Tommy Ray Jackson, 43, was executed by lethal injection on 4 May 2000 in Huntsville, Texas, for the abduction, rape, robbery, and murder of a 24-year-old woman.
Late one night in November 1983, Jackson, then 27, and James Clary, 28, abducted Rosalind Robison from a college campus in Austin. Taking her car -- a white Oldsmobile Delta 88 -- they forced her to withdraw money from a bank teller machine. They then drove north. While Clary was at the wheel, Jackson raped Robison in the back seat. When they arrived at a rural location, Clary raped her. Jackson then shot Robison once in the head with a .25-caliber pistol and covered her body with gravel. The men then fled the scene in her car.
Jackson was arrested four days later, driving the victim's car. He had a checkbook containing the victim's ATM card in his posession. The bank informed investigators that on the night of the murder, at 11:39 p.m., the card was used to withdraw $50 from a bank machine in Austin. Pubic hairs found on the back seat of the car matched Jackson, and Jackson's fingerprints were found on Robison's personal effects.
An acquaintance of Jackson and Clary led investigators to the murder weapon.
Robison's body was discovered about a month later. She had been shot "execution style" -- in close range, in the back of her head, kneeling and with her hands tied behind her back. Pubic hair recovered from her undergarments matched Jackson.
At Jackson's trial, Clary testified that he used Jackson's name in front of Robison, and that's why Jackson killed her.
Another acquaintance of Jackson and Clary said that Jackson -- who didn't own a car -- gave her a ride in a white Oldsmobile the day after the murder. She also said that she noticed a woman's purse in the car, and that Jackson tried to give a woman's watch to her sister. The sister testified and corroborated the statement about the watch, and also said that she had witnessed Clary in the possession of a small handgun. The passenger who was with Jackson when he was arrested testified that when she first met Jackson he had no car, but that three days later, he was driving the white Oldsmobile.
Jackson had previously been convicted of bank robbery and served 3 years of a 10-year federal sentence. He also served one year of a 4-year sentence for burglary of a vehicle.
A jury convicted Jackson of capital murder in December 1984 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence in February 1988. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
James Otis Clary pled guilty to murder and received a life sentence.
At his execution, Jackson used his last statement to proclaim his innocence: "Ros was a personal friend of mine. She was a beautiful person, very educated ... I left the scene of where the incident happened ... I cannot show no remorse for something that I did not do. I am at peace, please believe me. Wherefore, I figure that what I am dying for now is what I have done in my past. This is what I am dying for. Not for killing Rosalyn. I don't know what ya'll call her but I call her Ros, I call her Ros. That's it."
By David Carson. Posted on 4 April 2002.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Attorney General's office, court documents.