Mentally Ill Man With Overturned Conviction Found Guilty Again In Re-Trial
A mentally ill Texas man imprisoned for more than 35 years despite his original murder conviction being overturned was found guilty a second time on Wednesday.
Jerry Hartfield, 59, was convicted of murder in the September 1976 slaying of 55-year-old Eunice Lowe, who sold tickets at the bus station in Bay City, about 100 miles southwest of Houston.
The sentencing phase will begin Thursday, the judge said. Prosecutors said Hartfield faces five to 99 years in prison or a life sentence, but said before the trial that he could be immediately eligible for parole because of time served.
Jurors decided against a conviction of capital murder, which carried an automatic sentence of life in prison.
Neither the defense attorneys nor the prosecutors would comment on the verdict, though the two defense attorneys fist-bumped after the jurors were let out of the courtroom.
At a hearing last Friday, a psychologist testified Hartfield’s IQ is 67, below the threshold of 70 considered mental impairment.
Wow. Hopefully he’ll get granted parole after spending 35 years behind bars.