Hearing Begins for David Leonard Woodon October 12, 2011 in Serial Killers by Brian Combs
A hearing began Tuesday in El Paso, Texas to determine whether David Leonard Wood should be spared the death penalty due to being mentally retarded. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that executing a mentally retarded is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The defense called one of Wood’s former teachers, his older sister, and a former friend to testify on his behalf.
Coletta DeArmen, 86, was Wood’s fourth grade teacher. She was asked about the attention she had to give to Wood. She said she had to make him sit next to her desk so she was sure he followed the lessons:
Well, I gave him more (attention) because he needed it.
I was a teacher to teach kids. I didn’t want him to not learn.
Kieth Springer was Wood’s best friend during middle school and part of high school:
(He) wasn’t very social. (He) was more withdrawn. (He) wasn’t very outgoing. (He) wasn’t able to make friends with people on his own.
The prosecution asked if he felt that Wood was and is mentally retarded. Springer replied that he didn’t use that term because he wasn’t brought up that way.
Wood’s sister Debbie took the stand last. She testified that he regularly forgot to do his chores, and usually acted “strange”. She said that he did not have a lot of common sense.
During cross-examination, the prosecution showed a letter that Debbie sent her brother in prison. It explained how he could “be successful in his mental retardation hearing.”
Until that point, Wood seemed uninterested in the hearing. He mostly stared at the wall or the table in front of him.
During his sister’s questioning, however, he exclaimed:
You got to be EXPLETIVE me! That’s the best they got?
The prosecution will call witnesses today.