USA - Texas. Carnell Petetan gets life without parole

USA - Carnell Petetan (TX)

22 October 2023 :

OCTOBER 19, 2023 - Carnell Petetan gets life after death sentence overturned
Carnell Petetan Jr. was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole for the 2012 murder of his estranged wife in Waco, after the death sentence he received at trial in 2014 was tossed out. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the death sentence in 2021, ruling the jury that handed down the sentence did not have enough evidence to establish that Petetan is not intellectually disabled. The ruling left Petetan's capital murder conviction in place but prompted the new punishment hearing Thursday.
Petetan, 46, was initially charged in 2012 with the murder of Kimberly Farr Petetan, 41, who was Petetan's estranged wife. The Tribune-Herald reported at the time that the 2 had met as pen pals while Petetan was serving a 20-year prison sentence for attempted murder and aggravated assault, and they and married in 2010 while he was imprisoned. He was released from prison in May 2012 and moved in with her in Waco, but repeated fights soured their relationship, causing him to move back to his hometown of Port Arthur.
Petetan was convicted of murdering Kimberly Petetan on Sept. 23, 2012, when he also kidnapped her 9-year-old daughter after he burst into her apartment and demanded she drop domestic abuse charges against him in Jefferson County. Testimony from the trial revealed Petetan shot her in front of her daughter and two of his friends before fleeing and later being arrested in Bryan.
During the trial, Petetan testified 1 of the friends was the killer, but testimony from the 2 friends and Kimberly Petetan's young daughter implicated Petetan. He was convicted of capital murder on April 21, 2014, and sentenced to death a week later.
Before the trial, Petetan was found competent to stand trial after Petetan and his lawyers claimed he was intellectually disabled. However, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest criminal court, overturned the sentence in May 2021, ruling “the jury’s rejection of Petetan’s affirmative defense of intellectual disability was against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence.”
Since the disability could not be disproven, prosecutors elected not to pursue another death sentence and instead sought a sentence of life in prison without parole, the only other sentence for a conviction of capital murder.


other news