Dameon Jamarc Mosley, who was found guilty of capital murder last week in the shooting death of Billy Stacks, was sentenced to death Wednesday afternoon.
After hearing from the jury, 114th District Court Judge Christi Kennedy issued the sentence.
The jury of seven men and five women found Mosley has a probability of being a danger to society. They answered there are not sufficient mitigating factors that would hinder him from receiving the death penalty.
The jurors also ruled that he does not have an intellectual disability, after deliberating for just under an hour.
Stacks, 62, of Tyler, was a clerk at the Conoco gas station at 3319 NNE Loop 323 when the convenience store was robbed in the early hours of Jan. 28, 2017. Officials said Stacks was shot several times in the head and shoulder.
After the sentence was announced, Stacks’ wife, Cheryl, gave her reaction to Mosley’s death sentence.
“I’m just glad he’s going away so he won’t ever be able to do this to anybody else,” she said.
Mosley pleaded not guilty Nov. 7.
Robbie McClung, one of his defense attorneys, acknowledged that the death penalty was probable.
“I think given the facts and circumstances it was a likely outcome. We knew going in that the offense itself was bad, but most capital murders are bad, which is one of the reasons why we tried to find a way, not to necessarily excuse what he did, but to examine the evidence in a different way and ask for a felony murder,” she said. “The jury with their due diligence found him guilty of capital murder, according to the law.”
During closing arguments of the trial’s punishment phase, the defense presented evidence about Mosley’s abusive and traumatic childhood as well as his intellectual disability, in an attempt to receive life in prison.
“The best we could offer them was some kind of mitigating evidence to warrant a life sentence as opposed to death. Based on their determination, they found it not sufficient and I respect them for their decisions,” McClung said. “They were a thoughtful jury, a focused jury and a very attentive jury. So I have no squabble with their decision.”
Mosley’s case can be appealed and he was appointed a different attorney for the appeal process after Kennedy issued the sentence. McClung said the way Texas addresses intellectual disability will likely be the subject of the appeal.
Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said the jury’s decision was an appropriate sentence.
“I think the jury sent a clear message: murder, robbery, people who victimize other people won’t be tolerated,” Putman said. “We’re grateful that they thought the evidence was that clear. It’s nice to know the jury saw through the defense’s argument and saw the truth.”
He believes jurors were able to see what kind of person Mosley is based on his large criminal past.
“First, the jury heard about the murder. Dameon Mosley killed Billy Stacks on Jan. 28, 2017. But then, in punishment, they got to hear about almost 15 aggravated robberies he committed over and over again, including shooting Jeremy Kelly at a dollar store robbery.”
During closing arguments, the state asked the jury to choose the death penalty for Mosley. It added that he does not have mitigating background factors that would justify life in prison.
Prosecutors also said records show Mosley did not have an abusive childhood, citing that he claimed once he had a pleasant childhood. The state also said his mother, Linda Smith, who has said she once struck him with a frying pan, was not a credible witness due to changing statements concerning the past.
The state said it has proved Mosley is a continuing threat to society. He took the money from the Conoco gas station as Stacks lay dying on the floor, the prosecutor said.
The state then addressed robberies Mosley committed in 2014 and 2016. Throughout the sentencing phase, witnesses testified they were scared for their lives and some said it still affects them today.
“This is Mr. Mosley’s work. This is who he is,” Smith County First Assistant District Attorney Chris Gatewood said.
Mosley was given probation in 2015 for the robberies that occurred in 2014.
“At the time, we thought we were going to give him a second chance,” Gatewood said. “I’m here to say that he’s a continuing threat to society.”
Credible evidence shows Mosley is not intellectually disabled, the state said. Evaluations show he’s not intellectually disabled, except the defense’s experts, according to the state.
Mosley uses force to get things and doesn’t care if he hurts people, the prosecution said. He could hurt or kill someone if he’s sentenced to life in prison, and he knows right from wrong, the prosecution argued.
The defense said other inmates will be safe around Mosley and that he won’t be around low-level offenders.
As a life-without-parole inmate, Mosley would never have the freedom of a trusty, who goes out in the outside world, the defense argued, adding that inmates sentenced to life are under control of the prison officials.
Regarding Mosley’s robberies, McClung, told the jury anyone would feel scared if someone put a gun to their body.
McClung then said there is empathy for the Stacks family.
“It’s hard when you listen to Ms. Stacks about the relationship she had with her husband,” she said.
McClung said Mosley’s life lacked structure based on the testimony of his mother and sister, who both detailed his abusive and traumatic childhood. He may need the structure that’s within the prison system, McClung said in her closing remarks.
Smith was truthful about the abusive and traumatic actions she put her children through. She was also honest about her addiction and prostitution, McClung told the jury.
Putman said Mosley is able to function on his own and he knows how to get answers in life.
Mosley has a borderline sub-average IQ, but he’s definitely not intellectually disabled, Putman said.
He called prison, more or less, a timeout. Privileges are only taken away when the inmate commits a forbidden act.
“The only thing I have to work with is what he’s done in the past,” Putman said. “Your job is to see that justice is done,” he told the jury.
Putman told the jury Mosley was robbing people for extra money for shoes and whatever else. He got paid from his job before robbing and killing Stacks. The check was sitting in the car the whole time.
“He will do it again, if he needs to,” Putman said.
Stacks paid with his life, but he helped to end Mosley’s potential next robbery, Putman said. Stacks will never get to grow old with his wife or know his future grandchildren, he added.
Putman stated Mosley earned the death penalty and the law requires it.