TITUS COUNTY, Texas — Another East Texas inmate has had his execution delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, District Court Judge Angela Saucier in Titus County has rescheduled the execution of Billy Joe Wardlow, 45, from April 29 to July 8.
In June 1993, Billy Wardlow and Tonya Fulfer entered the home of 82-year-old Carl Cole intending to rob him. Wardlow shot Cole in the head, killing him.
In March, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution for Tracy Beatty, of Smith County, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the order, the court "determined that the execution should be stayed at the present time in light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address that emergency."
Beatty was convicted of killing his 62-year-old mother, Carolyn Ruth Clark, burying her in the backyard, using her credit cards and draining her bank accounts. The crimes occurred in November 2003.
As of Tuesday, the execution for Randall Mays, of Henderson County, is still expected to be carried out on May 13.
On May 21, 2007, Randall Mays man gunned down three Henderson County Sheriff's Office deputies, marking one of the most tragic days in Henderson County law enforcement history.
Deputy Paul Hablet, Deputy Sheriff Tony Ogburn and Deputy Kevin Harris were responding to a domestic violence call in Payne Springs when Randall Mays opened fire on the trio with a "high-powered rifle." Hablet and Ogburn died as a result of their injuries, while Harris suffered a broken leg.
Mays was convicted of capital murder of a peace officer and sentenced to death in May 2008.
Harris retired from the HCSO in January 2009.
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