Update: Monday, August 22, 2016 2:50 pm EST
Jeffery Lee Wood was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. His execution has been stayed. Forty-two-year-old Jeffery is convicted for his part in the murder of Kris Keeran on January 2, 1996, in Kerrville, Texas. Jeffery has spent the last 18 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Jeffery was allegedly abused and beaten as a child and had severe mental, emotional, and learning disabilities, although he graduated from high school.
On January 2, 1996, Jeffery Wood and Daniel Reneau parked outside a Texaco station in Kerrville, Texas during the early morning hours, around 6 am. Reneau entered the store alone, while Wood remained outside. Reneau pointed a handgun at Kris Keeran, the clerk, and threatened to shoot unless he cooperated. When Kris refused, Reneau shot him, killing him almost instantly.
Wood entered the store after hearing a gun shot. He saw Kris lying on the floor. Reneau, pointing the gun at Wood, ordered Wood to retrieve the video tape surveillance. The duo also took the store safe and cash box - all totaling over $11,000.
They drove to Wood’s parents’ house where they attempted to open the safe, but were discovered by Wood’s younger brother, whom they ordered to destroy the video tape evidence. Wood and Reneau were arrested later that day. Both men confessed to the crime.
The police investigation showed that they had, unsuccessfully, attempted to recruit Kris and another employe to state a phony robbery. They were also connected to a series of prior robberies.
Wood was initially found incompetent to stand trial, however, after staying for a few weeks at a mental hospital, he was determined to be competent.
Both men were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Wood was convicted under Texas’ controversial Law of Parties, which holds accomplices as liable as the actual killer in capital murder cases. Reneau was executed in 2009.
Jeffery Wood received a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals due to claims that the jury was improperly persuaded to sentence him to death due to the testimony of highly criticized psychiatrist, who has been banned by the American Psychiatrist Association. Jeffery's lawyers are also arguing that the pshychatirst lied during his testimony to persuade the jury.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Kris Keeran. Please pray for strength for the family of Jeffery. Please pray that if Jeffery is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence be presented prior to his arrest. Please pray that Jeffery may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.