mays

HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas — A Henderson County man who killed two deputies in 2007 has been granted another stay of execution — just days before his May 13, 2020, execution date.

Friday night, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution for 60-year-old Randall Wayne Mays to determine his mental competency to face execution, remanding the case for review on the merits before the trial court in Henderson County.

Mays, in his first subsequent writ application for a stay of execution on April 27, 2020, raised claims asserting he is intellectually disabled and, therefore, cannot constitutionally be executed; racial bias tainted his conviction and death sentence; his jury engaged in prejudicial misconduct; and he was improperly interrogated in violation of his constitutional rights.

The Court of Criminal Appeals determined the allegation of intellectual disability satisfied the threshold requirements of Article 11.071§5(a)(3). The other claims, according to the court, did not meet the requirements.

Mays was convicted in 2008 in the murders of Henderson County Sheriff's Office Deputies Tony Ogburn and Paul Habelt — who were shot and killed after responding to investigate a domestic dispute at Mays' Payne Springs-area home.

Prior to his first execution date in 2015, Mays was granted a stay of execution to determine his mental competency to be executed under Texas execution standards. The judge ultimately deemed him fit for execution.

Mays attorney, at the time, argued Mays had not yet been diagnosed or treated for schizophrenia by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice — which led to the previous judge's decision to move forward with execution.

Several years later, in 2018, Mays was diagnosed with schizophrenia while on Death Row. Mays claimed his execution was brought on by oil companies threatened by his supposed renewable energy design and that jailers were poisoning his air vents.

This made way for another granted application for a stay of execution in October 2019, weeks before his next scheduled execution date. The judge reviewed Mays' schizophrenia diagnosis, removed the stay, and re-scheduled Mays execution for May 13.