The Houston Chronicle reports that a man convicted of killing a cop has lost his federal appeal, claiming incompetent defense lawyers were to blame for his original conviction. Anthony Haynes killed an off-duty officer in Houston in 1998 and was sentenced to death. The officer, Sgt. Kent Kincaid, was gunned down in front of his wife during a traffic incident where Haynes was attempting to rob motorists.
Haynes has fought his death sentence for years, and even won a last-minute stay from the Supreme Court in 2017, just hours before his execution.
On May 22, 1998, Kincaid was driving his wife to a bar when something cracked their windshield. That “something” was a bullet. Kincaid turned around and exited the car to approach Haynes, and when the men started to discuss the incident Haynes pulled out a firearm and shot Kincaid in the head.
Haynes confessed to police on the scene, and was convicted of capital murder at the age of 19.
Haynes’ appeal claimed that his defense attorneys didn’t present evidence showing he wasn’t a future danger, which is required in the case of a death sentence in Texas. Forty affidavits from family and friends attesting to his good character were never presented in court.
The Supreme Court’s stay sent the case back to a lower court, which then turned down his appeal because the claims did not provide “extraordinary circumstances” necessary to win an appeal under a provision known as “Rule 60b.”
One judge dissented the opinion, stating that Haynes was only 19, had no prior record and was under the influence of drugs at the time.
There is no execution date set for Haynes, and his attorney is assessing what their next steps will be at this point.
*Photo credit AP Wire Phone