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Edward Brian CAPETILLO





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (17)
Number of victims: 1
Date of murders: January 16, 1995
Date of birth: May 13, 1977
Victims profile: Kimberly Williamson, 20, and Matthew Vickers, 19
Method of murder: Shooting (.22 caliber rifle)
Location: Harris County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on March 28, 1996. Commuted to life on June 24, 2005


Edward Capetillo - Texas

The International Justice Project

Case Overview

Edward Capetillo, a Latino male, was 17 years of age at the time of his arrest for the murder of Kimberly Williamson on January 16, 1995. Prior to the crime, Capetillo had no previous criminal record.

Facts of the Case

On the evening of January 16, 1995, Edward Capetillo, James Duke, Curtis Duke, Ryan Spillane, and Michael Wilson congregated at the Duke's apartment. Prior to Captetillo's arrival, the group had been discussing various methods of obtaining money to allow James Duke to purchase marijuana.

James Duke's suggestion of robbery was met with little support. Another suggestion was to sell Spillane's .38 caliber handgun and an electronic scale. Wilson suggested that a friend called Matt Vickers might be interested in purchasing both items. Wilson rang him to offer both items but Vickers declined. After the telephone conversation, Spillane suggested robbing Vickers, as he believed him to have both marijuana and $1,000.

When Capetillo arrived he agreed to join the others in robbing Vickers. The group then drove to Vicker's house in a vehicle that James Duke had stolen earlier that week.

That evening Vickers was at home with his 19 year old sister, Allison, her friend Kimberley Williamson who was staying at the Vickers' home, and Matt Vickers' friend Grant Barnett. The Vickers' father was away attending a business meeting.

Capetillo and the group drove to a park near the Vickers' home. Leaving his friends in the car, Wilson surveyed the house to ascertain who was in and their location within the house.

Allison Vickers and Kimberly Williamson were upstairs in Williamson's room. Williamson was talking to her father on the phone when Capetillo, armed with a rifle, and another person entered the room and ordered them downstairs. Allison Vickers ran downstairs and managed to escape through the front door. She ran to a neighbour's house where she called the police.

Capetillo sent Curtis Duke to search for Allison Vickers. However, he could not find her and returned to the house. Matt Vickers and Grant Barnett were ordered into a room on the ground floor with Kimberley Williamson. Capetillo demanded money and marijuana. Grant Barnett surrendered $18. Matt Vickers told Capetillo that he did not have any money or marijuana and demanded that Capetillo leave the house. An argument ensued between Capetillo and Matt Vickers.

At this point James Duke entered the room pointing a .38 caliber handgun at Grant Barnett. As the argument escalated, James Duke and Capetillo began shooting. Both Matt Vickers and Grant Barnett were shot. Kimberley Williamson ran into another room, where she tripped and fell. Capetillo chased her and shot her at least twice in the neck and chest. Capetillo then fled the scene.

Kimberley Williamson and Matt Vickers died from their injuries. Grant Barnett survived despite being shot three times; once in the back by a .22 caliber bullet and twice with .38 caliber bullets.

Kimberley Williamson's autopsy revealed that that she had been shot three times: in the neck behind her right ear, in the back, and through her arm into her chest. The autopsy also showed that the gun had on at least one occasion been placed directly against her before being discharged and that the weapon used was a .22 caliber rifle. Matt Vickers was also shot three times: in the forehead and wrist with a .22 caliber weapon and in the back with a .38 caliber weapon.

On December 21, 1995 Capetillo was charged with the capital murder of Kimberley Williamson, while in the course of robbing Grant Barnett and attempting to rob Matthew Vickers. On January 31, 1996 Capetillo was convicted of these offenses and sentenced to death.


Edward Brian Capetillo

On January 31, 1996, Eddie Capetillo was convicted of capital murder for causing the death of Kimberly Williamson. Eddie was only 17 years old at the time of the crime. While we in no way seek to excuse Eddie's crime or minimize the pain and suffering endured by the victim and her family and friends, we believe that the state of Texas should not execute Eddie Capetillo for this crime.

The Crime

On January 16, 1995, Eddie Capetillo agreed to join four friends in carrying out a robbery. Eddie carried a firearm into the home of Matt and Allison Vickers and, in the course of trying to gather the four people in the house together and force them to hand over money, shot Kimberly Williamson, a friend of Allison's who was living in the house. Bullets entered Kimberly's neck and chest, causing her death. Eddie was indicted for capital murder on December 21, 1995. He was convicted and sentenced to death in the Court of Harris County, Texas on January 31, 1996.

The Trial

Eddie was only 17 years old at the time of the crime. He was a student at Klein High School in Texas and had no adult criminal record. The state's punishment evidence consisted primarily of a chronicle of disciplinary problems at school and in his neighborhood. However, sixteen witnesses testified on Eddie's behalf at his trial, including his parents and some of his teachers, soccer teammates, and neighbors. They reported that Eddie was quiet and respectful and spoke about his love for playing soccer. Eddie had joined the Navy's "Delayed Entry Program" in his senior year, and his Navy recruitment officer testified that Eddie had been a highly motivated and respectful member of the program. Furthermore, a friend testified that he had seen Eddie on the day of the offense and observed that Eddie had been under the influence of LSD and cocaine. A physician spoke as an expert witness about the dangerous effects those drugs have on a person's perceptions and actions.


Edward Brian Capetillo



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