Hurst Putt-Putt murderer on death row loses appeal

The Putt Putt Golf and Games in Hurst became a crime scene in October 2006 when an assistant manager was murdered.
The Putt Putt Golf and Games in Hurst became a crime scene in October 2006 when an assistant manager was murdered. Star-Telegram archives

A Fort Worth man on death row for the 2006 killing of a Hurst Putt--Putt assistant manager who begged for his life has lost a federal court appeal in the case.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected arguments that Paul David Storey’s trial attorneys, Larry Moore and Bill Ray, were deficient during the sentencing phase of his 2008 capital murder trial in Fort Worth. Storey’s argument had been that his attorney’s did not pursue more evidence of his depression and low level of intellectual functioning.

Storey’s appeal also contended that a black juror was improperly excluded because of race.

Storey is black and his victim, 28-year-old Jonas Cherry, was white.

A Tarrant County jury convicted Storey, 30, of capital murder in September 2008 and later sentenced him to death by lethal injection. Days later an accomplice, Mark Porter, pleaded guilty to capital murder, and received a life sentence.

Storey and Porter burst into the Hurst business on the morning of Oct. 16, 2006, and herded Cherry into an office, according to testimony during the trial. After removing surveillance tapes in the office, the robbers ordered Cherry to open a safe and fill a bag with cash.

Cherry was shot in the head and legs as he knelt and begged for his life, according to the testimony.

The robbers fled with a few hundred dollars. Immediately after the holdup and slaying, the thieves went to a Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store, and ordered hamburgers. They then went on a shopping spree at Cash America.

The robbers missed taking one of the surveillance tapes and that one was released to the news media. Images from the video surveillance showed a maroon two-door Ford Explorer leaving Putt-Putt.

A tipster told Hurst police that the vehicle belonged to Storey, a former Putt-Putt employee.

Storey first told Hurst police that he and a passenger had trouble with his truck and stopped to get help but fled when they heard gunshots, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Storey later changed his story, telling investigators that they had gone to the business to rob it, the affidavit stated.

This report includes information from The Associated Press and Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr