Sunday, August 12, 2012

Derrick Leon Jackson

Executed July 20, 2010 06:20 p.m. CDT by Lethal Injection in Texas
Summary:
Forrest Henderson and Alan Wrotenberry were Houston Grand Opera singers who lived in Henderson’s apartment.Wrotenberry was also employed at Deer Park Elementary School as a music teacher. When he failed to appear for work police were called and found Wrotenbery’s body on the floor of his bedroom. He was wearing only a pair of swimming trunks. In the other bedroom, officers found the nude body of his roommate, Forrest Henderson. Blood was all over the bedroom walls, doors, and curtains. Police found a bloody metal bar in the hallway and a bloody knife in the kitchen sink. Both victims had been beaten and repeatedly stabbed/slashed. The wallets of both were missing and Henderson’s car was gone. There were no signs of forced entry into the apartment. For seven years the murders went unsolved. Then, in 1995 a sophisticated new fingerprint technology linked a bloody print from Henderson’s apartment to Derrick Jackson, a Houston man serving 12 years for an unrelated aggravated robbery. Following this identification, police also matched the blood and DNA evidence from the crime scene to Jackson, who denied any involvement.
Final/Special Meal:
Fried chicken (2 legs, 2 thighs), BBQ ribs, French fries, German chocolate cake, 2 bananas, Ice water, and Ketchup and BBQ sauce.
Last Words:
Declined.
Internet Sources:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Media Advisory: Derrick Jackson scheduled for execution
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information about Derrick Leon Jackson, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. A Harris County jury found Jackson guilty of capital murder for killing Forrest Henderson and Alan Wrotenberry.
FACTS OF THE CRIME
Forrest Henderson and Alan Wrotenberry were Houston Grand Opera singers who lived in Henderson’s apartment. On Monday, September 12, 1988,Alan Wrotenberry failed to appear for work at Deer Park Elementary School, where he was employed as a music teacher. At 9 a.m., the school principal contacted Henderson’s apartment manager to check on Wrotenberry. The manager unlocked Henderson’s apartment door and found nothing disturbed in the living room and kitchen. He proceeded to one of the bedrooms, pushed open the door, and saw a body covered with blood. He promptly left and called 911.
Police officers arrived at the apartment soon thereafter and detected no signs of forced entry. They found Wrotenberry’s and Henderson’s bodies in their respective bedrooms at opposite ends of the apartment.
Henderson’s nude body was lying face-down in his bed, and Wrotenberry’s body, clad only in a pair of swimming trunks, was lying on the floor of his bedroom. Police found a bloody metal bar in the hallway and a bloody knife in the kitchen sink. Blood was all over the bedroom walls, doors, and curtains. Both victims’ wallets were missing, and Henderson’s car was gone. Two or three days later the car was recovered after a chase following a burglary at a mall, but the driver was not apprehended. Apart from the burglary, police recovered no other evidence from the car.
A forensic pathologist testified that Alan Wrotenberry suffered a severed carotid artery, cuts to the vertebrae, and at least three blows to the back of the head with a narrow blunt instrument, such as a pipe. Forrest Henderson received a shallow, non-fatal cut to the neck, defensive wounds on both arms, a six-inch fracture of the skull from blunt force, and multiple stab wounds to the torso. Fixed lividity in both bodies signified that both victims were dead for more than eight hours before they were found.
Blood samples and 20 identifiable fingerprints were collected from the crime scene, but the Houston Police Department (HPD) was unable to develop leads to a suspect.
In 1995, HPD upgraded to a new fingerprint system with an expanded database. The new system matched Jackson with prints lifted from a beer can and a glass tumbler in Henderson’s bedroom. A bloody print found on Henderson’s bedroom door also matched Jackson. An HPD serologist testified that type-B blood was found on a bedroom door. Jackson is blood-type B; both victims were blood-type A. Police found no other identifiable blood type sample at the crime scene. A DNA expert testified that Jackson’s DNA profile matched DNA from stains on a red towel and a beige towel located in Henderson’s bathroom.
