Billy Wardlow, Texas


Updated: Monday, May 4, 2020

Billy Joe Wardlow was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  His execution has been rescheduled to Wednesday, July 8, 2020.  Forty-five-year-old Billy is convicted of the murder of 82-year-old Carl Cole in Cason, Texas, on June 14, 1993. Billy has spent the last 25 years on Texas’ death row.

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's inital execution date was rescheduled amidst the global coronavirus pandemic that has already resulted in three Texas death row inmates being granted 60 day stays of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  Their executions were scheduled to take place in March and April 2020. 


Please pray for peace for the family of Carl Cole. Pray for strength for the family of Billy. Pray that if Billy is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Pray that Billy may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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