At 6am on January 6, 1996, Jeffery Lee Wood and Daniel Earl Reneau parked outside a gas station in Kerrville, Texas, intending to rob it.
Wood waited outside the gas station while his accomplice, Reneau, went inside and pointed a handgun at Kris Keeran, the station’s clerk, reports Gawker.
When he was ordered into a storeroom, Keeran didn’t move fast enough and Reneau fired at him, killing him instantly.
Wood was waiting outside at the time, but upon hearing the gunshot, he rushed inside the station and saw the clerk lying dead on the floor. He then grabbed the CCTV recording and destroyed it.
When they were eventually arrested, both Reneau and Wood were sentenced to death – with Wood being one of the only convicts sentenced to death for a murder he didn’t commit.
Wood also has an IQ level of just 80. A level so low it would typically result in a more lenient sentence.
Reneau was executed back in 2002 – for his last meal he ordered one tray of French fries with salt and ketchup, one tray of nachos with cheese and jalapenos, one cheeseburger with mustard and everything, and one pitcher of sweet tea. He said nothing as he was executed.
Wood is set to be executed on August 24.
Whatever you think about this story – whether you think Wood deserves the death penalty or not – Wood has just released a letter to Gawker, and it makes for a pretty harrowing read.
Here’s the actual letter, with easier to read text below:
How are you & your loved ones? Good I hope. I received your letter and I am responding. NO I am 100% innocent. No my trial was rigged & my so called att sucked. My arrest was bogus they falsely arrested me on a fake warrant for another crime that I didn’t do and it was dropped. You deal with it or you kill yourself that’s how ya deal with it or take drugs- alcohol to make you forget where you are. I don’t fear anything exp. when I have no control over it. Daily life is 22-24 hours in a 8-10 cell. I have no routine I do what comes up. Depends I write, read, listen to radio, draw. Depends on mood. Hell naw [over]
I don’t have no fitness routine (why) I got a death sentence, I ain’t trying to impress anyone. No they change eating times all the time (but) breakfast is between 2:30 AM-4:30 AM Lunch 9:30 AM-11:15 AM Supper 2:30 PM- 4:30 PM. If you got $ for food you eat when you want. Most get along ok (but) a lot are liars & backstabbers so it depends who ya are around, some snitches. Ya deal with it or you deal with them. I grew up to hunt, fish, play sports I was very good & could have gone to college, pro in sports but I had a kid and tried to stay but this happened. I could outfish & hunt 95% of pros in world. I can outshoot most snipers (but) I was taught not to miss cause you go hungry.
Yes there was phys abuse with belt & razor strap (but) there was more better than worse. My mom left us & sold us back to my so its another sad story and I am not one to play on the sad story stuff. I don’t deal in politics its all corrupt & police & the government military to religion: leave done cause no matter if you try to point stuff out to people you can’t change there mind when it’s set so I don’t care what people choose for religion. You treat me with respect you get respect. Media puts what they want or think will sell that’s crap too. If you do an interview put what I say all of it or nothing don’t paste & cut it. Cause that makes us look bad. It’s all about $, ratings for y’all.
But I still try to help you cause I know yall got to eat & have kids, bills etc. (I wish) I could get Oprah, CNN, Dateline, Ellen, Dr. Phil TV time cause I would not be here. I could point out so much corruption, errors on lawyers, judges, DA etc it’s unreal, and it’s all proveable. If people care hear & get my side of things not go on what state, police say cause we are all guilty to them. If they really did a big 1-2 hr video or more there ratings would be good & it might get me help. But 99% of the no name media, newspeople ask questions. To me the bigger air time the better for me. Others I can’t say cause I don’t get into there [legal?] cases. If people look into my case they all say I was railroaded, I shouldn’t be here [over]
Even the victim’s family don’t want me here. (but) no one does anything that’s what I don’t get all these people say stuff but don’t help so (I guess) I really don’t mean that much to them. I got X law professors, students, cops, DA, lawyers all saying I have done wrong (why not) help then? I don’t get it. If I had a real law firm I would get out. Period. Ok that’s it for your letter.
Now, whatever you think, that letter makes for a very dark and harrowing read.
It also serves as a real insight as to of what it’s really like to be a death row inmate.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.