Skip to comments.Condemned Dallas carjacker set to die Thursday; 9th execution in Texas in 2004
Posted on 03/04/2004 7:11:04 AM PST by MeekOneGOP
Condemned Dallas carjacker set to die Thursday
07:10 AM CST on Thursday, March 4, 2004
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Frank Meziere had watched a Dallas Mavericks basketball game at a restaurant with a friend and before heading home stopped at a self-service car wash to clean his black Mustang convertible.
The 23-year-old Plano stockbroker, a 1996 Texas A&M University graduate, never made it home.
His body was found the next day, March 26, 1998, along the side of a road in an industrial area of Oak Cliff, an area of south Dallas. He had been shot in the head 10 times. His car was found about five miles away, abandoned and with the lights on.
"Having dealt with murders, you think you've seen it all," said Jason January, a former Dallas County assistant district attorney. "But this innocent victim was shot almost for sport.
"It was just the sheer overkill of the thing that was ludicrous."
Yokamon Hearn bragged to friends about how he "domed" Meziere, meaning he shot him in the head. Hearn was set to die Thursday evening for the slaying.
He would be the ninth condemned Texas prisoner to receive lethal injection this year and the second in as many nights.
In an appeal filed this week, lawyers for Hearn said the inmate may be mentally retarded and asked the courts to halt the punishment so they can pursue their claim. The U.S. Supreme Court has barred execution of the mentally retarded. Prosecutors said questions about Hearn's mental competence never surfaced previously.
Hearn, 25, refused to speak with reporters as his execution date neared. The U.S. Supreme Court in November denied his request seeking a review of his case.
"It's hard sometimes to know what a death penalty case is, but after a while you know one when you see it," said January, the lead prosecutor at Hearn's trial. "And this just screamed out for the death penalty."
Dallas jurors agreed, deliberating less than an hour to convict Hearn and about an hour before deciding on punishment.
Hearn was 19 at the time of the crime and had a lengthy record that included burglary, robbery, assault, a sexual assult and weapons possession.
"I remember having a big map of the city showing places he had hit and pulled guns on people," January recalled this week. "He was an equal opportunity carjacker -- women, black, white, everybody."
Hearn, along with two other Dallas men and one woman from Oklahoma City, were seen on a security camera video at a convenience store adjacent to the car wash. They had been out looking for someone to carjack, authorities said.
According to testimony at his trial, Hearn drove Meziere's car after he and companion Delvin Diles forced the victim into the car. The two others, Dwight Burley and Teresa Shirley, were in a second car in a convoy that took them to an area near Dallas' wastewater treatment plant. Meziere was shot there with a Tec-9 automatic, then with a .22-caliber pistol. Hearn drove off with his car.
Shirley, driver of the second car, testified Meziere had his arms raised near his head and appeared to beg for his life as Hearn swung the Tec-9, a 9 mm assault-style rifle stolen from an apartment the previous day, back and forth before opening fire. After the victim hit the ground, Hearn shot him several more times, she said. Diles added some shots from his revolver.
Hearn drove off with Meziere's car and kept the victim's license. A witness testified at his trial that Hearn later bragged at a party about the shooting.
Physical evidence linked both Hearn and Diles to the car.
Diles, 19 at the time, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to consecutive life terms for Meziere's death and an unrelated aggravated robbery. He and Hearn were arrested within days of the slaying.
Shirley, then 19, and Burley, then 20, were arrested more than eight months later. Each pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and received 10-year prison sentences.
Hearn was to head to the death chamber 24 hours after convicted killer Marcus Cotton, 29, received lethal injection for fatally shooting Gil Epstein, 27, a Fort Bend County assistant district attorney, during a robbery in Houston in 1996.
Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/030404dntexexecute.4fc79c1f.html
But permits the execution of the mentally undeveloped if they are innocent, blameless, helpless and in the womb. Any honest man will place those black-robed executioners among the worst mass murderers of all time, second only to the communists.
Are ya'll sitting' down ??? ...
[It looks like this is being fast-tracked, so I think it's just a delay then back in the hopper].
Dallas carjacker wins reprieve of execution
06:06 PM CST on Thursday, March 4, 2004
HUNTSVILLE, Texas A condemned inmate described by a prosecutor as an "equal opportunity carjacker" was spared Thursday evening less than an hour before he could have been taken to the Texas death chamber for killing a Dallas-area man who was shot 10 times in the head.
Yokamon Hearn, 25, was facing lethal injection for the 1998 fatal shooting of Frank Meziere, a 23-year-old Plano stockbroker abducted at gunpoint from a self-service car wash in Dallas six years ago.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with defense attorneys who sought a delay in their late appeals and stopped the punishment, but the court also set an accelerated briefing schedule to ensure the appeals would not take months, said Lori Ordiway, an assistant district attorney in Dallas County.
The death warrant would have allowed the execution to be carried out after 6 p.m. although state officials normally wait until all appeals are resolved before moving ahead with the injection.
In the appeal before the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, lawyers filed late appeals contending Hearn may be mentally retarded.
The U.S. Supreme Court has barred the execution of the mentally retarded.
Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/030504dntexexecution.d4a0f.html