Gary Wayne Etheridge

Executed August 20, 2002 by Lethal Injection in Texas

44th murderer executed in U.S. in 2002
793rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
22nd murderer executed in Texas in 2002
278th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Lethal Injection
Gary Wayne Etheridge

W / M / 26 - 38

Christi Chauvierre

W / F / 15

Stabbing with knife
Mother's employee

Gail Chauviere was a project manager at a condominium complex in San Luis Pass. In late January 1990, Gail hired Etheridge as a maintenance worker. He repaid the favor two weeks later when he broke into her home, robbed her, stabbed her repeatedly, and murdered her daughter. On the night of February 2, 1990, Gail arrived home from work and was confronted by Etheridge inside her home, with her 15 year old daughter, Christie. Etheridge demanded money, and after receiving it, he pulled a knife and began stabbing Gail. Miraculously she survived and was later discovered by a police officer with multiple penetrating wounds to her neck, face, chest, upper abdomen, and arms. 15 year old Gail was found on the floor with her hands tied with a telephone cord, and she had been gagged with a towel. She suffered four fatal stab wounds and was dead at the scene. A pathologist found no semen in Christie's genitals, however, injuries to her genitals were consistent with knife wounds. When Etheridge's car would not start, he left it in the driveway, stole Gail's and fled. He explained to several friends that he had to kill someone that night and upon his arrest hitchhiking 5 days later, confessed to police. Etheridge had prior convictions for aggravated assault and burglary, for which he was paroled six weeks before murder.


Final Meal:
Nachos (with cheese and peppers), crispy French fries, one cheeseburger, one fried chicken patty, one cinnamon roll, cheese, ketchup, and pickles.

Final Words:
"To the victim's family -- I'm sorry for what was taken from you. I hope you have peace. To my sweet Claudia, I love you. Stay strong, keep building, and be careful. I hope there's closure for the victim's family and everybody. That's about it. I can feel it burning. I'm getting really dizzy."

Internet Sources:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders (Gary Etheridge)

Texas Attorney General Media Advisory

MEDIA ADVISORY - Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002 - Gary Wayne Etheridge Scheduled to be Executed.

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Gary Wayne Etheridge, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002.

On Nov. 8, 1990, Gary Wayne Etheridge was sentenced to die for the capital murder of Christie Chauviere during the course of committing or attempting to commit robbery, aggravated sexual assault, and/or kidnapping in Brazoria County, Texas, on Feb. 2, 1990. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows:


Gail Chauviere was a project manager at a townhouse-condominium complex in San Luis Pass. Gary Wayne Etheridge started working at the complex in late January 1990. On the night of Feb. 2, 1990, Gail arrived home from work around 5:40 p.m. At the end of the day, Gail regularly brought home a bag of cash from the apartment complex. A dark car sat in Gail's driveway.

According to Gail's testimony at trial, Etheridge, who was already inside the house, ordered Gail to come into the house with him. Christie, Gail's daughter, was sitting on the arm of a love seat. Etheridge asked Gail if she was expecting any visitors, to which she replied that her father was coming over. He then asked, "Gail, where is the money? I know you bring it home." She told him the money was in the bank bag. Etheridge asked, "The money is in there?" Gail responded, "Yes. Take it; take the money and go. Just take it. I won't tell anybody. Just please don't harm Christie."

As she said this to Etheridge, she reached for her daughter, who was moving off the love seat toward her mother. Etheridge jerked Christie to him by her hair. Christie screamed and Etheridge told her to shut up and threatened to slit her throat. He then pulled a knife from behind his back and began stabbing Gail. He stabbed Gail two or three times on her left side, then he started striking her head. One blow was so severe that Gail thought she heard an explosion within her head. She blacked out by the fireplace in the den.

At trial, Gail had only intermittent memories of what happened after the explosive stab to her head. She remembered being stabbed in the back and in the lower abdomen. She remembered trying to push away from Etheridge and begging him, "No, no. Please don't do this!" She never heard any other intruders in her house and never heard Etheridge speak to anyone other than her and Christie. Etheridge said nothing to indicate that anyone else was there. Gail did not see Etheridge stab Christie.

After his own car would not start, Etheridge took Gail's car and fled. He picked up his wife, Theresa, and their baby daughter, Brittany, and two children that Theresa was babysitting. They stopped at a bar where the mother of the two children worked and left them with their mother. At the bar, Etheridge told the woman that he had killed a man in a knife fight.

Etheridge then drove with Theresa and Brittany to the home of Charles and Glenda Roenker. Glenda, Theresa's cousin, remembered Etheridge being covered in blood. Etheridge told the Roenkers that he had just stabbed a man and that he thought the man was dead. Etheridge cleaned up in their bathroom, dressed a cut on his finger, and left with Theresa and Brittany. About a half-hour later, they returned, asking the Roenkers to take care of Brittany. Etheridge and Theresa then left again.

Etheridge later abandoned his wife in Mobile, Alabama, and, after wrecking Gail's car in Alabama, he hitchhiked back to Texas. On Feb. 7, 1990, an off-duty Houston police officer spotted Etheridge walking along Highway 288 and arrested him. When the officer asked Etheridge if he knew why he was under arrest, Etheridge responded, "Yes, I know I'm under arrest for killing that 15-year-old girl. I'm sorry for what I did, and I was going back to Brazoria County to turn myself in." The officer took Etheridge to the Brazoria County Courthouse. A Justice of the Peace read Etheridge his rights and had him sign a document confirming that he had received the warning. Though told that he had a right to have a lawyer present during questioning, Etheridge did not request one. Etheridge then spent four hours answering questions from officers and drafting a written statement. Etheridge signed each page of the statement.

The next day, the officers conducted another interview with Etheridge, which they tape recorded. Etheridge denied raping Christie and said he could not remember stabbing either woman. He did say unequivocally, "I killed a girl." He also said that no one came with him to the Chauviere's house, that he went there alone, and that he could prove it because someone across the street saw him arrive and leave. After the taped interview, the officers allowed Etheridge to speak to his father on the telephone. Etheridge knew the officers were recording the call. He denied raping Christie and told his father to tell anyone that harassed his family that he killed Christie, not the family. Etheridge declared that he wanted to talk to the press so that he could tell them that he killed the girl.

John Rhyne, a Richwood police officer, first discovered Christie, nude from the waist down, lying in the entrance way. Her hands were tied in front of her with a telephone cord, and she had been gagged with a towel. He saw the remnants of a tear rolling down her cheek. He then saw Gail, moaning for help, lying in an adjacent room. A doctor testified that Gail arrived at the hospital with multiple penetrating wounds to her neck, face, chest, upper abdomen, and arms. She had a severe wound to her right eye and a gaping slash wound to her neck.

Christie suffered four fatal stab wounds and was dead at the scene. Christie's attacker also stabbed her in the face between her nose and right eye. She also had several defensive wounds on her forearms. Christie's attacker did not confine his assault to Christie's upper body. The pathologist who performed Christie's autopsy found no semen in Christie's genitals; however, he testified that the injuries to her genitals were consistent with knife wounds.


In April 1990, Etheridge was indicted in Brazoria County, Texas, for the capital offense of murdering Christie Chauviere in the course of a robbery of Gail Chauviere and in the course of a robbery, aggravated sexual assault, and kidnaping of Christie Chauviere. He entered a plea of not guilty. On Nov. 6, 1990, the jury found Etheridge guilty of capital murder. Following a separate punishment hearing, the trial court sentenced Etheridge to death.

Etheridge's conviction and sentence were automatically appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed on June 22, 1994, and denied rehearing on May 10, 1995. The United States Supreme Court denied Etheridge's petition for writ of certiorari on Oct. 10, 1995.

Etheridge filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in state court on April 23, 1997, and an amended writ on June 18, 1997. The trial court conducted a hearing via affidavits and entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending the denial of relief. The Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief on April 1, 1998.

Etheridge next filed a petition for federal habeas corpus on Nov. 13, 1998, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. On May 19, 1999, the district court denied relief and denied Etheridge permission to appeal. On Feb. 2, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit similarly denied permission to appeal, thereby affirming the district court's denial of relief. Etheridge then filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on Oct. 16, 2000.

On Nov. 1, 2001, Etheridge filed a subsequent state habeas writ and a motion for a stay of execution. The Court of Criminal Appeals granted the stay on Nov. 6, 2001. Subsequently, on April 17, 2002, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed Etheridge's subsequent state habeas writ and vacated his stay of execution. Consequently, a new execution date was set for June 27, 2002.

On June 20, 2002, Etheridge filed a writ of mandamus and another motion for a stay of execution in the Court of Criminal Appeals. Etheridge argued that the trial judge who set the June 27, 2002, execution date had no authority to do so. The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed and granted Etheridge a stay of execution on June 24, 2002. A new judge was appointed to Etheridge's case and the Court of Criminal Appeals lifted the stay. On July 10, 2002, the newly appointed judge set the current Aug. 20, 2002, execution date.


At the punishment phase of trial, the State introduced evidence of several previous offenses committed by Etheridge. Kyle Teat, a field supervisor for the Brazoria County Juvenile Probation Department, discussed the juvenile offense of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and burglary of a building committed by Gary Wayne Etheridge and his subsequent breach of probation by breaking into a car and committing theft. He identified an adjudication order against Etheridge for the juvenile offense, an order of probation, a petition for hearing to modify disposition or revoke probation due to Etheridge's violation of probation through the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and a final order modifying disposition for commitment to the Texas Youth Council.

Bonnie Barker, deputy custodian of the Brazoria County's Sheriff's Department, testified to adult offenses Etheridge was convicted of, including driving with a suspended license, driving while intoxicated, burglary of a building, and aggravated assault. Jackie Moff, deputy district clerk and custodian of the records of the Brazoria County district clerk's office, further explained the conviction for the aggravated assault which occurred on Nov. 19, 1984, while Etheridge was in the Texas Department of Corrections, citing indictments for attempted murder and aggravated assault (habitual). While Etheridge was only convicted of aggravated assault, the victim, Geoffrey Mack, confirmed that Etheridge had stabbed Mack in prison while he slept and then threatened to kill him when he awoke. Mack claimed that he and Etheridge had argued over prison barter.

Charles Wagner, former chief of investigation for the city of Freeport, testified to Etheridge's bad reputation as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen in the community of Freeport. Larry Bullard, Wagner's successor, also testified to Etheridge's bad reputation as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen in Freeport and to a sting operation where he caught Etheridge selling cocaine. Etheridge was never convicted of this charge

Payton Taylor, a refrigerator technician, testified that he worked as a police informant who bought cocaine in a sting operation against Etheridge. Etheridge later started a fight with Taylor in the Brazoria County Jail for betraying him. Taylor also testified as to Etheridge's bad reputation as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen. John Devens, a Brazoria county jail captain, testified to Etheridge's bad reputation in jail as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen since his incarceration for the instant offense.

Gary Wayne Etheridge is on death row for the 1990 stabbing death of 15-year-old Christi Chauvierre. Etheridge, with a history of theft and burglary convictions, was on parole for about 6 weeks after serving part of a 10-year term for stabbing another inmate when he showed up at the home of Gail Chauviere, who managed a condominium near Surfside and had given him a job. When Ms. Chauviere resisted his demand for money for drugs, he sexually assaulted Christi Chauvierre and stabbed both her and her mother repeatedly. Gail Chauvierre survived the attack and identified Etheridge as the killer, but died 3 years ago from complications of injuries suffered in the attack. Upon his arrest, Etheridge confessed to the crime.

"I'm a Christian hypocrite backslider," Etheridge once said from death row. "I'm repentant but can't follow the rules. I still lust after pretty women. I'm human. I'm scared to death of death." Etheridge won a reprieve of a June 2002 execution date when the state appeals court delayed his execution based on claims that the judge who once called him a piece of trash should not have signed the execution order. Carolyn Barrett, Christie Chauviere's sister, was discouraged but not surprised at news the execution was delayed again. She would not lay odds on when another date will be set. "It has taken us 2 years to get another one, so I really don't know," Barrett said."It questions your faith in the Texas justice system." Barrett questions the importance of Gayle's comments after Etheridge's sentencing. Comments Etheridge made to Gail Chauviere as he left the courtroom that same day are more important, Barrett said. "Gary looked at my mother and said 'We are all going to die someday,'" Barrett said. "I know because I was sitting at her right side holding her hand. My mother held his stare until he looked away and walked out. I think its very ironic that people will quote Judge Gayle and what Judge Gayle said and ignore what Gary said to my mother," Barrett said. "He can do and say what he wants and nobody cares." District Attorney Jeri Yenne said Etheridge has had 12 years worth of appeals. His case is a model for how safeguards in the legal system should work, Yenne said. "The Gary Etheridge case should be a stellar example of due process," Yenne said. "When people complain and moan about the death penalty I want them to look at the Gary Etheridge case and see how many bites at the apple he has had. It would have been nice if Christie Chauviere had had as much due process as Gary Etheridge is afforded before he executed the death warrant on her," Yenne said.

Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson.

Gary Wayne Etheridge, 38, was executed by lethal injection on 20 August in Huntsville, Texas for killing a 15-year-old girl in the course of a robbery.

In February 1990, Etheridge, then 26, went to the home of Gail Chauviere, looking for money to buy drugs. Chauviere managed a condominium complex where Etheridge once worked doing maintenance. He knew that Chauviere brought the money from the apartment complex home with her, and he knew where she lived because she let him follow her home from work one day, so she could give him a stray dog.

Chauviere came home from work one evening to find Etheridge's car in her driveway. She entered her house and found Etheridge sitting on the couch with her 15-year-old daughter, Christie. Etheridge asked for the apartment money. Chauviere told him she would give him the money and pleaded with him not to hurt Christie. Christie then started moving off of the couch toward her mother. When Etheridge grabbed her by her hair and pulled her back to him, she screamed. Etheridge then pulled out a knife and stabbed Gail more than thirty times until she was unconscious. She suffered multiple stab wounds to her neck, face, chest, abdomen, and arms. Etheridge then pulled off Christie's clothes below her waist, tied her hands with a telephone cord, and gagged her with a towel. He stabbed her four times and sexually assaulted her with the knife. The mother survived the attack, but her daughter did not.

Etheridge couldn't start his car, so he fled the scene in Gail's car. He picked up his wife, Theresa, their baby daughter, Brittany, and two children that Theresa was babysitting. He then drove to the bar where the children's mother worked and left them there. After that, he drove with Theresa and Brittany to the home of Charles and Glenda Roenker. Gary cleaned up in their bathroom. Gary and Theresa asked the Roenkers to take care of Brittany and left her with them.

Etheridge later abandoned his wife in Mobile, Alabama. He also wrecked Chauviere's car in Mobile and hitchhiked back to Texas. He was arrested five days after the murder, less than fifty miles from the crime scene. When he was arrested, he told the officer, "Yes, I know I'm under arrest for killing that fifteen-year-old girl. I'm sorry for what I did, and I was going back to Brazoria County to turn myself in." He also made a written confession and a tape-recorded confession after his arrest. In the tape-recorded confession, he denied raping Christie and did not admit to stabbing either woman, but he did state, "I killed a girl." He said that he was alone the whole time and that someone across the street saw him arrive and leave.

At his trial, Gail Chauviere identified Etheridge as the attacker and testified that he was alone. A neighbor who lived across the street testified that he saw Etheridge driving Chauviere's car out of the driveway. He also testified that Etheridge was alone in the car. The woman whose children Theresa was babysitting testified that Gary told her he had killed a man in a knife fight. Glenda Roenker testified that, while at her house, Gary told her that he had stabbed a man. Etheridge was also placed at the scene by blood evidence.

