Group seeks clemency for man convicted in 2006 of murder of estate agent McKinney

A jury has convicted Kosoul Chanthakoummane in the 2006 murder of Sarah Ann Walker, a McKinney real estate agent who was found brutally assaulted and murdered in a model home, and after a lengthy appeal process the state of Texas is on about to execute him by lethal injection. Wednesday, August 17.

However, Death Penalty Action is asking for clemency for Chanthakoummane, citing evidence used to convict him that is no longer considered reliable by many courts.

“Chanthakoummane’s conviction relied on bite mark analysis and witness hypnosis, two discredited forensic techniques and statistically flawed DNA testimony,” according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

In 2017, a Collin County trial court heard an appeal on Chanthakoumanne’s behalf regarding those claims. After reviewing the evidence, the court dismissed the appeal and concluded that newly tested DNA evidence was unlikely to change the outcome of the trial.

During the trial, Chanthakoummane’s defense attorney said he stabbed Walker. The attorney called the murder a robbery gone wrong. Despite the conviction, Chanthakoummane has always maintained his innocence. He said he entered the house after having car trouble but never saw Walker. According to forensic reports, Walker was brutally assaulted before she was murdered. Teeth marks were evident on his body and witnesses said they saw an “Asian” man near the model home where Walker was found. Chanthakoummane is of Laotian origin.

Awareness campaigns regarding the safety of real estate agents have become more common in the years since Walker’s murder. Since Walker’s death, Houston realtor Crystal McDowell has been found murdered. Statistics show that 44% of real estate agents choose to carry self-defense weapons, with 35% of men and 49% of women carrying a weapon or tool to defend themselves against an attacker.

About Jessica J. Bass

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