney (name address & telephone)

Danny D. Burns -115 North Henderson St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102, Tel: 817-870-1544

Appointed, retained or volunteer?

Appointed

Grounds for Alleged Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.

Need for further discovery and investigation:

Prosecution’s suppression of exculpatory evidence and subordination of perjured testimony.

Failure to preserve meritorious claim re: hearsay testimony

Failure to object to prosecution’s use of applicant’s post-arrest silence.

Objection to State innuendo that McFarland was involved with Wilson’s murder

Possibility one of State’s witnesses – BAKER – was offered deals by the State on his theft case (pending at time of McFarland’s trial) in return for his testimony against McFarland

Prosecution didn’t make statements of Rich and Mires available to defense (although Warrant was given)

Police Officer Oringderff who took statements from dying victim did not testify at trial even though he was available to do so.

Another witness – PARSONS – who also worked at club later identified the two men seen on the night of the murder and got boss to card them – one of them was Timothy Todd Tickle.

Meyers – police officer on the crime scene omitted to put in report boy’s apparent mention of "blue" car, and said boys didn’t refer to white thunderbird with red top – (referred to in boys statements)

Timothy Todd Tickle testified he didn’t know victim – but was at the club on the night of the murder.

 

Writ Judge

Don Leonard District #3, Tarrant County, TX

Date of Decision

November 15,1995 – denied first Writ of habeas corpus; April 29, 1998 –denied; Second Writ of habeas corpus

Decision

Denied

Cert to S.Ct.?

Yes – filed Feb. 13, 1996 – placed on docket Feb 21st 1996 – denied April 29 1996.

 

NEW EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE

Developed by:

Defense counsel and Texas Resource Center

Presented to:

TX C.C.A.

Summary:

Case based on:

Hearsay evidence – alleged statements of a dead man

Circumstantial evidence

DNA evidence which only limited semen donor to 6% of the Caucasian population.

Post-trial investigation

Revealed Noblett (prosecution star witness) offered perjured testimony about Wilson pointing a gun at him.

State suppressed Noblett’s history as police "snitch" and Noblett’s criminal history.

York – man present in motel room at time of alleged confession by Wilson to Noblett could have testified as to his lack of knowledge of it.

Victim stated she hadn’t met assailants before and evidence that she already knew McFarland and Wilson.

Sworn statements from Mires and Rich were not given to Defense – that victim said she didn’t know guys who killed her and she got in the car and took off – not that she met them at a club. "She thought she recognized them" were her words – not "she thought she knew them." Suggests mistaken identity – statements are exculpatory and refute states theory of the case.

Constitutional obligation and Brady violation by prosecution for not disclosing these statements.

Boys (Warran, Mires and Rich) could also have testified they saw a white (not a blue) car at the crime scene. (not a blue car – McFarland’s car was blue and the prosecution’s theory of the case involved a blue car)

No evidence the boys ever said they saw a blue car – perjured testimony of PO (previously mentioned)

Applicant’s girlfriend owned a rabbit hair jacket that could have explained the presence of rabbit hair in McFarland’s car

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