Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 10:52 am EDT
Tilon Lashon Carter was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the Walls Unit in the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. His execution has been stayed. Thirty-seven-year-old Tilon is convicted of the robbery and murder of 89-year-old James Eldon Tomlin in Tarrant County, Texas. Tilon has spent the last 10 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Tilon did not graduate from high school, dropping out after the 11th grade. He worked as an auto mechanic and a roofer. Tilon was previously arrested for robbing a couple at gunpoint and using the stolen money to pay off a drug debt. While in prison, he led a riot. Tilon was also convicted of indecent exposure and assault against his girlfriend.
On April 28, 2004, Tilon Carter and his 31-year-old girlfriend Leketha Allen were discussing how they needed money. Allen’s mother overhear them and suggested that they rob James Tomlin, and elderly man who lived nearby and was known to keep large quantities of cash in his house. Allen’s mother then drove them by the house, pointing it out.
Carter and Allen returned to James’ home the next day, forcing their way inside after James opened the door. Cater bound James’ hands and feet tightly with duct tape. Duct tape was also placed over his mouth. Carter and Allen then searched home, discovering approximately $6,000 in cash.
James was discover the following day, lying face down in his hallway. A medical examiner determined that he had been severely beaten, but that the cause of death was asphyxiation. The evidence indicated that James was likely smothered to death.
At his trial, Carter’s ex-girlfriend and a cell mate testified that Carter had boasted about Laketha and him killing an old man during a robbery. Carter was convicted and sentenced to death.
Leketha was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. She is eligible for parole this year.
Tilon Carter’s execution had been scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2017. His execution was stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals due to a technical error; the trial court was a day late in notifying the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs that an execution date had been set. According to the law, the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs must be notified within two business days, however, in Tilon's case, it was three days before they were notified. Since the notification was late, the execution date was reset to Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
That execution date has now been stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Tilon's appeal argued that the evidence used to convict him, specifically the evidence of how the victim died, was false. According to Tilon's appeal, which was granted, experts disagree over how James died and if it was intentional.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of James Tomlin. Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Tilon Carter. Please pray that Tilon will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.