Texan Wants To Drop Death Row Appeals

(December 2, 2006)—A judge is studying the latest effort by condemned killer Paul Dennis Reid to drop his appeals and be executed.

Reid is from the Fort Worth suburb of Richland Hills.

He terrorized the Nashville area in 1997 and was later convicted of three incidents of multiple murder covering a three-month period.

He received seven death sentences for the string of slayings at fast-food restaurants in Nashville and Clarksville.

Reid had paroled in 1990 in Texas after serving seven years of a 20-year sentence for aggravated armed robbery at a steakhouse in the Houston area.

At the height of the Tennessee rampage, fast food restaurants closed early out of fear for their employees, or were forced to close at night because they could not find workers willing to risk their safety.

Reid has twice come within hours of execution as his appeals proceeded and he wavered about whether to drop them.

Reid answered questions Friday in Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn's courtroom about why he wants to withdraw a petition.

Such action would essentially end the appeals process in two of the execution-style slayings.

The judge took Friday's testimony under advisement.

She can either grant Reid's wish allowing a new execution date or she can order another hearing to see if Reid is competent to make decisions on his own.

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