Steven Woods | Wrongfully Executed by The State of Texas
Steven Woods | April 17 1980 - September 13 2011
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This is not an abolition website.
This is a site about Steven Woods' American right for a fair trial - a right that was shamelessly denied by Governor Rick Perry and the notoriously biased Denton County Court.

On the night of May 1 2001, only two weeks after his twenty-first birthday, Steven Michael Woods witnessed Marcus Rhodes (24) shoot and kill drug dealer Ron Whitehead. Marcus also lethally shot and killed Ron's girlfriend, Beth, who had agreed to drive Ron to sell a vial of acid in The Colony, TX. 
All four present at the scene were under the influence of LSD. 

Shortly after the murders, Steven Woods agreed to be interviewed by The Colony police, who chose to speak to Woods publicly, in a booth at a  Deep Ellum coffee bar. This establishment was frequented by friends of Marcus Rhodes  - who were habitual drug users  and Steven feared they would harm him if he appeared to cooperate with the police. After questioning Steven, the officers called Marcus Rhodes to The Colony Police Department for questioning. Due to the overwhelming amount of evidence found in Rhodes' vehicle, and later in Rhodes' home, Marcus was arrested for murdering the young couple. 

In 2002, before Marcus had ever been tried, Steven was arrested in CA, extradited to Texas, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection.  However, 3 months after Woods' wrongful conviction, Marcus Rhodes pled before Denton country trial officials that it was he (Marcus), who shot and killed both victims. Marcus received life with the possibility of parole for fatally shooting two people. 
Woods spent the next 9 years of his life in silence, awaiting death in total solitary confinement. 




INCONSISTENT THEORIES OF GUILT
In November 2002, Marcus Rhodes stood up in court and took full responsibility for knowingly & intentionally causing the deaths of the victims by firing the lethal shots that killed both of the victims.
While Rhodes was arrested months before Steven and all evidence pointed the blame at Marcus, Denton County Court tried Steven first.  
DNA evidence supported Rhodes' confession that Rhodes was the sole shooter.
Both victims' backpacks were found in the Trunk of Rhodes' Mercedes.
Rhodes' fingerprints were on all weapons and his vehicle was littered with shell casings.
Since Rhodes was an avid hunter, the guns were registered under his name and found hidden, under his bed, at his parents' home in Dallas. A bloodied knife carrying Rhodes' fingerprints was found in Rhodes' car. 

All of the physical evidence clearly solidifies that Steven Woods did not kill the two victims.
 
There is no evidence that points out that Steven anticipated/knew of/conspired these murders in any way, and a lack of motive confirms this. When Steven was tried in court, he was accused of firing the fatal shots that killed both victims, despite the fact that there was no physical evidence to support this theory.
Woods was only given the chance to get tried as a shooter.
Seeing as he was not the shooter, there was no reason for him to plead guilty.
Unlike Marcus Rhodes, Woods was never offered any plea bargain by the Denton County DA, Bruce Isaacks. This points out a bias in Marcus' favor.  Incidentally, Marcus Rhodes came from a well-to-do family and Rhodes' parents both have ample connections within the Texas court system.


EVIDENCE

There is no physical evidence that ties Steven to the crime scene.  Steven impeached the state's manufactured evidence used against him:  The prosecution presented a latex glove that they claimed had his DNA on it.
The prosecutors did this in order to implicate Steven for shooting the two victims, despite the fact that only Marcus Rhodes' fingerprints were on the murder weapons.
The prosecution also used the glove as an indicia of reliability for false hearsay testimonies.
Knowing  that he never touched a glove, Steven demanded that the glove be tested.

The DNA on the glove did not match Steven's DNA
This glove was struck from the protocol by the sentencing judge (Lee Gabriel) in order to ensure that Steven would not use it as exculpatory evidence in his appeals.


TESTIMONIES
There were no eyewitnesses to the crime itself - All witness testimonies consisted of hearsay which is usually inadmissible in court. A majority of the witnesses that testified against Woods were habitual drug users and friends of the actual murderer, Marcus Rhodes.
Additionally, witnesses who recanted stated they were told by investigators that Woods murdered the victims and were threatened with imprisonment if they were not willing to take the stand against Woods.
A heroin addict named Don Megahan was given 1000 dollars to help turn Woods in.  
Two convicted felons falsely testified against Woods in order to get their jail time reduced; one of the testimonies was recanted and the other was impeached. 