David Trujillo, who lived next door to Henderson and Wrotenberry, told police that around 10:30 p.m. on September 10, 1988, he heard music and Henderson’s voice through the common wall separating their apartments. Trujillo went to sleep around 2 a.m. and was awakened at 4:45 a.m. by the sound of Wrotenberry screaming “Oh my God. No. No,” several times. Trujillo also heard what sounded like someone being hit numerous times with a pipe or baseball bat. After 30 minutes of silence, he heard the water running for about 45 minutes. Trujillo never heard Henderson’s front door open or anyone leave.
THE PENALTY PHASE EVIDENCE
The State presented evidence that Jackson snatched a woman’s purse in 1990. The State also presented evidence that Jackson robbed two other victims of their purses at gunpoint, and attempted to steal a car.
Derrick Leon Jackson, 42, was executed by lethal injection on 20 July 2010 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two men in their apartment.
On Monday, 12 September 1988, Alan Wrotenbery, 31, failed to appear for his job as a music teacher at Deer Park Elementary School in east Harris County. The school principal contacted the manager of the Greenway Plaza-area apartments in central Houston where Wrotenbery lived. The manager unlocked the apartment and went inside. He saw nothing disturbed in the living room or kitchen, but upon proceeding to one of the bedrooms, he found a body covered with blood. He promptly left and called 9-1-1.
Police officers arrived and found Wrotenbery’s body on the floor of his bedroom. He was wearing only a pair of swimming trunks. In the other bedroom, officers found the nude body of his roommate, Forrest Henderson, 31, lying face-down in his bed. Blood was all over the bedroom walls, doors, and curtains. Police found a bloody metal bar in the hallway and a bloody knife in the kitchen sink. Both victims’ wallets were missing, and Henderson’s car was gone. There were no signs of forced entry into the apartment.
A forensic pathologist testified that Alan Wrotenbery suffered a severed carotid artery, cuts to the vertebrae, and at least three blows to the back of the head with a narrow, blunt instrument, such as a pipe. Forrest Henderson had a six-inch skull fracture caused by blunt force, and multiple stab wounds on his torso. He also had a shallow, non-fatal cut on his neck and defensive wounds on both arms. The victims had been dead for more than eight hours before they were found.
Police collected blood samples and fingerprints from the crime scene, including a fingerprint from a glass tumbler in Henderson’s bedroom and a bloody print found on his bedroom door. They also picked up a DNA sample from blood stains on some bathroom towels. Despite this evidence, they were unable to develop leads to a suspect.
David Trujillo, who lived next door to the victims, told police that at around 4:45 a.m. on 11 September, he was awakened by the sound of Wrotenbery screaming “Oh my God. No. No.” several times. He also heard what sounded like someone being hit numerous times with a pipe or baseball bat. After 30 minutes of silence, he heard the water running for about 45 minutes. Trujillo never heard Henderson’s front door open or anyone leave. Trujillo later testified that he often saw “street trash” entering and leaving the apartment when Henderson lived there alone, and that screaming and fighting were common there. The rowdiness subsided after Wrotenbery moved in, he said.
On the morning of 13 September, Houston police spotted a car going more than 90 mph on the freeway following a burglary at a mall. The car crashed in a vacant lot. The driver fled on foot into an apartment complex and escaped. The car was identified as Henderson’s. No other evidence was recovered from it.
In 1995, the Houston Police Department upgraded to a new fingerprint system with an expanded database. Using this new system, they obtained a match with Derrick Jackson, who was sent to prison in 1992 with a 12-year sentence for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Following this identification, police also matched the blood and DNA evidence from the crime scene to Jackson.
On the night of the murders, Henderson and Wrotenbery, who were both tenors in the Houston Grand Opera, attended a practice session downtown. Afterward, Wrotenbery returned to the apartment while Henderson visited some Montrose bars. Police claimed that Henderson picked up Jackson in a bar and brought him home. They characterized Jackson as a predator who targeted gay men.
A jury convicted Jackson of capital murder in March 1998 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in May 2000. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Jackson denied involvement in the murders in an interview from death row. “It’s obvious I’m getting framed,” he said. “I’m not your bad guy. People who know me know I’m a good guy … I hate the fact that I’m being blamed and will be killed, but it’s more sadness than hate.”
