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Texas Execution of William Speer Stayed for October 26, 2023

William Speer, Texas

Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of William Speer.  The order did not specify why the execution was being stayed, however, Speer’s lawyers had previously asked that the execution be halted because prosecutors did not, allegedly, share all evidence during his 2001 trail.  Additionally, Speer’s lawyers alleged that prosecutors presented false testimony during the trial, a claim the prosecutors deny.

Updated: Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has refused to halt William Speer’s execution over claims regarding the execution drugs.

Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A request for clemency for William Speer has been denied by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Updated: Monday, October 23, 2023

William SpeerWilliam Speer is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. local time on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Forty-nine-year-old William is convicted of murdering 47-year-old Gary Dickerson on July 11, 1997, in Bowie County, Texas. William has spent the last 32 years in prison, with the last 21 being on death row.

William did not graduate high school, dropping out of school after the eighth grade. He was born in Harris, Texas. During his childhood, William was allegedly verbally and physically abused by his mother and stepfather. William also witnessed his stepfather physically abuse his mother. His mother and stepfather also both abused drugs and alcohol. William alleged that school was difficult for him, as he was bullied and had few friends. He spent some time in special education classes.

He was eventually sent to live with his biological father, who also physically abused him. Before being arrested he worked as a laborer. In 1991, William was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Jerry Collins, the father of a friend who was demanding that stolen money be returned to him. William was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

While in prison, William Speer was attempting to join the Texas Mafia prison gang at the Telford Unit, where he was serving his time. The leader of the gang wanted prisoner Gary Dickerson killed because it was incorrectly thought that Gary had intercepted a shipment of cigarettes. Cigarettes are often used as currency in prison.

Speers volunteered for the murder. He, along with fellow inmate and Texas Mafia member Anibal Canales, entered Gary’s cell on July 11, 1997. Speers and Canales entered with the pretext of smoking a cigarette with Gary. Canales restrained Gary’s hands and feet, while Speers choked him to death. Speers eventually confessed, verbally and in writing, to carrying out the murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death.

Pray for peace for the family of Gary Dickerson. Pray for strength for the family of William Speer. Please pray that if William is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Please pray that William may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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