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Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 6:14pm

Death row inmate loses appeal in rape, murder of Tyler woman

Death row inmate loses appeal in rape, murder of Tyler woman
KETK - Ladd in Smith County courtroom (1997)

POSTED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 3:54pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 6:36pm

The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals rejected another appeal from a man facing the death penalty for a 1996 murder in Tyler.

According to court documents, Robert Charles Ladd, 57, raped and strangled to death Vicki Ann Garner. In addition, her home was robbed and then set on fire.

Police were able to connect the murderer to the crime scene after DNA was found on Garner and a TV set taken from her home. Authorities said he exchanged it for crack cocaine. The death row inmate was found guilty of capital murder on August 23, 1997.

                                 1996 crime scene

Ladd's execution had been put on hold in 2003 when old evidence showed the suspect was mentally challenged; he received an IQ score of 67 . Two other appeals were previously denied in 1999 and 2000.

Then District Attorney Jack Skeen disagreed with the stay and stated he believed Ladd knew exactly what he was doing when he brutally murdered Garner, a mentally challenged woman.

Ladd was also convicted of murdering a woman and her two children and then setting her house on fire in 1978. He was released from prison after serving 16 years of a 40-year sentence.

A date for Ladd's has execution has not been set.

                                Vicki Garner

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I went to school with Vicki Garner. I remember her as a quiet, sweet girl. A 67 IQ is low, but it isn't so low that he didn't know what he was doing! That is such a cop out!!!

My goodness! He murdered a woman and her two children and he was let out?

And then he did it again? And he tired to hide the evidence? That don't sound so mentally challenged, does it?

No, he ain't mentally challenged, It's the justice system that is mentally challenged for letting him out in the first place.

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