Ladd Execution Stayed at Last Minute, Family Says Justice Put on Hold - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/23/03 - Tyler

Ladd Execution Stayed at Last Minute, Family Says Justice Put on Hold

An execution scheduled for Wednesday night has been stayed. The man condemned for killing a mentally challenged Tyler woman will now have his mental profile examined.

Robert Charles Ladd was sentenced to die for murdering Vicki Garner in 1996. After killing her, he set a fire to destroy evidence.

Ladd is now 45, but it's a test given when Ladd was thirteen that showed his IQ at just under the level that declared him mentally retarded. Since then, Ladd received his high school equivalency diploma, and even graduated from barber college.

District Attorney Jack Skeen says more recent examinations show Robert Ladd is, indeed, competent.

"He scored 85 or 86 on the IQ test when he went ito prison -- obviously way way above any level of even mild mental retardation." Skeen says.

The family of Vicki Garner was in their car, headed to Huntsville, where they were to witness the execution.  They got a phone call, and learned of the appeals court stay.

They say the delay of execution, just prolongs their anguish.

"I don't think that we'll ever find closure. For me it was a conclusion, it was an end to an episode," says Vicki's sister, Teresa Wooten.

All that she, Vicki's father and mother can do is hold on one another and bear another wait. 

"I thought today was going to end it all.  I got a little bit angry," says Vicki's father, Gene Garner.

Gene's angry not at Robert Ladd, but at the legal system - they say -  put justice on hold.

"They know as well as I know, as well as Mr. Ladd knows, and his lawyers know, that he's guilty," Gene says.

Teresa says, "I spent a week preparing myself mentally for six o'clock this evening."

It's been six and a half years since Vicki was murdered. Robert Ladd has written letters of apology. Gene says that proves understanding of right and wrong.

"I think the man was sincere in his apology. I really do. And if he knew what he did, he's not retarded," he says.

Teresa replies, "We will carry with us -- each member of my family -- Vicki's death and the way she died. And, all the horrible images that we saw during the trial. We will carry it with us, to our own deaths."

Still, they try to make every day bright, with the memory of Vicki's smile.

Vicki's mother, Lawanta, says "Sometimes the sad things push their way in, and we try to think of the good times.  She'll always be in our hearts."

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

  • East Texas HeadlinesEast Texas HeadlinesMore>>

  • Better East Texas: United Way of Smith County to move into Women's Building

    Better East Texas: United Way of Smith County to move into Women's Building

    Tuesday, April 17 2018 4:16 PM EDT2018-04-17 20:16:45 GMT

    The United Way of Smith County is moving to a new home in the historic Woman’s Building in the heart of Tyler.

    More >>

    The United Way of Smith County is moving to a new home in the historic Woman’s Building in the heart of Tyler.

    More >>
  • Better East Texas: Big data is big business

    Better East Texas: Big data is big business

    Tuesday, April 17 2018 4:01 PM EDT2018-04-17 20:01:19 GMT

    Big data is big business. Personal data and the ability of marketers to customize marketing messages based on our online habits has become a massive new science, and the personal data associated with it has become the new gold in our world.  

    More >>

    Big data is big business. Personal data and the ability of marketers to customize marketing messages based on our online habits has become a massive new science, and the personal data associated with it has become the new gold in our world.  

    More >>
  • Daytime Weather At Your Fingertips

    Daytime Weather At Your Fingertips

  • NewsMore>>

  • Man killed in Longview accident Saturday night identified

    Man killed in Longview accident Saturday night identified

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:36 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:36:24 GMT
    Longview police have identified the man who died in a crash Saturday night. According to police, Wilbert Hawkins, 58, died after being hit by a car in the 3900 block of West Loop 281. According to reports, Hawkins got out of his car after it stopped working in the inside lane of westbound West Loop 281. Several cars stopped to prevent from hitting Hawkins’ car. A 2015 Nissan Titan, driven by Julio Martinez, 38, of Longview, moved into the turning lane of westbound ...More >>
    Longview police have identified the man who died in a crash Saturday night. According to police, Wilbert Hawkins, 58, died after being hit by a car in the 3900 block of West Loop 281. According to reports, Hawkins got out of his car after it stopped working in the inside lane of westbound West Loop 281. Several cars stopped to prevent from hitting Hawkins’ car. A 2015 Nissan Titan, driven by Julio Martinez, 38, of Longview, moved into the turning lane of westbound ...More >>
  • Longview traffic advisory: Lanes closed on Loop 281

    Longview traffic advisory: Lanes closed on Loop 281

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:47 GMT
    The Longview Police Department has stated that both north and southbound lanes of West Loop 281 is closed. The road is closed from Cotton to Enterprise has been closed due to an accident. Drivers are urged to use alternate routes if traveling in this area.  Motorists are currently being detoured around this location.   Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.More >>
    The Longview Police Department has stated that both north and southbound lanes of West Loop 281 is closed. The road is closed from Cotton to Enterprise has been closed due to an accident. Drivers are urged to use alternate routes if traveling in this area.  Motorists are currently being detoured around this location.   Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Conference brings experts, enthusiasts in all things paranormal to Tyler

    Conference brings experts, enthusiasts in all things paranormal to Tyler

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:02 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:02:17 GMT
    (Source: KLTV News Staff)(Source: KLTV News Staff)

    Ghost stories and haunted houses have long been a popular past time, but just how much truth is there to the legends? "As Shakespeare said there are more things in heaven and earth then are in your books,” says Big Foot Expert Jeff Hurley. “There are things we don't understand." At the April 21, Paranormal Conference, experts in the subject came together to further explore their theories. 

    More >>

    Ghost stories and haunted houses have long been a popular past time, but just how much truth is there to the legends? "As Shakespeare said there are more things in heaven and earth then are in your books,” says Big Foot Expert Jeff Hurley. “There are things we don't understand." At the April 21, Paranormal Conference, experts in the subject came together to further explore their theories. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly