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Appeals court vacates death sentence of Central Texas man convicted of killing his wife

Carnell Petetan, Jr. (Staff photo/file)
Carnell Petetan, Jr. (Staff photo/file)(KWTX)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:42 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has vacated the death sentence of Carnell Petetan, Jr., 45, who was sent to death row for the September 2012 murder of his estranged wife in Waco.

Pettetan will be returned to Waco for a new sentencing hearing.

The court did not vacate his capital murder conviction.

Prosecutors could again seek the death penalty or Pettetan could be resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Petetan was convicted of capital murder in 2014 in the Sept. 23, 2012 shooting death of his wife, Kimberly Farr Petetan, 41, who was gunned down at an apartment complex on Lake Shore Drive.

The woman’s 9-year-old daughter was reported missing after the shooting, but Waco police later confirmed she was in the apartment when her mother was killed.

Petetan was later arrested in Bryan.

In March 2017, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Petetan’s conviction and death sentence, rejecting an appeal in which his attorneys raised 30 points of error from his trial, during which the defense maintained Petetan was intellectually disabled and thereby ineligible for the death penalty.

But in October 2017, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in another Texas case involving a death row inmate who claimed he was ineligible for execution because of mental disability, the Court of Criminal Appeals vacated its judgement and granted a rehearing on its own motion to consider Petetan’s arguments in light of the high court’s ruling.

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