Condemned killer of Fort Worth women loses appeal

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A prisoner on Texas death row for the fatal stabbings of an 89-year-old woman and her 71-year-old daughter at their Fort Worth home has lost a federal court appeal.

The ruling Wednesday from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals moves 58-year-old Billy Jack Crutsinger a step closer to execution for the April 2003 slayings of Pearl Magouirk and Patricia Syren. Evidence showed Crutsinger got into their home under the pretense of doing some work.

Magourick and Syren’s bodies were discovered on April 8, 2003. Authorities later learned that Crutsinger was using Syren’s credit card at some Galveston bars and he was arrested, according to court records.

A Fort Worth detective interviewed Crutsinger in Galveston where he confessed to killing the women and told officers where other evidence of the slayings could be found, court records stated. The confession also contained an admission that Crutsinger stole Syren’s Cadillac, court records stated.

His appeal contended he had poor legal help at his trial where attorneys should have pursued evidence he had mental impairments and previous head injuries. He also argued a federal judge should have provided money so his claims of poor legal help could be more fully investigated.

Crutsinger does not yet have an execution date.

Star-Telegram staff writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report

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