Etheridge had an extensive juvenile criminal history. He joined the adult criminal ranks within a few months of his seventeenth birthday and remained there until the day he died. His first conviction was for burglary in May 1981, for which he received a sentence of five years' probation. Over the next five years, he was convicted of theft, aggravated assault, three more burglaries, DWI, and driving with a suspended license. In all, he was sent to prison four times, with sentences totaling thirty years. Each time, he was paroled less than two years into his sentence. The last time he walked out of prison was in December 1989, ten months after returning on a parole violation. (At this time, early release was common in Texas because of strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.) Six weeks later, Etheridge attacked Gail and Christie Chauviere.

A jury convicted Etheridge of capital murder and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in June 1994. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied, but he did win several stays of execution during his time on death row. He was scheduled to be executed in November 2000, but he received a stay from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. At issue was the competence of one of his court-appointed attorneys. That matter was dismissed in April 2002, and his execution was rescheduled for June 2002. That date was then stayed by the CCA so that it could hear a complaint against the judge who signed Etheridge's death warrant. A new judge was assigned to Etheridge's case, and that judge signed a new death warrant in July 2002.

While on death row, Etheridge married a German death-penalty opponent named Claudia Schweiger. Schweiger built a web site,, which asserted Etheridge's innocence and appealed for activism and financial support on his behalf. According to this web site, Etheridge claimed that he did not kill Christie Chauviere and that he never confessed to such. He did admit to robbing and stabbing Gail Chauviere, but said that someone else at the scene -- who he refused to name -- killed Christie. He said that he was on his way to turn himself in for robbing and stabbing Gail when he was arrested. He said that police manufactured a confession and coerced him into signing it by beating him, making threats against his wife and daughter, and refusing his requests to see a lawyer. Claudia offered to name the actual killer in a newspaper interview in exchange for payment.

"I never intended to hurt everyone," Etheridge said in a death-row interview. "I cut and stabbed Gail with a little bitty pocket knife." He said that Gail fought with him when he tried to put her in a closet. "She kicked me and it hurt," he said. But he denied killing Christie. "I was there. I done wrong and I feel responsible, but I did not kill the girl."

Three days before the execution, Governor Rick Perry received a registered letter from Claudia Schweiger-Etheridge, inviting him to witness her husband's execution. "I think it would be important to you to finally witness an execution since you already signed so many death warrants," the letter read. (As mentioned above in the discussion of Etheridge's second stay of execution, death warrants in Texas are signed by judges, not the governor.) This letter named Ellis Michael Etheridge, Gary's brother, as the killer.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Etheridge's clemency request by a 17-0 vote. The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to halt the execution. Governor Perry declined to issue an emergency reprieve. He did not attend the execution.

"To the victim's family -- I'm sorry for what was taken from you," Etheridge said in his last statement. "I hope you have peace. To my sweet Claudia, I love you. Stay strong, keep building, and be careful. I hope there's closure for the victim's family and everybody. That's about it." After the lethal injection was started, Etheridge said, "I can feel it burning. I'm getting really dizzy." He then gasped, sputtered, and lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.

Gail Chauviere required blood transfusions because of her wounds. She contracted hepatitis C from the transfusions and never fully recovered. She died from the disease in 1999.

Houston Chronicle

"Killer of 15-year-old Girl is Executed," by Michael Graczyk. (AP Aug 20, 2002)

HUNTSVILLE -- An apologetic Gary Wayne Etheridge was executed Tuesday evening for the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl more than a dozen years ago while the then-paroled burglar said he was high on drugs.

In a brief final statement, he apologized to the girl's relatives and expressed love to his wife, who watched through a window a few feet away. "I'm sorry for what was taken from you," he told two sisters and an uncle of his victim, Christie Chauviere. "I hope you find peace." Then he looked out another window at his wife and urged her to "stay strong, keep building and be careful. I love you."

