Billy Wardlow, Texas


Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Billy Wardlow has been executed by the state of Texas.  Read more here.

Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected three requests to halt Billy Wardlow's execution, allowing the execution to proceed.

Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Texas Supreme Court has rejected a request to halt Billy Wardlow's execution.  Billy was requesting that the Texas Supreme Court grant a stay of execution, citing the dangers of gathering during the coronavirus pandemic.  Billy still has appeals pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Updated: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request to halt Billy Wardlow's execution.

Updated: Monday, July 6, 2020

The Texas Board of Pardons of Paroles has rejected, by a vote of 6-1, to commute Billy Wardlow's death sentence or to halt his upcoming scheduled execution.

Updated: Monday, July 6, 2020

Billy Joe Wardlow is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  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 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.


Attorneys for Billy have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of the United States, asking that Billy be granted a stay of execution.  They are arguing that Billy's age at the time of the crime, 18, and his relatively good behavior during his time in prison contradicts the "continuing threat to society" argument used during his trial to help secure his death sentence, instead of a lesser sentence.  Regarding his age, Billy's attorneys argue that new science is showing that the brains of 18-20 year olds are no different from the brains of 17 year olds in regards to moral culpability and that their brains are still developing.  Therefore, Billy should be excluded from being sentenced to death, as he was 18 at the time of Carl's murder. 


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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