Texas Stamp


PD-1445-16 04/26/2017

"In a capital case, did the two-justice panel fail to defer to the verdict, apply defunct sufficiency standards, and ignore inculpatory evidence when Appellant was the last person with the victims, had been rejected by them, fled the scene, had a .38—the likely weapon—had a .38 under his car seat the day after, had gun-shot residue on his pants and car seat, and acted suspiciously?"

Ingerson was convicted of capital murder for shooting and killing Robyn Richter and her friend Shawna Ferris. Ingerson and Richter had been dating for a few months. The evening of the murders, Ingerson met Richter and Ferris at a local restaurant; the women left before Ingerson. After closing time, Ingerson exited with others around 11:45. Richter and Ferris were parked in front of the restaurant in Richter's SUV; Appellant stood beside the SUV and talked to the women as the others left the lot. Richter's last outgoing, one-minute call was at 11:52. Richter's and Ferris' bodies were discovered in the restaurant parking lot in Richter's SUV the next morning.

The court reversed, finding the evidence insufficient, and rendered a judgment of acquittal.

The State contends that the court of appeals acted as an unprincipled thirteenth-juror, grievously disregarding key pieces of evidence, and reasonable inferences drawn therefrom, performing a divide-and-conquer inquiry, and relying on alternative reasonable hypotheses. Ingerson and Richter's relationship and interaction before the murders supports the jury's verdict. Richter had no romantic interest in Ingerson but led him on for his money. Ingerson had become suspicious about her motives after experiencing mixed messages from her. He was also angered that she was dating another man—a man who prompted Ingerson to vocalize his racist opinions in public. He bacame more irritated with her when she flirted with another man at the restaurant that night. Richter's SUV was parked in the same place it had been when Ingerson was last talking to the women. A nearby surveillance video showed Ingerson's SUV frantically fleeing the area shortly after midnight. This was shortly after the murder based on Richter's cell-phone records. And, though the murder weapon was never recovered, Ingerson owned the type of gun and projectiles used in the murders. Further, a gun matching that description was observed under Ingerson's car-seat the day after the murders. Ingerson's pants from that night tested positive for gun-shot residue. Finally, Appellant behaved suspiciously throughout the investigation and gave police odd and conflicting statements on multiple occasions.

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