barbee Fort Worth Double Murderer Wants New Trial

Stephen Barbee. (Credit Texas Dept. Of Criminal Justice)

FORT WORTH (AP/CBSDFW.COM) — A notorious Texas double murder will be revisited this week when the man condemned to die for the crime seeks a new trial.

Attorneys for death row inmate Stephen Barbee will argue in state court in Fort Worth starting Wednesday that he received ineffective counsel when he was convicted in 2006 of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Lisa Underwood, and her 7-year-old son, Jayden.

Barbee dumped the two in a wooded area in North Texas.

They claim a “secret deal” existed between Barbee’s court-appointed attorney, William H. “Bill” Ray, and the presiding judge, Bob Gill, to dispose of cases quickly.

Attorney Richard Ellis says Stephen Barbee’s 2006 trial was rushed and ignored a lot of evidence in his favor.

KRLD’s Chuck Schechner Reports:

Ellis says even Barbee’s confession was flawed and was obtained in the restroom.

The proceeding was ordered by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals after The Associated Press revealed in 2010 that Gill, unlike other judges, negotiated plea deals himself in probation revocation cases and that many of those cases were handled by Ray.

Copyright 2012 CBS Local.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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