At his execution, Jackson did not make eye contact either with his own family or the victim’s relatives. He declined to make a last statement. The lethal injection was given, and he was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m.
“Man executed for deaths of 2 Houston opera singers,” by Michael Graczyk. (AP July 20, 2010)
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A man who maintained he was unfairly convicted of the 1988 slayings of two Houston opera singers was executed Tuesday evening. Derrick Jackson, 42, was put to death for the fatal beatings and slashings of Forrest Henderson and Richard Wrotenbery. The two 31-year-old men were in the Houston Grand Opera chorus.
Their September 1988 slayings inside Henderson’s apartment went unsolved for years until a bloody fingerprint from the murder scene was matched to Jackson. By then, in 1995, Jackson already was in prison serving a 12-year term for aggravated robbery.
Jackson said nothing when the warden asked if he would like to make a final statement. He never moved, staring at the ceiling of the death chamber, as the lethal drugs began, then gasped several times as they took effect. Eight minutes later, at 6:20 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead.
Jackson’s father, who wept quietly, and two brothers were among people watching the execution. Carl Wrotenbery, the father of one of his victims, was in an adjacent witness room. No last-day appeals were made to the courts Tuesday to try to block the 15th lethal injection this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected an appeal Monday, and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles turned down a clemency request.
In a recent interview from death row, Jackson told The Associated Press he didn’t want to die but wasn’t scared. “It’s more a reluctance that it had to come to this,” he said. “It’s like you have terminal disease for a number of years and finally they say you’re not going to be able to live with it any longer so you’re going to have to get your affairs together with your family and within yourself.”
Jackson was arrested in 1992 for three robberies and took a plea bargain that sent him to prison. He was there when detectives working cold cases and using new computer databases matched his fingerprint to one at the scene of the murders.
Jackson said bad decisions led to burglaries and robberies and ultimately the prison term, but he denied involvement in the killings. Fingerprints on a beer can, a glass and a door knob were linked to Jackson. Stains on bathroom towels matched his DNA. “Technology caught up with him,” said Bill Hawkins, a Harris County district attorney who prosecuted the case. Hawkins said the odds against the DNA match actually belonging to someone other than Jackson were “off the charts.”
Richard Wrotenbery also taught music at an elementary school in the Houston suburb of Deer Park. He’d been house-sitting at Henderson’s apartment following a divorce until he could find a place of his own. Henderson had just returned to Houston after performing with the opera in Scotland. The day of the slayings, Sept. 10, 1988, Wrotenbery and Henderson, both tenors, had been rehearsing for an opera production of Bizet’s Carmen. Wrotenbery went to the apartment after rehearsals. Jackson hit some bars, may have met Jackson there and took him home.
Evidence showed Henderson was stabbed in the chest. Wrotenbery’s throat was slashed. Both were bludgeoned with a heavy metal bar that could have been part of a weight set. Wrotenbery may have been asleep when he was killed.
“I’m relieved that it’s over,” Carl Wrotenbery, 80, said after watching his son’s killer die. “It’s something that had to be done. I did not look forward to it.” He said he came to Huntsville from his home in Fort Worth, about 175 miles away, out a “sense of duty and responsibility” to his family and that he found Jackson’s silence at the end “disappointing” but not unexpected. “I didn’t expect any pleasure and I certainly didn’t receive any,” Wrotenbery said.
Jackson said from prison he realized “two people lost their lives and I feel for their families.” “I saw the pictures. It was a savage scene,” he said, adding that he understood jurors had to “do something when two guys were killed like that.” But when they found him guilty, “It kind of blew me away,” he said. “I didn’t do it.”
The men’s wallets were taken along with Henderson’s car. A Houston traffic officer tried to pull over the car for speeding, but the driver fled, leading police on a chase until the car crashed. The driver managed to run off and escape. An administrator from the school district where Wrotenbery taught called the apartment manager when the teacher didn’t show up for work. The manager found the bloody scene.
