State News

May 7, 2013 4:22 PM by Associated Press

Drug Dealer to be Executed Tonight for Murder

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A death row inmate convicted of killing a fellow drug dealer outside of a Waco convenience store 10 years ago was scheduled to die Tuesday by injection.

Attorneys for Carroll Joe Parr didn't file any last-minute court appeals but Parr himself filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his punishment, arguing his legal help at his trial was deficient. Earlier in the day, the same appeal was denied in his trial court in Waco by State District Judge Matt Johnson.

Parr, who was known on the streets as "Outlaw," told The Associated Press during a recent interview that he was resigned to his fate - and even welcomed it - even though he insisted someone else committed the killing.

"It's something I've longed for," Parr said. "Death to me is the prize. ... My eyes are clear."

State and federal courts had rejected all of Parr's earlier appeals, most recently last week. Parr, 35, would be the fifth person executed this year in Texas, which has 10 others scheduled for the coming months.

According to prosecutors, Parr bought 7 pounds of marijuana from 18-year-old Joel Dominguez for $2,500 on Jan. 11, 2003, and he and a friend, Earl Whiteside, went to rob Dominguez of the money later that evening. They say Parr and Whiteside herded Dominguez and another man, Mario Chavez, to a fenced area next to the store, where Parr pistol-whipped Dominguez and demanded the money, which Dominguez gave him.

Parr ordered Whiteside to "smoke 'em," according to court documents. Whiteside shot Chavez in the hand. Parr shot Dominguez in the head.

Parr said he was nowhere near the convenience store at the time of the killing and contended a surveillance video that showed him there was doctored by prosecutors.

"They chopped the tape," he said.

Parr declined to say who did the shooting, saying he "gave the dudes my word" that he wouldn't snitch on them.

Whiteside, who is serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated robbery, testified that Parr was the one who shot and killed Dominguez. Several other witnesses, including Parr's girlfriend at the time, said Parr had told them he killed Dominguez.

"It probably was somebody who borrowed his body that's on that video," Russ Hunt Sr., one of Parr's trial lawyers, said facetiously.

Hunt said the prosecution's case against Parr was strong and that Parr had "some sort of seedy criminal history." He also said the defense team focused on trying to save Parr's life by showing jurors he had an abusive childhood and grew up in a "hellacious environment."

"We did our best for him," Hunt said. "He really did have a terrible life. ... The state had all the evidence. That makes our job a little harder."

Parr, from prison, described himself as a third-grade dropout who "grew up on the streets since I was 9." He said he had fathered five children.

Prior to the killing, Parr had several drug convictions, including one for three counts of delivering cocaine, for which he was placed on probation. He was also linked to, but not charged in, a fatal drive-by shooting, another shooting and an assault.

Parr told McLennan County authorities recently he had killed 16 people and offered to lead them to the remains of at least two of his victims if they would dismiss a robbery case against his nephew. But the Waco Tribune-Herald last week reported that investigators didn't find Parr's claims credible.

Next week, Jefferey Williams, 37, is set to die for the 1999 slaying of a Houston police officer who had pulled him over for driving a stolen car.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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