As the drugs began flowing into his heavily tattooed arms, he added that he hoped "there's closure for the victim's family and everybody. I feel it burning. Getting real dizzy." Then he gasped several times and sputtered before he stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m., nine minutes after the drugs began flowing.

Etheridge, 38, acknowledged knifing the girl's mother, who hired him as a maintenance worker despite knowing his criminal past, but said he wasn't responsible for killing the teenager at her Brazoria County home on Feb. 2, 1990. Etheridge was the 22nd Texas inmate put to death this year and the fourth this month. Last year, 17 prisoners were executed in Texas. A record 40 were put to death in 2000.

"I've been a criminal all my life," Etheridge said earlier from death row. "I was there. I done wrong and I feel responsible, but I did not kill the girl." The U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, refused Tuesday to stop the punishment. His attorneys had argued in appeals that earlier lawyers did not provide him competent help.

It was the second time in recent months the former maintenance man prepared for death. A day before Etheridge was scheduled to die in June, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the punishment after his attorneys complained the judge who signed his death warrant once called him "a piece of trash" and was biased against Etheridge. A new judge was assigned to his case and reset the execution date for Tuesday.

Etheridge, with a history of theft and burglary convictions, was on parole for about six weeks after serving part of a 10-year term for burglary when he showed up at the home of Gail Chauviere. Chauviere had given him a job at a condominium she managed near Surfside, about 60 miles south of Houston. Etheridge said he demanded money "to fill a hole for drugs" and he knew the woman carried in a bag some cash received from tenants. When Chauviere resisted, she was stabbed. Her daughter also was assaulted and fatally stabbed with a knife. "I never intended to hurt everyone," Etheridge said. "I cut and stabbed Gail with a little bitty pocket knife."

Etheridge, who started using cocaine at age 17, said he probably was high on drugs at the time and she fought as he tried to put the woman in a closet. "She kicked me and it hurt," he said. Etheridge drove off in the woman's car. A neighbor found Chauviere, seriously wounded with at least 30 stab wounds, and her daughter. The girl had been bound with a telephone cord and fatally stabbed several times in the chest. The high school freshman also had been sexually abused with an object.

Five days later, after wrecking the car in Mobile, Ala., Etheridge was arrested while hitchhiking south of Houston. He told police he was heading back to Brazoria County to turn himself in, apologized to the arresting officer for killing the girl and gave a written statement that he committed the murder.

In a death row interview, Etheridge blamed the slaying on a companion. At his trial, however, Gail Chauviere identified him as the lone attacker.

Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - Gary Etheridge Homepage

CCADP Press Release - August 18, 2002

Governor Perry Invited to Witness Execution of Gary Etheridge, Aug. 20th

Livingston, TX - August 18, 2002 - "...if you allow Texas to carry out the execution I will invite you to attend his execution together with me because in this case I need your support and guidance. I need a shoulder to lean on and someone who explain to me that it was the right thing to kill my husband. " - Gary's wife Claudia, in a letter to Governor Rick Perry - May 17, 2002.

Governor Rick Perry has been formally invited to attend the August 20th execution of Gary Etheridge as a witness, in the event he fails to intervene to stop the execution pending further investigation. The invitation was extended by Gary's wife Claudia, along with The Canadian Coalition Against The Death Penalty, on behalf of Gary Etheridge. The Governor was originally invited to the execution in May, when Gary faced another execution date that was stayed. Perry at that time did not respond to Mrs. Etheridge's letter and invitation. On August 17, a registered letter was sent to the office of the Governor again extending the invitation. "...It’s now time for you to have the courage of your convictions and stand up to your own words. I think it would be important to you to finally witness an execution since you already signed so many death warrants," the letter reads.

The involvement of the Canadian group is "indicative of the level of concern now rising in the international community over the continued enthusiasm for 'Texecutions,' " Coalition Director Dave Parkinson, in Toronto, says. The Canadian group is also encouraging its supporters both in Texas and around the world to join Texas activists recent call for an all out boycott of the Lone Star State for its continued application of the death penalty. "The Governor has to answer not only to his own constituents in Texas, but to political and economic allies internationally," Parkinson says, " Perry's response to the invitation to attend the execution will indicate whether he takes his responsibility on this matter seriously, or if a death warrant is just another piece of paper to be signed from a stack on his desk without any concern for the implications of what his endorsement means."

