MCLENNAN COUNTY (July 29, 2013)—Depending on the outcome of two pending capital murder cases, McLennan County could be sending as many as four defendants in death row in less than 15 months.
And if that happens, District Clerk Karen Matkin says it would be something that hasn’t occurred in the county, at least in the 37 years since Texas reinstated the death penalty.
State District Judge Judge Ralph Strother presided over the death penalty trials of both Rickey Cummings last fall and Albert Love earlier this month.
They were charged with capital murder in a deadly shooting in 2011 outside of Waco apartment complex, and Strother sentenced both to die by lethal injection.
Strother says he does not take the cases lightly and says, "Many people think in a civilized society this shouldn’t happen but we don’t live in a society.”
District Attorney Abel Reyna said he cannot comment on any of the cases because of appeals and upcoming trials, but does say he thinks the death penalties may serve as deterrent to other criminals.
Two McLennan county death row inmates have recently been executed, leaving three from the county on death row.
If the defendants in the upcoming trial are convicted and sentenced to death, McLennan County would rank 10th in the state in the number of inmates on death row.