Steven Woods | Wrongfully Executed by The State of Texas

About

- In 2002, Steven Woods was convicted for shooting & killing a young couple in Denton County, Texas

- Woods was 21 at the time and had no prior arrests or warrants.

- 3 months after Steven was wrongfully convicted/sentenced to death, 24 year old Marcus Rhodes took responsibility for knowingly and intentionally shooting and killing both of the murder victims, in a Denton County court.

- Rhodes didn't insinuate that Steven in any way, participated/plotted/played any role in the murders.

- There is NO physical evidence or confession that ties Steven Woods to the murder scene.

- No one has reported or testified to having eye-witnessed these murders.

- The murders were committed with Marcus Rhodes' own firearms. (Both registered under Rhodes' name)

- The firearms were found under Rhodes' bed when Police searched his parents' home.

- The weapons only had Rhodes' fingerprints on them.

- The victims' backpacks & their belongings were found in Rhodes' car a few days after the murders.

- The only "evidence" used against Woods were friends of Marcus Rhodes who took the stand, claiming that they heard Woods brag about the murder. This is called "hearsay" & is usually inadmissible in court.

- One "witness", a habitual heroin user & friend of Rhodes' was paid 1000 dollars for his testimony.

-Another "witness" signed a sworn affidavit stating that her testimony was coerced with threats.

-The state tried to use DNA found on a latex glove to convict Woods. The jury was told that the DNA on the glove was Woods', but later in the trial Steven demanded that the glove be tested. The DNA did NOT match Woods'. The glove was stricken from the protocol by Denton County Judge, Lee Gabriels - so that Woods could not use it to prove his innocence in his appeals process.

- The prosecution accused Woods of numerous erroneous claims to which they had no basis. Example: The prosecution lied to the jury claiming that Woods (who they did not know was of Armenian heritage), was a "white supremacist".

-The man who confessed to killing the couple, also confessed to carrying out an additional murder in CA that occurred 2 months prior to the Denton murders. Steven did not participate in that murder, nor did he witness it or get indicted in association with it.

-The actual murderer, Rhodes got a punishment of life in prison with parole.

-Steven Woods got sentenced to death and will be executed on Sept. 13 2011.

 

  Steven's case consists primarily of hearsay evidence, which was at the time dubbed admissible under the "catchall" exception, as the judge stated that the witnesses were reliable after they referred to an item (latex glove) which SUPPOSEDLY had DNA evidence on it.
Steven knew this was impossible and demanded that the glove be re-rested for his DNA. When it was, it came back negative. There was no match. Instead of receiving a retrial, the judge said that the DNA glove can be stricken from evidence. If the DNA glove is stricken from the evidence, then the hearsay testimony is no longer admissible under the "catchall" rule and is moot.. Right?
Wrong: The court won't even let Steven use the glove as evidence of his wrongful conviction in his appeals. The person who actually murdered the couple has already admitted that he was the only murderer.... but, the state of Texas simply doesn't care. Steven lost his last and FINAL appeal, and he needs all the support you can get.


THE STORY:

On the night of this heinous crime, Ron (victim 1) ran into Steven and Marcus at their usual hangout spot , insomnia coffee in Deep Ellum. Ron asked Steven to help him out. He said that he wanted to sell a vial of LSD and asked if Steven knew anyone that would be interested. Ron had helped Steven with scoring drugs in the past so Steven said sure, and Ron said he'd get him high if he could help out. Steven was staying at an abandoned warehouse with his friend Marcus Rhodes at that time and Rhodes offered Ron to tag along and said he'd drive Woods back so that Ron wouldn't have to drive all the way back to deep ellum, as he planned on partying downtown with his girl, Bethena (victim 2). In turn, Ron gave him some LSD too.

All 4 along with a few other mutual friends were partying at a club downtown and Ron urged Rhodes and Woods that he wanted the LSD sold that night. Rhodes got in the drivers seat of his car, Woods got in the passenger seat, and Bethena and Ron followed in Bethena's car. They drove up to the neighborhood the LSD buyer lived in and parked on the grass by a golf course since they didn't want the buyers mother to ask questions about the 2 cars rolling up to the house.

Once they were stopped, Brosz got out and sat on the hood of her car. Ron opened the passenger door and let Steven out and Steven was craving a smoke since he was all out.. Steven asked Ron if he could have a smoke, and Ron said yea, help yourself, they're on the seat in Bethena's car, grab one for me too. Sidenote: All four people were high on LSD - which does not show up on standard toxicology reports.