CCADP's Tracy Lamourie adds, "Etheridge's invitation extends to the governor a unique opportunity to make a public stand, to either have the courage to stand up for his ideals which apparently involve the taking of life; or to show the international community how little concern he has for the gravity of this issue by ignoring the invitation." The Governor has been asked to recuse himself for the reason of prior involvement with the case. If Governor Perry recuses himself, this invitation still stands as he is the signatory not only to Gary's warrant on several occasions, but to the warrants of dozens of prisoners on a regular basis since he replaced Governor Bush.

The invitation to the Governor ended with the words : "With this letter I respectfully invite you in the name of Mr. Gary Etheridge, in the name of the Canadian Coalition Against The Death Penalty and in my name, to witness the murder of Mr. Etheridge on August 20, 2002 after 6:00 PM. Sincerely yours, -Claudia Schweiger-Etheridge." We await a response from the Governor as to whether he will have the courage of his convictions and attend.

The CCADP and Claudia Etheridge, both maintain websites for Gary Etheridge.

The judge hated Gary from childhood on. It was him who made the statement that he hated the Etheridge brothers and he wanted to see Gary getting a death sentence already BEFORE the trial and he sentenced him to die with the following words:

"You know, Etheridge, I have handled you since you were a kid and you have really graduated to the big time and you don't want to hear anymore from me, but Mr. Coate (defense lawyer) made one statement that I want to answer. He told this jury that nothing would be accomplished by giving you the death penalty. Well, I can tell you one thing that's going to be accomplished. In my opinion we are going to clean up a piece of garbage that has become nothing than a blight on society because that's all you are. You are going to die, young man, sooner or later by lethal injection. Take him out of here."

This same Judge Gayle now writes the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles Executive Clemency Section to demand that Gary Etheridge be executed:

Re: Gary Wayne Etheridge No. 000986; Opposition to petition for clemency.

Gary Wayne Etheridge's crime was one of the most heinous crimes over which I have ever presided. He earned the death sentence awarded him and deserves to be executed. He received a fair trial with experienced, good lawyers representing him at the trial level and on his appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals. In addition, he has filed numerous post-trial writs and has had them all denied, both at the state and federal level.

It is my understanding that the mother of the child Etheridge murdered has long since died, her death resulting from a blood infection she received from blood transfusions made necessary by the many stab wounds he inflicted on her at the time he killed her daughter. In my opinion the granting of any form of clemency will be one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in the history of the Criminal Justice System.

I adamantly oppose any reprieve or commutation of his sentence or any type of conditional pardon.

Yours truly, J. Ray Gayle III 239th District Court

NCADP Execution Alert On Gary Etheridge

Gary Etheridge, a 38-year old white male, was convicted of the 1990 murder of Christi Chauvierre, and is now scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on Aug. 20. Etheridge, a heroin addict at the time, initially acknowledged his guilt and had proceeded to turn himself in at the time he was arrested. Etheridge has appealed his conviction on the grounds that his attorney failed to adequately provide the jury with evidence of mitigating circumstances on Etheridge’s behalf during sentencing. In fact, the jury was offered no evidence relating to Etheridge’s childhood abuse and severe drug addiction. Etheridge’s habeas appeal testified to the brutality of his childhood, stating the jury had not heard evidence that “[he] had been raped at an early age by an older brother, that he had been physically abused by a drunken father, that he had observed his mother attempt suicide several times, that that he had endured a drug dependency since adolescence.” Moreover, the prosecution had used a previous altercation Etheridge had in prison to vouch for his future dangerousness. In fact, Etheridge had resisted being raped by another prisoner.

