COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – He was a death row inmate for more than 20 years. So why is Charles Dean Hood still in the Collin County Jail? CBS 11 News looks at the case of a convicted murderer whose sentence was overturned, but who still waits for justice.
“I don’t deserve to be here,” Hood said flatly.
Hood’s death sentence overturned more than two years ago.
“I don’t feel like I get a fair shot in the courts,” he said.
The 44-year-old was convicted for the murders of Tracie Wallace and Ronald Williamson. Hood was living with the couple, in their Plano home, at the time when they were shot and killed.
Hood was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to death, but his punishment was overturned on a technicality. It turns out the judge who presided over the trial, Verla Sue Holland, and the prosecutor in the case, Tom O’Connell Jr., were having an affair.
On Wednesday Hood appeared in court for a hearing over whether the new jury will be allowed know the scandalous information during his resentencing trial.
When asked if he felt like prosecutors were trying to keep the relationship between the judge and the district attorney from coming up during your trial Hood said, “Yes. Because it taints their case.”
Hood still maintains his innocence despite there being strong evidence against him.
When asked about being in the victim’s car and using their credit cards Hood answered both questions, “I had permission.”
He went on to claim that the couple was murder because 40-year-old Williamson was “caught up in a dope business.”
Hood has had the backing of former politicians who think he should get a new trial and not just a new sentence of either life in prison or death.
Of the experience Hood said, “This County is so vindictive toward me. I came within 15 minutes of being executed. I want a fair shot in front of a fair judge in front of a fair prosecutor that ain’t sleeping together.’
On Wednesday the judge put off making a decision on whether testimony about the affair will be admitted, but set a sentencing trial date in February 2013 – three years after Hood was brought back to the Collin County Jail.