Please Take Action to Save Larry Swearingen

Dear fellow Abolitionists,

we are struggling to save the life of death row prisoner Larry Swearingen in Texas who is scheduled for another hearing on Monday, September 29, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Conroe, Texas.

This hearing is about Larry’s motion to get biased Judge Fred Edwards recused off his case, and we need many supporters and abolitionists coming to support him and show the urgency in this matter by being present.

Larry Swearingen was sentenced to death in July 2000 for the 1998 abduction and slaying of Melissa Trotter, a 19-year-old college student. He was jailed on December 11, 1998, after being questioned by the police about the whereabouts of Melissa Trotter who was still ALIVE at this time, and has remained in constant custody until today which means he was literally in no position to commit this crime because he had already been in Montgomery County Jail when the victim was murdered.

During the re-election campaign of republican Judge Edwards his supporters stated that “Judge Edwards treats victims with respect and sesitivity throughout the criminal justice process. As a crime victim’s advocate, I know first hand victims have a voice in the 9th District Court. They are afforded their rights without exception.”

Affording the victim’s rights is a good thing, yet does it mean that this judge would rather convict an innocent man in order to punish “someone” instead of making sure to look up for facts and the real killer? W hat about affording the rights of ALL involved and a fair treatment to the accused and/or convicted?
In many interviews, the victim’s family stated that they wanted to see Larry Swearingen dead. Judge Fred Edwards placed the victims’s family and friends in the jury box during the last hearing on June 20, 2008, and even allowed them to sat with him, in the judge chamber before and after the hearing. How can this judge be objective and neutral when he shows so much sympathy for the family of the murder victim without realizing that there is another victim, a victim of injustice – Larry Swearingen.

We as Larry’s friends turn to you with the plea to help Larry come home to his kids and family, with the plea to support Larry Swearingen in his struggle to save his life and to finally make justice come true. Please, everyone come and support Larry Swearingen during his hearing and show your solidarity.

WHEN: Monday, September 29, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: At the Montgomery County Courthouse in Conroe, Texas
WHY: Motion to recuse 9th District Court Judge Fred Edwards from his case
Please contact Jennifer Contella, Court Coordinator for the 9th Judicial District at (936) 539-7866 to learn more about the location of the courtroom for this hearing.

Please find more information about his case below or visit the following websites and

Thank you very much for your support in advance.


Wiebke Schlue

Additional information about Larry Swearingen’s case:

12/08/1998 – Victim disappeared
12/11/1998 – Larry Swearingen was arrested
12/20-26/1998 – The victim was murdered*
01/02/1999 – Victim’s body was found in Sam Houston National Forest
* Stated by three (3) Forensic Pathologists, two (2) Forensic Entomologists and one (1) Medical Examiner.

The case was mostly built on false testimony of Medical Examiner Dr. Joye Carter who stated during trial that the victim was dead for 25 days since her corpse had been found. Dr. Joye Carter has recanted her testimony in October 2007. Now there are six (6) experts stating independently from each other that the victim had only been dead for 7 to 13 days before she had been found; yet 7 to 13 days before Melissa Trotter was found, Larry had already been locked up.

Fingernail scrapings collected during autopsy revealed small traces of blood. DNA testing revealed this blood was male in origin, and excluded Larry Swearingen as the donor. The vaginal swabbing of Ms. Trotter at autopsy recovered unknown pubic hairs. DNA testing on the unknown pubic hairs excluded Larry Swearingen as the donor.

There is no physical evidence linking Larry Swearingen to the crime scene. The victim got life threatening phone calls before she disappeared. Witnesses stated during a hearing that those calls weren’t made by Larry Swearingen.
This man is innocent and needs the opportunity to be heard by a fair and neutral Judge, yet Larry is at the end of his appeals. An execution date had been set for January 24, 2007; a stay of execution was granted 24 hours before to have an evidentiary he aring which took place in June 2007, presenting the new evidence, but Larry was turned down again by Judge Edwards who said “that the evidence presented during the hearing would not have canged a juror’s decision to convict Swearingen”.

About the Author

Hooman Hedayati

1 Comment

G M Larkin MD

As the original forensic pathologist who reviewed Larry’s claim of innocence, I concluded from the evidence4 presented to me that Ms Trotter was not dead the about 25 days as concluded by Dr Carter. Now with three other forensic pathologist confirming mu opinion that Ms Trotter was not dead the “about 25 days” as Dr Carter originally testified to, and her affidavit agreeing with the 4 of us, there is uncontroversial, unrefuted absolute evidence of Larry’s innocence.

Furthermore, the charge of sexual assault, one of the aggravators, had to be dropped through a misdiagnosis by Dr Carter. She was honest enough to revise her opinions in a new affidavit.

It is not usual for a forensic pathologist to crusade for a felon on appeal, but I would be shrinking from my responsibility as a human, a physician and a Christian if I remained silent and allowed Larry to be murdered by the state of Texas, and I will not be silent.

The execution of an innocent person is an obcene, immoral and illegal act , and the CCA’s refusal to consider Larry’s strong appeal on the grounds that it untimely has no legal, no moral and no other justification; indeed case law (Herrera v Collins) orders plenary review — bolstered by several of US Supreme Court decisions.

The explanation that the state offers to account for the blood samples under Ms Trotter’s finger nails is pure fantasy, as any forensic pathologist will conclude.

In order to expose this horrible nightmare, letters—letters in droves— have to be sent to Texas newspapers, TV stations and elsewhere. A duplication of the execution of Todd Cameron Willingham cannot be repeated. The honor of Texas is at stake.

G M Larkin MD
Charlotte NC
(Home state of the orld’s best Barbeque)


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