Pursuant to a court order by the 241st Judicial District Court of Smith County, Tracy Beatty is scheduled for execution after 6:00 p.m. on August 13, 2015.
In 2003, Beatty was convicted and sentenced to death for the capital murder of his mother, Carolyn Click.
FACTS OF THE CASE
As summarized by the Fifth Circuit:
Beatty murdered his mother, Carolyn Click, on November 25, 2003. Beatty and Click had a “volatile and combative relationship.” According to witnesses Betty McCarty and Lieanna Wilkerson, each a neighbor and friend to Click, Beatty had assaulted Click several times in the past. Indeed, Wilkerson testified that once Beatty “had beaten [Click] so severely that he had left her for dead.”
Nevertheless, Beatty, an adult who had been out on his own, moved back in with his mother in October 2003. The relationship never improved. McCarty testified that Click told Beatty to leave in October 2003. The separation was short, however; Beatty soon returned to his mother’s home. McCarty testified that Click again told Beatty to leave on November 25, 2003, the day of Click’s murder. At approximately 4:00 p.m. that day, Click said to McCarty: “I told [Beatty] to leave today.” According to McCarty, Click said about Beatty: “I put up with all I’m going to put up with.”
Wilkerson testified that Beatty and Click fought daily when they lived together and that “[s]everal times [Beatty] had said he just wanted to shut [Click] up, that he just wanted to choke her and shut her up.” Wilkerson described a conversation she had with Beatty in which he expressed his anger about Click refusing to drive him to a job interview because “she just didn’t feel like it.” Beatty told Wilkerson that he had thought about killing Click with a hammer and shoving her under the house but that he “couldn’t do it” because she would have “started stinking.” Despite Beatty’s obvious troubles, Wilkerson befriended Beatty, sometimes allowing him to stay at her house to give Beatty and Click an opportunity for some time apart. The night of November 25, 2003, Beatty ate dinner at Wilkerson’s house, arriving at approximately 6:00 p.m. and leaving at approximately 10:00 p.m.
In the days that followed, Beatty told differing stories about Click’s murder. The most succinct version—and the final version put forth in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ narrative—came from Wilkerson. Wilkerson testified that the “last thing” that Beatty told her about the night of Click’s murder was that “when he left [Wilkerson’s] house, he went directly across the street to [Click’s] house and that [Click] was waiting for him, and that when he came through the door, they had a horrible fight.” Beatty told Wilkerson that he “chok[ed] Click until she fell to the floor” and that he did not realize that she was dead “until he woke up the next morning.” Beatty then crudely buried his mother behind the home.
The day after Click’s murder, Beatty took a turkey to Wilkerson’s house. Beatty told Wilkerson that he had picked up the turkey for Thanksgiving but that he no longer needed it because Click had gone out of town. In the weeks after Click’s death, Beatty used Click’s credit and debit cards to make purchases and disposed of her belongings.
PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY
Prior to burglarizing and strangling his mother to death, Beatty had been convicted of drug possession, theft, weapons possession, a brutal assault against a child under two years of age, and prior assaults against his mother, a correctional officer, and others. While incarcerated, Beatty had a physical altercation with a corrections officer and was found with a shank. He had also joined a prison gang.
On February 26, 2004, a Smith County jury indicted Beatty for the capital murder of his mother, Carolyn Click, in the course of burglarizing her home.
On August 10, 2004, having been found guilty of capital murder, Beatty was sentenced to death.
On March 11, 2009, Beatty’s conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on direct appeal.
Beatty’s application for state habeas relief was denied on May 6, 2009, by the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Beatty filed a petition for federal habeas corpus relief in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. The federal district court denied Beatty’s petition on July 16, 2013. The Fifth Circuit rejected Beatty’s appeal on July 16, 2014, and affirmed the district court’s denial of habeas relief. The Fifth Circuit denied Beatty’s motion for rehearing on November 11, 2014 and denied Beatty’s motion to recall the mandate on February 26, 2015.
A petition for certiorari review filed in the United States Supreme Court was denied on May 18, 2015.
On July 13, 2015, the 241st Judicial District Court of Smith County scheduled Beatty’s execution for August 13, 2015.