A Tarrant County jury sentenced a Fort Worth man to death Friday in a 2013 triple slaying.
Amos Wells was convicted on Nov. 3 of capital murder in the deaths of his pregnant girlfriend Chanice Reed, 22; her mother, Annette Reed, 39; and Chanice Reed’s 10-year-old brother, Eddie McCuin, on July 1, 2013.
The jury deliberated for about four hours Friday afternoon before reaching the decision.
“This has been a long trial,” said Kevin Rousseau, Tarrant County prosecutor. “The family is happy that justice was served. Nothing will replace the lives that were lost. But this was a necessary first step in the healing process.”
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Prosecutors argued that after Wells shot his girlfriend and her mother, he chased Eddie through the house and shot him while he cowered on the floor.
A woman who identified herself as Chanise Reed’s cousin said during her victim impact statement that she forgave Wells but still could not understand why he killed the woman and the unborn child he claimed he loved.
“There have been six deaths in our family between 2010 and 2012,” the woman said. “All we have left is memories that will never fade away.”
State District Judge Ruben Gonzalez allowed Wells’ family to speak to him after his death sentence was announced to a packed courtroom. Wells, who barely showed any emotion as his sentence was read, broke down in tears as they said their goodbyes.
One man said that he would do all that he could for Wells, including take care of his mother and daughter and supply him with whatever he needed while he was in prison waiting for the state to carry out his sentence.
“I did this,” Wells told his relatives. “I’m an adult. Don’t bear this burden. This burden is mine. The more you see me, the more you do for me, the more I will feel like I am putting this burden on you.”
On July 1, 2013, while first responders surrounded the residence in the 2900 block of Pate Drive where the shooting happened, Wells had already turned himself in at the Forest Hill Police Department.
Video surveillance showed Wells leaning on the counter top in front of a window that led to the police communication division. One officer leveled his service weapon at Wells, who begged for the police to take his life, according to testimony.
The last man to be sent to Death Row by a Tarrant County jury was Cedric Allen Ricks, who received a death sentence on May 16, 2014. Ricks got into an argument with Roxann Sanchez, his 30-year-old common-law wife and grabbed a kitchen knife and began stabbing the victim and her 12- and 8-year old sons.
Before Friday’s verdict there had been three death sentences handed down in Texas this year, according to The Texas Tribune. Last year, Texas sent two convicted killers to Death Row, the fewest since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state’s capital punishment statute nearly four decades ago, according to a Texas-based group that opposes the death penalty, the Tribune reported.
The state has scheduled executions for six offenders next year, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records. Three are from Tarrant County, two are from Dallas County and one is from Collin County.