Fort Value man convicted of Carla Walker’s homicide appeals; claims confession ‘induced’

The person who pleaded responsible in August 2021 to murdering a Fort Value teenager in 1974 has filed an enchantment for a re-trial.

Glen McCurley, 78, waived his proper to a jury trial on the third day of court docket proceedings final summer season and adjusted his plea to responsible of capital homicide. Decide Elizabeth Seaside accepted the plea and sentenced him to life in jail.

McCurley confessed to the kidnapping and killing of Carla Walker, a 17-year-old Fort Value lady whose homicide haunted her household and associates for many years. Her household waited greater than 4 a long time for solutions in her disappearance till DNA know-how and a dogged police investigation led to McCurley’s conviction.

By way of his attorneys, McCurley appealed the sentencing in December. In McCurley’s enchantment, his attorneys say the DNA proof towards him mustn’t have been admitted within the trial, police acquired DNA from McCurley’s trash with no warrant and Fort Value detectives induced a confession from McCurley.

The Tarrant County District Legal professional’s Workplace replied to the enchantment in April In response, the prosecutors dismissed the arguments made within the enchantment, saying that the conviction ought to stand.

On Could 24, Assistant Felony District Legal professional Fredericka Sargent and McCurley’s protection lawyer Steven Miears argued McCurley’s enchantment earlier than the Second Courtroom of Appeals.

Enchantment arguments

Carla was final seen on Feb. 16, 1974, when she and her boyfriend, Rodney McCoy, attended the Western Hills Excessive Faculty for Valentine’s Day Dance. The 2 parked in a bowling alley car parking zone after the dance.

In his confession, McCurley advised detectives he was ingesting whiskey and beers that Saturday night time and driving across the city. He acquired he noticed Carla and McCoy within the automotive and attacked – they yanked the door open, beat McCoy over the pinnacle with a pistol and dragged Carla away. Carla’s physique was discovered three days later in a culvert close to Benbrook Lake.

Many years later, Fort Value police detectives Leah Wagner and Jeff Bennett re-opened the chilly case. By way of coordination with varied forensic labs, the detectives are utilized forensic family tree and new DNA extraction know-how to zero in on McCurley as Carla’s killer.

The query of who killed Carla Walker lingered for 46 years.

The DNA profile was created and analyzed by Othrama forensic family tree lab primarily based within the Houston suburb, and the Serological Analysis Institute out of Richmond, California. The DNA profile was finally matched to a DNA pattern police obtained from McCurley – first from a McDonald’s straw pulled from McCurley’s trash after which from a direct DNA pattern that McCurley consented to.

Workers from Othram and the Serological Analysis Institute examined at McCurley’s trial and described intimately the method through which McCurley’s DNA was linked to Carla.

Within the enchantment, McCurley’s attorneys obtained testimony and proof from Othram and the analysis lab mustn’t have been utilized in court docket as a result of Othram and workers with the Serological Analysis Institute lab weren’t accredited via the Texas Fee on Forensic Science.

Nonetheless, because the DA’s workplace factors out in its transient, Othram and the analysis lab make the most of know-how that’s so new, an accreditation course of doesn’t but exist for them.

The enchantment additionally says the DNA pattern pulled from McCurley’s trash mustn’t have been in a position for use in court docket as a result of police didn’t have a warrant for it. The enchantment acknowledges that the police legally don’t want a warrant to look trash, however argues the authorized search doesn’t lengthen to discarded DNA.

“The seek for trash for observable bodily objects is profoundly completely different from the laboratory evaluation of the trash to acquire a DNA profile,” the enchantment says.

In its response to the enchantment, the Tarrant County DA’s workplace says “there aren’t any privateness rights hooked up” to the trash or the DNA discovered on that trash.


Lastly, the enchantment argues McCurley’s confession was induced. Based on the enchantment, Fort Value detectives promised McCurley they’d not get the dying penalty if he confessed. For a confession for use in court docket, an individual can’t have been persuaded or compelled into confessing.

Through the trial, Tarrant County prosecutors confirmed footage of McCurley’s interview with detectives Wagner and Bennett, through which they confessed to killing Carla. He advised the Fort Value detectives that he “simply acquired carried away” when he strangled and killed Carla.

The enchantment features a back-and-forth from the video interview through which McCurley says if he tells the detectives what occurred, he shall be hanged or go to the electrical chair. One of many detectives says, “They don’t seem to be going to do this to you. I promise you. ”

Within the enchantment, the attorneys stated that is proof of the detectives persuading McCurley to admit.

Nonetheless, on the trial, detectives stated they advised McCurley these punishments weren’t going to occur as a result of these punishments don’t exist – people who find themselves given the dying penalty are given a deadly injection, not put in an electrical chair or hanged.

“Whereas there was a dialogue of attainable punishment, it ended with Detective Wagner explaining that, finally, it was for a jury to determine,” the DA’s workplace stated in its reply. “In any occasion, Appellant was plainly extra involved about his spouse and who would handle her if he was in jail, whatever the sentence.”

McCurley’s attorneys say that distinction was not clear, and it would not matter if McCurley’s confession “was true or false.”

McCurley was arrested on Sept. 21, 2020, at his Fort Value dwelling. McCurley lived close to the Walkers’ home – his sons went to the identical faculty Carla attended.

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