Testimonies that were impeached/recanted/disproved:
1) David Samuelson - Recanted in 2004/ erroneously admitted testimony under Texas Rule of Evidence 803(24)
2) Staci Schwartz - E
rroneously admitted testimony under Texas Rule of Evidence 803(24)
3) Melissa Byrom - Recanted (detectives coerced false testimony with threats)
4) Gary Franks - Recanted (testified for good jail time)
5) Brian Young - Impeached (testified for good jail time & hearsay testimony had no indicia of reliability)
6) Stephen Price - Hearsay supported by erroneously admitted evidence from a murder committed by Marcus in CA.
7) Michael Cavin - 
Hearsay supported by erroneously admitted evidence from a murder committed by Marcus in CA
8) Nadia Yasmine Caminero/Whitney Rios - Disproved. Hat they said that Woods stole from victim was later identified by victim's body in the crime scene photos. Witnesses confirmed that victim only had one hat and this was "the hat" (they didn't know that the photo of the hat was actually taken from the crime scene).


PROSECUTORY MISCONDUCT

The prosecution lied without basis about Steven's past. Prosecutors used vague statements such as "[the prosecution] could find people to testify about Woods' past of abusing his brothers and pets.."
"Could" is not "did", and there are no documents, affidavits or reports about witnesses that support any of their claims.
Woods' family has never backed up any of the prosecutions claims, and has publicly stated that the prosecution lied.
The prosecution falsely claimed that Woods had been affiliated with white supremacists groups; this is absolutely ridiculous, as Woods wasn't even white - he was Armenian.  According to Woods' friends and family, Woods was not a satanist and had never built bombs.
The prosecution admitted erroneous evidence by informing the jurors that Woods was involved in a murder in California prior to this murder. Woods disproved the evidence in his appeal, yet the courts still would not overturn his sentence, claiming it was a "harmless error".
The prosecution claimed that Woods had murdered the couple because he was obsessed with gore and fantasized of becoming famous for brutal murders. Were this the truth, it's safe to say that Woods would not have bothered maintaining his innocence throughout his last 10 years of life in confinement, until his very last breath.

WHY WERE 2 GUNS USED?
Marcus Rhodes admitted to shooting the first victim six times with a .380 pistol.
Marcus then pointed the gun at Steven, but got distracted by victim 2 yelling. Marcus turned towards victim 2 as Steven Woods ran and hid in Marcus' car. Marcus ran out of bullets in the .380, he drew a small .45 self defense pistol from his pocket and shot victim 2 behind the knee, because she was trying to flee. After debilitating victim 2 with his impeccable aim, Marcus refilled the .380 with more bullets. After Marcus fatally shot victim 2, Marcus still felt a faint pulse on her carotid so Marcus slashed both victims' throats repeatedly, as Woods hid in the car.

SO WHY IS STEVEN WOODS DEAD?
The Texas Law of Parties states that anyone that "may have anticipated" a murder, is just as responsible as the murderer themselves. Application of this law doesn't require any proof beyond speculation.

Steven was indicted, tried and convicted as the shooter.
Later, when Rhodes admitted to shooting both weapons and all fatal shots as well as cutting the victims' throats (never once mentioning Woods in his testimony), the courts acknowledged Rhodes' testimony. The DA offered to give Rhodes life in prison with parole in exchange for information regarding another murder that Rhodes committed in California without Woods.
Steven appealed his wrongful conviction and the courts stated that Steven still "may have anticipated" that the victims would be shot by Rhodes. There is no proof of this, and up until Woods told his story in April 2011, there was no way to prove that he was even present at the crime scene.
How could the courts allow the admitted shooter to get away with "life with parole" while letting Steven Woods be executed, based on a whim, at the age of 31.


"I think the death penalty is a crime no matter what the circumstances, and it is particularly awful in the Steven Woods case. I strongly oppose the execution of Steven Woods on September 13 2011."

-Noam Chomsky (8/26/11)

 
"Until now, I had thought it would be recognized by every law- abiding person, to say nothing of a prosecutor and a court, that helping the investigation of a murder was a good thing and that "omerta" was the ethic of organized crime.
I would reverse the sentence of death and remand the case for another hearing on punishment
."


-Judge Womack, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (12/15/04)


"Mr. Rhodes turned himself into police days after the slayings, confessed,
and implicated Mr. Woods. His attorneys have said he was at the scene of
the crime but did not participate in the killings.

Mr. Rhodes took the stand earlier in the week but refused to testify on
the grounds his statements might be self-incriminating."

-[Source: Dallas Morning News]




"The killer is Marcus Rhodes, not Mr. Woods.
Its Marcus' gun. It was found in his room, under his bed.
If he were here in this courtroom, I would be pointing at him, telling
you that over and over, but I dont have that opportunity."

-Denton County Judge Jerry Parr







Webmaster: JusticeForSteveWoods@gmail.com




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