With several unsuccessful appeals behind him, Keith Steven Thurmond, who killed
his estranged wife and her boyfriend in 2001 while the Thurmonds’ young son
watched, appears to be set for his execution Wednesday evening in Huntsville.
But Thurmond’s latest appellate attorney stated in an email to The Courier
Friday he will file a petition for writ of certiorari Monday in another attempt
to stop Thurmond’s execution by lethal injection.
A Montgomery County jury convicted Thurmond in 2002. The day of the killings, a
judge had ordered Thurmond, who lived in the Magnolia area at the time, to stay
away from his wife and 8-year-old son.
Instead, he armed himself and headed to the home of Guy Fernandes, where
Fernandes, Sharon Anne Thurmond and the Thurmonds’ son were in a pickup truck.
The boy told investigators at the time how he had seen his father, with the
gun, chasing his mother around the yard while Fernandes, 35, ran into the
mobile home, The Courier previously reported. The boy then said he saw his
father shoot his mother “a couple of times and ... then ran into Guy’s mobile
home with the gun,” according to arrest warrant affidavits.
The boy then told investigators he heard several shots, and he then ran to his
father’s home across the street.
Keith Thurmond then barricaded himself and his son inside his home. He later
released the boy unharmed, but he remained inside the mobile home armed with at
least one pistol and another firearm.
Officers persuaded Thurmond, 41 at the time, to surrender peacefully after a
couple of hours.
Sharon Thurmond, 32, had sought protective orders against her husband twice,
including the one issued the day she died.
David R. Dow, the Cullen Professor at the University of Houston Law Center and
the founder of the Texas Innocence Network, is representing Thurmond in his
final appeals. Dow declined Friday to elaborate on the writ of certiorari he
plans to file Monday.
Dow filed a writ of habeas corpus last week to the Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals, which the court denied because it didn’t meet requirements, said
Assistant District Attorney Bill Delmore, who heads the Appellate Division for
the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
A writ of certiorari is “the means by which you ask the (U.S.) Supreme Court to
review the Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision in dismissing the writ of habeas
corpus,” Delmore said.
In the writ of habeas corpus filed last week, Thurmond alleged his defense
attorney didn’t adequately investigate his family background and difficult
childhood, Delmore said.
“But he didn’t raise it in his first writ, so you don’t get to raise it again,”
Thurmond’s 1st writ of habeas corpus also alleged he didn’t receive effective
legal counsel. A federal court last year subsequently upheld the Court of
Crimnal Appeals’ denial, ruling Thurmond hadn’t exhausted all state remedies,
In September, Judge Michael Mayes, of the 410th state District Court, set the
date for Thurmond’s execution.