Billy Wardlow, Texas


July 8, 2020

Billy Joe Wardlow has been executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Billy was pronounced dead at 6:52 pm local time, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Billy was 45 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 82-year-old Carl Cole in Cason, Texas, on June 14, 1993. Billy spent the last 25 years of his life on death row in Texas.


Billy attended school, withdrawing before completing his junior year of high school, and, according to testimony from the assistant principal, never had any disciplinary complaints against him. Billy was allegedly abused and neglected growing up. His mother had a mental breakdown prior to his birth. Growing up, Billy remembered his mother having tantrums which caused her to act crazy and violent.


On June 14, 1993, Billy Wardlow and Tonya Fulfer went to the home of Carl Cole, intending to steal his truck. Once inside Carl’s home, Wardlow pulled out a gun. Carl allegedly tried to take the gun away from Wardlow, who shot Carl in the head. In his initial confession, Wardlow claimed that shooting was intentional. At his trial, Wardlow testified that Carl was stronger than he expected and he fired the gun, not aiming, in an attempt to scare Carl.


Wardlow and Fulfer wrapped Carl in a bedspread and put him in a closet. They took the truck to Nebraska and sold it. They were arrested the next day in South Dakota.


While awaiting trial, Wardlow allegedly threatened to kill a guard and harm other inmates. Wardlow was sentenced to death. Fulfer accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.


Billy Wardlow was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, however his execution was rescheduled amidst the global coronavirus pandemic that led to multiple, previous Texas executions being granted 60-day stay of executions by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.


Please pray for peace for the family of Carl Cole. Pray for strength for the family of Billy.


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