Convicted Cop Killer in Texas Exhausts Appeals

     HOUSTON (CN) – A convicted cop killer who faces the death penalty for the 1998 murder of an off-duty police officer cannot have his appeal reopened and his Oct. 18 execution will move forward, a federal judge ruled.
     Anthony Cardell Haynes shot and killed Sgt. Kent Kinkaid following a night of crime where he committed a string of armed robberies before spotting the off-duty officer and firing at him.
     A Harris county jury convicted Haynes in 1999 of capital murder and sentenced him to death.
     After failing to find relief in both state and federal courts for more than a decade, including a 456-page federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed in 2005, Haynes petitioned the court to reopen his federal habeas action citing an ineffective trial counsel.
     U.S. District Judge Sim Lake rejected that petition Wednesday and denied him a certificate of appealability.
     Haynes claimed relief under the recent Supreme Court decision Martinez v. Ryan, which concluded that a deficient performance by a state habeas attorney may amount to some cause, but Lake said that decision does not apply to cases arising from Texas courts.
     Lake also said even if it did apply, Haynes failed to show extraordinary circumstances under the law.
     “Because the Martinez decision is simply a change in decisional law and is not the kind of extraordinary circumstance that warrants relief under Rule 60 (b) (6), Haynes’ motion is without merit. Additional, the applicability of Martinez to Texas’s post-conviction process does not change the fact that the court has already adjudicated Haynes’ Strickland claim. Haynes asks the court ‘to exercise its authority and grant him relief from its prior judgment…and grant federal review of this claim …'”
     “The court has already reviewed the merits of Haynes’ Strickland claim in the alternative and found it to be without merit.”
     Lake also noted that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals observed, on direct appeal, that Haynes confessed “to knowingly murdering a police officer after a violent crime spree.”
     “Haynes admitted that he shot Sergeant Kincaid because he was a police officer and, showing no remorse, bragged to friends that he had killed a police officer. Haynes also told people that he should have killed Nancy Kincaid, so that there would have been no witness to the murder.”
     According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Haynes will be the 10th death row inmate to be executed this year, in the country’s most active death penalty state.

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