At least three other condemned killers in Texas have execution dates in the coming months.
“Man executed for deaths of 2 Houston opera singers,” by Michael Graczyk. (AP July 20, 2010)
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A man who maintained he was unfairly convicted of the 1988 slayings of two Houston opera singers was executed Tuesday evening. Derrick Jackson, 42, was put to death for the fatal beatings and slashings of Forrest Henderson and Richard Wrotenbery. The two 31-year-old men were in the Houston Grand Opera chorus.
Their September 1988 slayings inside Henderson’s apartment went unsolved for years until a bloody fingerprint from the murder scene was matched to Jackson. By then, in 1995, Jackson already was in prison serving a 12-year term for aggravated robbery.
Jackson said nothing when the warden asked if he would like to make a final statement. He never moved, staring at the ceiling of the death chamber, as the lethal drugs began, then gasped several times as they took effect. Eight minutes later, at 6:20 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead.
Jackson’s father, who wept quietly, and two brothers were among people watching the execution. Carl Wrotenbery, the father of one of his victims, was in an adjacent witness room. No last-day appeals were made to the courts Tuesday to try to block the 15th lethal injection this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected an appeal Monday, and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles turned down a clemency request.
In a recent interview from death row, Jackson told The Associated Press he didn’t want to die but wasn’t scared. “It’s more a reluctance that it had to come to this,” he said. “It’s like you have terminal disease for a number of years and finally they say you’re not going to be able to live with it any longer so you’re going to have to get your affairs together with your family and within yourself.”
Jackson was arrested in 1992 for three robberies and took a plea bargain that sent him to prison. He was there when detectives working cold cases and using new computer databases matched his fingerprint to one at the scene of the murders.
Jackson said bad decisions led to burglaries and robberies and ultimately the prison term, but he denied involvement in the killings. Fingerprints on a beer can, a glass and a door knob were linked to Jackson. Stains on bathroom towels matched his DNA. “Technology caught up with him,” said Bill Hawkins, a Harris County district attorney who prosecuted the case. Hawkins said the odds against the DNA match actually belonging to someone other than Jackson were “off the charts.”
Richard Wrotenbery also taught music at an elementary school in the Houston suburb of Deer Park. He’d been house-sitting at Henderson’s apartment following a divorce until he could find a place of his own. Henderson had just returned to Houston after performing with the opera in Scotland. The day of the slayings, Sept. 10, 1988, Wrotenbery and Henderson, both tenors, had been rehearsing for an opera production of Bizet’s Carmen. Wrotenbery went to the apartment after rehearsals. Jackson hit some bars, may have met Jackson there and took him home.
Evidence showed Henderson was stabbed in the chest. Wrotenbery’s throat was slashed. Both were bludgeoned with a heavy metal bar that could have been part of a weight set. Wrotenbery may have been asleep when he was killed.
“I’m relieved that it’s over,” Carl Wrotenbery, 80, said after watching his son’s killer die. “It’s something that had to be done. I did not look forward to it.” He said he came to Huntsville from his home in Fort Worth, about 175 miles away, out a “sense of duty and responsibility” to his family and that he found Jackson’s silence at the end “disappointing” but not unexpected. “I didn’t expect any pleasure and I certainly didn’t receive any,” Wrotenbery said.
Jackson said from prison he realized “two people lost their lives and I feel for their families.” “I saw the pictures. It was a savage scene,” he said, adding that he understood jurors had to “do something when two guys were killed like that.” But when they found him guilty, “It kind of blew me away,” he said. “I didn’t do it.”
The men’s wallets were taken along with Henderson’s car. A Houston traffic officer tried to pull over the car for speeding, but the driver fled, leading police on a chase until the car crashed. The driver managed to run off and escape. An administrator from the school district where Wrotenbery taught called the apartment manager when the teacher didn’t show up for work. The manager found the bloody scene.
At least three other condemned killers in Texas have execution dates in the coming months.
Forrest Henderson and Richard Wrotenbury, were singers in the Houston Grand Opera. Shortly before his death, Henderson toured with the opera in Scotland. Wrotenbury moved into Henderson’s Houston apartment to house-sit while Henderson was out of the country and continued to live in the apartment after Henderson returned.
