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Innocent man on Texas death row

This is a call for help from Gary Etheridge and his wife Claudia Schweiger-Etheridge for help in the organization and development of a defense fund for Gary.

Gary has been on Texas death row for 12 years now for a crime he was a part of, but Gary was not the actual killer and refused to name the actual killer. So the state of Texas and the judge accused Gary and manipulated the evidence to seem like Gary did the crime alone. There are several items of proof that Gary did not kill the victim, but lawyers and the judge and prosecution hid these from the jury and kept Gary from telling his factual story of the events of the crime. Gary was not alone as the state said.

Statement of Crime

On February 2nd, 1990 Christie Chauviere and Gail Chauviere were robbed and stabbed at their home in Richwood, Texas. Gary Etheridge worked at the condominiums that Gail managed. Gary was the maintenance worker.

Gary refused to name who was with him at the crime because under Texas law all parties at the crime can get a death sentence. For this reason Gary gave the police several versions of the events of the crime and demanded that the police releases Gary's former wife Teresa from jail as she had also been charged with the crime. And the police had taken Gary's infant daughter (9 months) and hid her away from everyone. Gary signed a statement about the crime that the police wrote to fit what they needed Gary to admit to. This was done in a deal to release Teresa and give Brittany, the daughter, back to Teresa. Gary refused to name the other party of the crime. The written statement did not include that Gary killed a girl. Gary did not confess at any time that he killed Christie Chauviere. He confessed and always refered to the robbing and stabbing of Gail Chauviere but he never at any time touched Christie, Gail's daughter.

A few days after the crime Gary had heard that the police wanted him for murder charges, so Gary was on the way back to turn himself in to the police and explain that he did not kill Christie, but that he did stab and rob Gail. The Houston SWAT police caught Gary walking down the highway and picked him up. The police demanded his name and were very aggressive. This frightened Gary and as a consequence he lied and said his name was other than Gary.

The SWAT police put handcuffs on Gary and began demanding answers to their questions. Gary told them he did not ever touch the girl Christie but that he stabbed Gail and was on his way to report to the police office for this. The police were not satisfied with Gary's answers, so they took him to the woods and began slapping and beating him until he agreed to answer in a satisfactory manner. Gary after several minutes of being beaten and hit agreed to answer in what ever way they wanted, but continued to ask for a lawyer. The police did not respond to this.

There were police married into the Chauviere family, Gail's two older daughters are / were married to police officers who work for the sheriff's office which the SWAT police delivered Gary to. The police family members of the victim were there and being physically restrained and were cussing and threatening to get a hold of Gary. The police used this threatening situation to force Gary to endure another four hours of police harrassment and threats and forcing him to answer questions. In these questions Gary again and again tried to explain that he did not stab Christie and that he was not alone at the robbery at the Chauviere home. The police investigated and sought the other criminal - but Gary refused to say the name and the police put all blame on Gary alone.

This was when Gary signed the statement that the police wrote to get Teresa out of jail and get Brittany handed back to Teresa. Teresa was also pregnant with Gary's second daughter.

The reason that the police suspected Gary in this crime was because they found the car in the driveway of the Chauviere home which Gary had been driving. The car was owned by Teresa's brother and when the police went to arrest him to question him on the crime (they thought he had done it), he told them that he knows Christie and goes to school with her but that he did not do the crime and that Gary Etheridge and Teresa Etheridge had bought the car , which was found in the Chauviere driveway, from him.

Gary has always taken responsibility for his part of the crime in which he robbed and stabbed Gail Chauviere. Gail is Christie's mom. Gail testified at the trial that Gary stabbed and robbed her but that she never saw Gary stab Christie. Gail also testified that, when she came home after a few minutes after Gary's arrival at her home, that she saw his car in the driveway and that both doors were open. This is also a clue that a second man was at the crime scene.

Gail was stabbed with Gary's small folding pocket knife in a rear room in the house. Christie was stabbed to death with a very large knife in the front room of the house.

Gary passed a lie detector test saying that he did not stab or kill Christie Chauviere; that he only stabbed and robbed Gail Chauviere.

Because there was no evidence at all to convict Gary, the police created a drop of Gary's blood that they claim was found on Christie's shirt and used this to support their accusation that Gary stabbed Christie and Gail at the same time in the same room with the same knife. The drop of blood was found on Christie's shirt which was soaked with her blood to a point that to single out one small drop of blood is impossible. Strangely this one small drop of blood was the only drop of Gary's blood found near Christie and no other blood drops were tested!

