2003-08-15 14:08:34 UTC
Paul Richard Colella, 34, has accepted a plea bargain that removes him
from death row in Livingston, Texas. Colella was convicted in 1992
for the capital murder of two men.
On 12 September 1991, David Ray Taylor and Michael Lavesphere were
shot in the head on South Padre Island. Their bodies were found inside
a pickup truck.
Taylor's brother told investigators that he was with the two victims
when they picked up Brenda Colella, 21, on the beach and gave her a
ride. After the shooting, Colella and her husband, Paul, 22, fled to
Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colellas were arrested in Indiana on 12
February 1992 and brought to Texas on capital murder charges.
According to prosecutors, Paul Colella murdered Taylor and Lavesphere
under a mistaken belief that they raped his wife.
Anthony Wilson testified that he knew Colella and saw him kill the two
men. However, another witness testified that he saw Colella in
Victoria, some 240 miles from the crime scene, around the time of the
murders. The jury convicted Colella of capital murder and sentenced
him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Paul
Colella's conviction and sentence in 1995.
Brenda Bowling Colella was convicted of capital murder and received a
Colella's attorneys contended that the victims were shot around 6:00
a.m., when Colella was spotted in Victoria. They claimed that
prosecutors withheld evidence and misled the jury into believing that
the murders occurred much earlier in the morning, giving Colella time
to drive to Victoria. Colella's attorneys also claimed that Anthony
Wilson gave false testimony in order to avoid prosecution as a
co-defendant. The case was in federal district court, awaiting a
hearing, when prosecutors made a deal to drop the capital murder
charge if Colella pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder
and accepted a 20-year sentence with no option for parole. Colella
accepted the deal. He will remain in prison until September 2012.
Why do you seek the living among the dead? -- Luke 24:5
Who's Alive and Who's Dead