Death-row inmate convicted for Harris deputy killing commits suicide
By TERRI LANGFORD
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
A death row inmate convicted in the 2001 murder of a Harris County Sheriff's deputy killed himself inside his prison cell this morning, a prison official confirmed.
A correctional officer was making a routine cell check at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston when he discovered Jesus Flores' blood-covered body at 4 a.m, said Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Flores was pronounced dead at 5:08 a.m. A preliminary investigation indicates Flores cut his own throat then tried to scrawl a note with his blood on the cell wall.
"It appeared he had tried to write something on the wall but it appeared largely illegible," Lyons said.
The 25-year-old death row inmate was sentenced to die following his conviction in the May 22, 2001 shooting death of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Dennis.
On that night, Flores, a pool installer and laborer, had stolen a family member's car. Flores shot Dennis in the head as the deputy was handcuffing him.
Since the death penalty was reinstated in Texas in 1974, there have been eight suicides by Texas death row inmates.
John Devries, the first man placed on Texas Death Row in 1974, committed suicide that same year by hanging himself with bed sheets.
The most recent suicide before Flores' was on Oct. 19, 2006, when Michael Johnson cut his own throat on the morning of his execution.
Does this constitute a waiver of any complaint that death by self-inflicted throat-cutting is cruel and unusual?
It certainly does for him!
Texas Death Row Inmate Commits Suicide
By LIZ AUSTIN PETERSON
February 5, 2007
HOUSTON (AP) - A convicted murderer awaiting execution killed himself in his cell at a psychiatric center just three days after another condemned man on Texas' death row did the same, prison officials said Monday.
William Robinson, 49, used a sheet to hang himself from a vent, Texas Department Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said.
Only eight other condemned killers have committed suicide since death row reopened in 1974, including Jesus Flores, who killed himself Jan. 29.
Robinson, who was sentenced to death for a 1985 murder, had been held at the Jester IV psychiatric facility in Richmond since September and had spent time there periodically throughout his years on death row, Lyons said.
Officers found Robinson hanging at about 5 a.m., Lyons said. They cut the sheet and performed CPR; he was taken to a hospital alive but unresponsive and was put on life support.
Robinson's mother decided to cut off life support after doctors said he was most likely brain dead, Lyons said.
Lyons said privacy laws prevented her from discussing Robinson's medical records, but she said he did injure himself with a razor in 2006.
Michael Charlton, Robinson's former attorney, said Robinson had paranoid schizophrenia and had repeatedly attempted suicide.
"Despite years of that history, to leave William unsupervised and not on a suicide watch to me, it's just appalling," Charlton said.
Lyons said officers at Jester IV routinely check on inmates every 15 minutes.
It took a jury just 11 minutes to convict Robinson of capital murder for the shooting death of 26-year-old Steven Michael Creasey in a Houston apartment complex.
According to prosecutors, Robinson and two other men robbed Creasey and a female friend, then tried to abduct the woman. Creasey was shot between the eyes when he tried to help her.
The woman told police she was raped for hours by all three men before she was released.
Prosecutors said Robinson had just gotten out of prison after serving seven years for robbery when Creasey was murdered. The killing was part of a crime spree that also included a carjacking and the robbery of three men, a shoe store, and a bus driver.
Robinson admitted to raping the woman but said his co-defendent killed Creasey. In state and federal appeals that were pending when he died, attorneys for Robinson claimed he was mentally retarded and was not sufficiently represented his trial.
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