2017-07-28 15:40:44 UTC
in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a woman during a burglary of
On Wednesday evening, 25 February 2004, Preyor, then 33, called his
drug supplier, Jami Tackett, 24(*), to tell her he was coming over
later. Tackett held a party in her San Antonio apartment that night.
The last guest left at about 4:00 a.m., at which point Tackett and
Jason Garza locked the door, turned out the lights, and went to bed.
Soon afterward, Tackett and Garza were startled by two or three loud
bangs at the door. Preyor then entered Tackett's bedroom. Referring to
him by his nickname, she asked him, "Box, what the hell are you doing
here?" Preyor said "F*** this" and jumped on the bed and began
attacking Garza with a knife. Garza was stabbed, but managed to run
away and ask neighbors to call for help. Preyor then stabbed Tackett
numerous times and slashed her throat, severing her trachea, jugular
vein, and carotid artery.
Several of Tackett's neighbors heard her screaming and saw Preyor
leave her apartment. They saw Tackett on the floor, covered in blood
and making gurgling sounds. Jaclyn Villanueva asked Tackett if the man
who came out of the apartment wearing black clothing hurt her. Tackett
was unable to speak, but she nodded her head affirmatively.
Preyor then tried to flee from the scene, but when he reached his car,
which was parked downstairs, he realized he did not have his keys. He
went back inside Tackett's apartment and searched for them while
Tackett struggled to breathe on her living room floor. When Preyor
went back downstairs, he was confronted by police, who ordered him to
stop and get on the ground. He did not comply. Officers used pepper
spray to subdue him and then handcuffed him. Police found a loaded
shotgun on the bumper of his car and a knife and gloves in the grass
Preyor was covered in blood. DNA analysis indicated the blood was
Tackett's. Her DNA was also found on the knife and gloves and on
Preyor's car door handle. Blood containing Garza's DNA was found on
Preyor's watch and knit cap. The pattern on Preyor's boots matched the
pattern of bloody footprints inside Tackett's apartment. The door to
the apartment was broken.
Tackett died before paramedics arrived.
Afterward, David Pointer, her former boyfriend, found some car keys
and turned them over to the police, who determined that they were the
keys to Preyor's vehicle.
Preyor made a statement to police after he was taken into custody. He
said he bought drugs from Tackett to sell to others and that he called
her on Wednesday at around 11:30 p.m. She told him he needed to come
over and that she had a friend with her. He assumed the friend was a
mutual friend of theirs named Keith and told her he would come over
later. He arrived at the apartment around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. and
knocked on the door. Tackett let him in. Preyor stated that he
immediately became uncomfortable because he did not recognize the
other man in the apartment, which was totally dark except for the
light from the television. When Tackett locked the door behind him and
the man stood up, he bolted down the hallway toward the back of the
apartment. He stated he was trying to see how many people were inside
and was trying to find switches to turn on the lights. When he came
back to the front of the apartment, the man tried to grab him, and
they started fighting. When Tackett joined in and started scratching
his face, he pulled his knife and "poked the dude with it." He did not
remember how many times he stabbed the man, but the man opened the
door and ran outside. Tackett was still scratching and grabbing at
him, so he kept slashing and poking her. "She fell down and I ran out
of there," he said.
Preyor further stated that he ran across the apartment courtyard,
yelling for help. He knew he had blood on him because he had cut his
own finger while trying to defend himself from Garza. He stated he
knew he hurt Tackett, but didn't think she was hurt "that bad." "I
didn't run when the police got there," he said, "because I felt like I
was a victim. I was the one being robbed, and I defended myself."
Preyor said that when the police ordered him to stop, he raised his
hands in the air, but told them he would not stop walking, and they
would have to shoot him if they wanted him to stop walking. "Ten
seconds later," he said, officers tackled him, handcuffed him, and
pepper sprayed him, in that order.
Preyor had a prior conviction in the state of New York for possession
of nearly four ounces of crack cocaine. He pleaded guilty in exchange
for a one-year sentence. A charge of resisting arrest was dismissed as
part of the plea bargain.
According to the state, Preyor knew that Tackett kept a safe in her
apartment containing cocaine and cash. The Texas Department of
Criminal Justice's data sheet on Preyor calls Tackett "his
girlfriend," but that status is not reflected in court documents or
Jason Garza testified against Preyor at his trial. Prosecutors stated
that the broken apartment door supported Garza's account of what
Preyor's attorney did not call any witnesses, and Preyor declined to
testify. The jury was instructed to consider the statutes that justify
murder in the case of self defense.
A jury found Preyor guilty of capital murder in March 2005 and
sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed
the conviction and sentence in January 2008. All of his subsequent
appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Preyor was kept in the holding cell near the execution chamber for
about 2-½ hours after the scheduled execution time while prison
officials waited for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on his final
Most executions in Huntsville are attended by friends and relatives of
both the condemned and the victims, but the only people who witnessed
Preyor's execution were reporters and prison staff.
Per tradition, Preyor was allowed to make a final statement at his
execution. "First and foremost, I'd like to say, 'Justice has never
advanced by taking a human life,'" Preyor said, quoting Coretta Scott
King. He then expressed love to his wife and children and said,
The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 9:22
(Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents,
(*)Court documents and news articles report Tackett's age variously as
20, 24, and 26.
Texas Execution Information
Texas Execution Information