As Steven gives Ron the cigarette he requested, Steven hears Thunder and feels something warm on his face as Ron falls to the ground. Marcus is now hovering over Ron. Steven sees lightning and hears more thunder. He thinks it's storming. Mind you, he is on LSD. Marcus gets up and points the gun to Stevens face. Steven hears Bethena ask "What are you doing.....?" As Marcus turns to Bethena, Steven dodges, hides in Marcus' car and tries to tell himself that it's all in his head. Just a bad trip. Steven hears more thunder.

Later when Marcus bragged about the murders, Steven found out that when Marcus realized he ran out of bullets, Marcus drew out a little self defense pistol he carried on the reg, that could only hold 2 bullets, and shot bethena in the knee to debilitate her as he refilled his .380, a larger gun. Marcus also noted that when he was done shooting the two, he checked Bethena for a pulse. He felt a pulse so he slit her throat along with Ron's. Bethena still had a pulse when she was found at the scene.

Marcus was an avid hunter and had plenty of weapons and good aim. You would probably need hunting experience to shoot someone in the knee as they attempt to flee.. and Rhodes had been hunting since a very young age.

All this time, Steven is in the car telling himself it's all in his head. Marcus is yelling at Steven "open up the trunk!" because Marcus had his hands full with 2 backpacks he stole from the victims. Steven, fearing his life, got out and opened the trunk and went back in the passenger's seat. Marcus got into the drivers side and drove himself and Steven away like it was nothing. He would not leave Stevens side for the next day and he was armed. So what would you say if Steven were your son?

Just as a sidenote, Steven was tried first and sentenced to death as the shooter despite a lack of any physical evidence against him and despite the fact that marcus got arrested first and his guns were only covered in his own fingerprints and the victims' backpacks were in his trunk. Marcus never said that Steven participated in or plotted/knew about the murders before they happened. After Steven was sentenced to death, Marcus asked for a plea bargain in return for info about another murder..

it was a man Marcus had killed 1.5 months prior this one. Steven was not at the scene of that murder.

The reason we don't broadly advertise Steven's story is because I do not like knowing that somewhere out there, 4 parents will likely stumble upon the details of the disgusting murders of their children. While yes, it will help Steven if the world knew the whole story, I feel like a gory play by play will be a traumatizing event for their loved ones. I apologize to the families of Bethena and Ron, as I can't imagine what they had to go through and I would hate to put them through more hurt. I just don't know what to do anymore.

If you have any more questions about Steven's case, feel free to ask anything at all, as Steven has nothing to hide.Please repost and share this as much as possible.



Why I Am Here - Steven Woods


 I have been on death row going on 9 years… a very long time, I know. Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long. I guess I have to credit my attorney for good stall tactics, huh?  This whole time, while I haven’t necessarily been quiet, I haven’t been vocal about the thing that’s been driving me for the entirety of my stay here:  I am INNOCENT.

I’ve never killed anyone, yet I’ve never really talked about my case.  The main reason for this is because I’ve been told not to (by my lawyer) but it's over; my appeals are done.  Do I feel, if not safe, then secure enough to tell my side of the story.  Only a handful of people have heard it, as I’ve never given an official statement,  So here it is, here’s how I got to where I’m at. The following is a summation of both the crime I’m being killed for and the legal process that’s doing it to me.


The State of Texas has this thing called the Law of Parties. In a nutshell, this barbaric law says that if 2 (or more) people are present at a murder, all the people there can be charged, tried, and convicted for it,  it doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger.  The law says that if you knew it was going to happen, or even ANTICIPATED that it might, that's it; you're going to jail.  It doesn’t matter if you ever knew anything was going to happen, just the fact that it might can send you to Death Row. I’m proof of that.  That’s why I’m here, ladies and gentlemen.  That’s why I am going to die.. Apparently, I should have anticipated that my friend Marcus might murder a couple other friends of mine- because I was somehow left alive.


Shortly after I was sentenced to die, something else happened that should have set me free:  Marcus stood up in court and confessed to murdering both Beth and Ron, by shooting them and stabbing them. He said he killed both of them, and he never once mentioned me.

Nonetheless, he received a life sentence, while I was sentenced to die.

 
So here I am. I've been sitting and waiting for 9 years, and soon I will be be killed for murders that I didn't partake in.