David Trujillo and Roger Lindgroff lived next door to Henderson and Wrotenbury. At around 10:30 p.m. on September 10, 1988, Trujillo heard music and Henderson’s voice through the common wall separating their apartments. Trujillo went to sleep around 2:00 a.m. and was awakened at 4:45 a.m. by the sound of Wrotenbury screaming several times, “Oh my God. No. No.” Trujillo also heard what sounded like someone being hit numerous times with a pipe or a baseball bat. After 30 minutes of silence, he heard the water running for about 45 minutes. Lindgroff started to knock on their neighbor’s door to see if there was a problem, but Trujillo called him back inside. Lindgroff did not testify because he was deceased at the time of trial. Trujillo never heard Henderson’s front door open or anyone leave. A person could enter or leave Henderson’s apartment via a separate stairwell, however, without having to pass by Trujillo’s door. Trujillo explained that, before Wrotenbury moved in, he would see “street trash” going in and out of Henderson’s apartment, that the apartment was a rowdy place, and that there was always some kind of screaming and fighting going on over there. Since Wrotenbury had moved in, however, the rowdiness had subsided.
Besides the opera, Wrotenbury also worked as a music teacher at Deer Park Elementary School; but on Monday, September 12, 1988, he failed to appear for work. At 9:00 a.m., the school principal contacted Henderson’s apartment manager to check on him. The manager unlocked Henderson’s apartment door and found nothing disturbed in the living room and kitchen. He proceeded to one of the bedrooms, pushed open the door, and saw a body covered with blood. He promptly left and called 911.
Police officers arrived at the apartment soon thereafter and detected no signs of forced entry. They found Henderson’s and Wrotenbury’s bodies in their respective bedrooms at opposite ends of the apartment. Henderson’s nude body was lying face-down in his bed, and Wrotenbury’s body, clad only a pair of swimming trunks, was lying on the floor of his bedroom. Absence of significant blood in the hallway connecting the two bedrooms indicated that neither victim left his room during or after the attacks. Police found a bloody metal bar in the hallway and a bloody knife in the kitchen sink. Blood was all over the bedroom walls, doors, and curtains. Both victims’ wallets were missing, and Henderson’s car was gone.
Henderson’s car was involved in a burglary of a Montgomery Wards store two to three days later. Police engaged in a high speed chase with the perpetrators, who wrecked the car and fled before police could catch them.
The forensic pathologist testified that Alan Wrotenbury suffered a severed carotid artery, cuts to the vertebrae, and at least three blows to the back of the head with a narrow blunt instrument consistent with a pipe. The force of one of the blows Wrotenbury received knocked out a tooth. Forrest Henderson had received a shallow, non-fatal cut to the neck, defensive wounds on both arms, a six-inch fracture of the skull from a blunt force, and multiple stab wounds to the torso. Fixed lividity in both bodies signified that both people had been dead for more than eight hours.
Tests performed on both victims revealed no signs of drugs, alcohol, or semen. Blood samples and 20 identifiable fingerprints were collected from the crime scene, but the Houston Police Department was unable to develop a suspect. In 1995, HPD upgraded to a new fingerprint system with an expanded database. The new system matched Jackson with prints lifted from a beer can and a glass tumbler in Henderson’s bedroom. A bloody print found on Henderson’s bedroom door also matched Jackson. An expert in blood-spatter interpretation testified that the bloody fingerprint could have been formed only by touching a blood drop while the blood was still wet–as opposed to a blood drop landing on an old fingerprint. An HPD serologist testified that type-B blood was found on a bedroom door. Jackson is blood-type B; both victims were blood-type A. Only these blood types were detected at the crime scene. The State’s DNA expert testified that Jackson’s DNA profile matched DNA isolated from blood stains on a red towel and a beige towel located in Henderson’s bathroom. The odds that another African-American would possess the same profile is one in 7.2 million. Further, DNA analysis could not exclude Jackson as a contributor of the blood mixture covering the metal bar.

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