A proper DNA test will prove that Gary did not leave his blood on Christie and was not bleeding until he went outside and the car would not start. So while one tried starting the car Gary went into the garage and got jumper cables and cut his finger cutting the strap off the cable binders. Gary's blood is in the garage and on the cables.

Because there is no evidence at all to blame Gary for the murder of Christie, the police developed a theory and claimed that everything happened in the front room but the crime fotos and blood splatters and Gail herself prove that Gail was in the back of the house and Christie in the front and it is not possible to stab two women at the same time with two different knives in two separate rooms by one and the same person.

The judge in this trial is a judge that has always hated Gary from childhood on and called Gary all sorts of names when he passed the death sentence on Gary. The judge even stood up and incited the jury and spectators to clap and cheer upon his words that Gary is going to die because he is nothing but a trash.

That judge put lawyers on Gary's case to cheat Gary out of an effective defense and to rush the case through very fast and keep Gary from telling his part of the actual events. Gary cussed and made a scene when the lawyers refused to allow Gary to take the witness stand and tell what really happened. Gary wanted to tell the jury what happened, that the blood drop is not his and that the police beat him and forced him to sign a statement that they had written

The lawyers, the judge forced onto Gary's case were put on the case specially to keep Gary quiet, rush the case and forfeit Gary's rights and allow the judge and prosecution to get away with all sorts of improper behaviour and cheating lying ways. Gary was totally alone against the entire state of Texas in this case. Poor with no money and no help at all.

After the trial the same judge forced Gary to have the same two-faced lawyers to make his first appeal – and it was rushed and ruined as well.

On the second appeal the judge forced a young two-faced incompetent and inexperienced lawyer (it was his first death penalty case after final examination) on the case and Gary resisted and filed complaints and fought for his rights because the second appeal is the state habeas corpus and ALL PROOF AND ALL CLAIMS must be made at the second appeal. The judge put this moron lawyer on Gary's case to again rush and keep Gary from developing the truth in the case. This state habeas appeal was rushed and nothing at all was developed and the court ruled against Gary quickly.

The judge attempted to force the same lawyer to ruin Gary's federal appeal and Gary flatly resisted and filed and complained and managed to find the help of a friend in Luxembourg which hired a very good lawyer to make a fair and fully developed appeal in federal court for Gary. This new lawyer did develope everything and is the one that gave Gary the lie detector test which Gary passed.

This new lawyer also proved how the state cheated and lied about the drop of blood they claim was Gary's blood. And that they had kept Gary from telling the full story and that the police lied and cheated Gary and forced him to sign the things they had written.

The federal court acknowledges that all of these things the new lawyer developed were reasonable and should have been developed by the first and second appeal lawyers. But because they were not raised sooner the court is not allowed to consider them due to new federal laws that push death cases through the court very fast and limits what a convict can claim. If the claims were not made at trial and at the first and second appeal then they are lost forever. The judge knew this and that's why he put the two-faced lawyers on Gary's case to cheat Gary.

Because of those special federal limits Gary's case was rushed through federal court and never allowed to be properly developed or recognized.

Gary was 40 hours from being strapped on a table and killed by poison injections on November 8th, 2000. In the 12 years on death row Gary has had very little help and no contact with family or former wife. Teresa married after a couple of years and is doing fine. The daughters Brittany and Brandi are doing very well and that is what is important to Gary.

Gary has also remarried. Claudia and Gary fell in love and got married in 2001 and are doing fine (under the circumstances). They share as many visits as possible but since Claudia still lives in Germany it is difficult at times.

Claudia is the one that managed to save Gary's life at the last possible moment by finding a new lawyer to file and stop the executiion since all other lawyers had abandoned Gary after court refused to hear his case. Claudia made a frantic action and got a lawyer who saved Gary's life by filing new appeals to the state court about these claims. The state court stopped Gary's execution and is now considering wheter or not to grant Gary a new and fair second state appeal which is the state habeas corpus.

The former lawyers ruined the first state habeas corpus and the new lawyer that saved Gary 40 hours from death has asked the court to allow Gary a fair state habeas appeal in order to develope all of Gary's proof and claims. This lawyer cannot continue as Gary's lawyer for free and when Gary gets the new state habeas corpus he and Claudia will need to be ready to hire a competent and professional lawyer to handle the state habeas corpus.

The proper state habeas corpus will result in a new trial and a new trial will result in Gary being punished and sentenced for what he actually did to Gail rather than for what he did not do to Christie.

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