ETX man convicted of shooting, killing deputy gets execution date

ETX man convicted of shooting, killing deputy gets execution date
Office of Greg Abbott

POSTED: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 9:07am

UPDATED: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 12:05pm

A former East Texas welder and oil field worker who was convicted of shooting and killing a Henderson County Sheriff's Deputy now has an execution date.

Less than two weeks after convicted killer Randall Wayne Mays, 52,  was denied his latest challenge to his conviction by the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Carter Tarrance of the 392nd District Court set his execution date for March 18th, 2015. Judge Tarrance signed the execution order and death warrant on July 10th. Judge Tarrance also presided over the trial.

On May 17, 2007, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call placed by a concerned neighbor who reported hearing gunshots at Mays’ property. After appearing to cooperate with the deputies, Mays barricaded himself inside his house, where he used a high-powered rifle to shoot at officers. Mays mortally wounded Deputy Tony Price Ogburn, 61, before surrendering to officials. He is also accused of killing Investigator Paul Steven Habelt, 63, and wounding Deputy Kevin Harris during the standoff.

During the capital murder trial, prosecutors played audio from a videotape taken from one patrol officer’s vehicle at the scene of the standoff. The tape brought witnesses and family members to tears as they listened to Mays shoot and kill the deputies. The standoff occurred just hours after the three deputies attended a local memorial service honoring fellow officers.

During the sentencing phase of the trial, witnesses testified that Mays remains a violent threat to the community. A Tyler psychiatrist testified that the best prediction of future behavior is past behavior. Mays’ criminal record includes previous arrests for public intoxication and assault of a public servant. Witnesses also testified that Mays and his wife also have a history of domestic disputes.

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