Defense Attorney in Dallas BRODEN & MICKELSEN LLP .: FEDERAL, STATE & CRIMINAL APPEALS

Supreme Court Rejects Death Row Appeal of Texas Man Who Killed Grandmother

Supreme Court Rejects Death Row Appeal of Texas Man Who Killed Grandmother

hqdefault The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a first appeal of the conviction of a Texas man against his verdict and death sentence over the killing of a grandmother. Mark Anthony Soliz is on death row for killing a 61-year-old grandmother at her Johnson County home nearly five years ago. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported on the recent high court ruling, with no comment from the justices. The hearing was on an automatic first appeal in the wake of the conviction and death sentence given to 32-year-old Soliz. Last month, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a similar appeal. The appeals were based on Soliz’s mental capacity. His appellate lawyers argued that 18 errors were made at his trial in 2012. They said the imposition of the death penalty is unconstitutional in the case, because Soliz has partial fetal-alcohol syndrome and his “cognitive and functional abilities are similar to the abilities of someone suffering from mental retardation.” During his trial, social workers, psychologists and probation officers testified that this was one of the worst cases of childhood neglect and abandonment they had ever come across. All agreed that his mother drank alcohol while she was pregnant. Nancy Weatherly was fatally shot during a June 2010 robbery at her home in a rural part of Texas near Godley. She was one of two people Soliz killed during a crime spree. He picked up the murder weapon came from a Fort Worth home burglary. Soliz committed 13 crimes over an eight day crime spree in June 2010, which included armed robberies, carjacking’s, a holdup, a drive-by shooting and the fatal shooting of Ruben Martinez, a deliveryman who was unloading beer at a north Fort Worth convenience store about 6 a.m. June 29, 2010. Weatherly lost her life a few hours later when Soliz and co-defendant Jose Ramos broke into her home to commit a robbery and shot her. Tarrant County prosecutors did not try Soliz in Martinez’s slaying. Ramos pleaded guilty in both killings. He was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. No date has been set for Soliz’s execution. It’s important to establish the mental limitations of defendants in capital murder cases. The Supreme Court has outlawed executions in the case of mental retardation but Texas has a poor record in this regard. In a 2012, article The Daily Beast reported on the execution of Marvin Wilson in Texas. His IQ was just 61. We see many far too cases in which people with low IQs and potential mental retardation issues, are executed in Texas. In capital murder cases it’s important to hire Texas criminal defense attorneys with a long track record of criminal appeals.

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