The district court set forth the relevant facts as
At around 10:30 p.m. on May 22, 1998, off-duty
Houston Police Department Officer Kent
Kincaid and his wife left their home in a
private vehicle on their way to meet some friends at a sports
bar. As they drove past a truck driven by Haynes, something
hit and cracked the Kincaid[s’] windshield.
Officer Kincaid thought someone threw a
rock at his car; Haynes had actually fired a shot at them.
Officer Kincaid turned his car around and
followed Haynes’ vehicle until the two
pulled along side each other.
Officer Kincaid exited his vehicle, approached
Haynes whore mained sitting in his truck,
and said “You hit my window.”
Haynes replied, “I accidentally threw something
at your window.”
Officer Kincaid said, “I am a police officer.
Let's talk about it.” After asking for
Haynes’ license, [O]fficer Kincaid reached towards his
back pocket, presumably to retrieve his police
identification. Haynes lifted up a pistol,
shot [O]fficer Kincaid in the head, and fled the
scene. Officer Kincaid died a few hours later.
The police soon arrested Haynes. Haynes
confessed to [O]fficer Kincaid's murder.
The State of Texas charged Haynes with the
capital murder of a peace officer who was “acting in the lawful
discharge of an official duty[.]” Tex. Penal Code §
19.03(a) (1). A jury convicted Haynes of
capital murder. After a separate punishment
hearing, the jury answered Texas’s special issues in a manner
requiring the imposition of a death sentence. Haynes
unsuccessfully sought state appellate and
habeas relief from his conviction and sentence.
Houston cop killer wins new trial
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal
appeals court is ordering a Texas death row inmate convicted of
killing an off-duty Houston police officer be released or retried
because a prospective juror improperly was excluded from his trial
because of race.
Anthony Cardell Haynes,
30, was condemned for the 1998 fatal shooting of police Sgt. Kent
In his appeal to the 5th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Haynes, who is black, contended
state District Court Judge Jim Wallace improperly allowed Harris
County prosecutors to exclude two black people from consideration
as jurors. The ruling violated Haynes' right to a jury process
free from racial discrimination, his attorneys argued.
The U.S. Supreme Court in
1986 found it unconstitutional to dismiss a juror because of race.
Prosecutors contended the
jurors were stricken because of their demeanor, but the appeals
court said Wallace, who upheld the juror removals, wasn't even
present during the individual questioning of jurors.
In a ruling posted late
Tuesday, the New Orleans-based court ordered a federal district
judge to return Haynes' case to the trial court for a new trial or
release him within six months.
The jury that convicted
and then condemned Haynes included one black person. Of six
potential black jurors interviewed during the selection process,
four were stricken by prosecutors. One was eliminated by Haynes'
A second judge was
presiding during the individual questioning. Wallace was on the
bench while the jury pool was questioned as a group. There was no
explanation for Wallace's absence during the individual
Haynes was arrested two
days after Kincaid's death.
The 40-year-old officer
was off duty, riding with his wife, when the windshield of their
car was hit by what authorities later determined was a .25-caliber
bullet fired from a passing truck. Kincaid followed the truck and
pulled up alongside in northwest Harris County.
When he got out and said
he was an officer and reached behind to get out his identification,
he was shot in the head. Kincaid, a 13-year officer, was not armed
at the time of the shooting.