Stories such as Etheridge’s are familiar on death row. An early life of abuse and addiction often leads to a later life of crime and violence. Clearly Etheridge’s early family life was troubled and this violence spared no one in the family. Etheridge and each one of his four brothers had spent a considerable amount of time in prison before his arrest for murder. Gary Etheridge is an example of how children who learn violence at home often take it back out into the streets. Previously, Etheridge had an execution date for June 27. That date was stayed because the judge setting the date had referred to Etheridge as a “piece of trash” during Etheridge’s sentencing. No court has saw fit to look into charges of the judges obvious bias against Etheridge and the stay of execution was a mere technicality. Texas is currently scheduling anywhere from five to seven executions per month. Please write to the Governor of Texas and let him know how his state’s resources can be better used to fight crime.

Gary's Original Pen pal Request Sent to the CCADP

Hello, My name is GARY WAYNE ETHERIDGE. I was born in Houston Texas on January 3rd, 1964 ...and have lived my entire life on the coast of Texas near Galveston. I came to death row November 9th, 1990 for a crime I was accused of involving murder / robbery...I was at the crime and I robbed but my hand did not kill.

I am 35 years old and was married and have two gorgeous precious daughters named Brittany and Brandy.. .my former wife has since remarried and moved on in life with her new husband...I am glad that my children have a family and security and can grow and be happy...but nonetheless I miss them terribly and wish that I could be part of their lives. I do not hear from them or my former wife at all. I was a carpenter and apprentice electrician while free and I also spent many years working offshore on supply boat and fishing boats, but my heart is with carpentry and building things and seeing the result of my labor. I am average height and have light brown hair and blue/grey eyes. I exercise and try to stay in good health...we are constantly locked in our cages (cells) here and do not have freedom to go outside or exercise properly as we would like, so it is a perpetual challenge.

I pay alot of attention to world events and news.. I read all of the news magazines and newspapers that I can get a hold of....I also enjoy to read novels such as Robert Ludlum and Dean Coontz...Stephen King and practically anything of the best books I ever read was by Sydney Sheldon "Master of the Game" and another book called Cain and Abel by another author.

I have studied lawbooks and have a very political and strong opinion about courts and rights and I try to make sure that I and all of my peers here are always kept abreast of current legal developments. ..I take the threat to our life very seriously and I sometimes may seem dull and without humour because of the situation I am in...but I do try to relax and have some laughs and learn to care and share with a new friend. I have never wrote to anyone in Canada but I am aware that French is spoken in some parts of Canada and I am learning to read and write French and German and Italian. I am a huge geography nut.. .I had many maps here that I would study and travel guide that had pictures I would see parts of Canada and the world...otherwise I may never see those places. ..but recently the guards had a major festival of taking inmates property and they took all of the maps and books I had about geography and postcards and stuff.

I enjoy all types of music and have mostly listened to old rock music like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones and that sort of old music and I like Shania Twain and Garth Brooks. Some classical music such as Vivaldi and Mozart and Bach. Liszt. I believe that there are people all around the world that suffer and that need help.. and that we are created with a inherent instinct to adapt and survive and reason overcome what oppresses and robs us of liberty and justice. From the beginning of mankind there have been serious struggles and battles to survive and together people have overcome 'rise challenges... it is not the size of the dog in the fight...but it is the SIZE OF THE FIGHT IN THE DOG. We must value what we believe in and let our values be the fuel that feeds us.

As for what I am seeking in a friendship...well..that is Simple..I have no preferences and I will try to meet anyone [that offers me their friendship] in the middle...We are all humans and we are all different to some degree and I celebrate the individuality of that natural fact. I am open to anyone that is open to me.... and I find something beautiful and interesting in all people.....but I would like to meet someone that likes to write about once every week or every two weeks as I would like to share alot and talk alot....I believe that friendship is like a garden and we can grow what we want and cultivate and care for it and make it a beautiful thing if we put the value and concern into it.. ..and since I am locked in a cage and have no contact to the outside world other than via letters...I take friendships seriously and spend most of my time thinking and focused on what we share as friends...of course when I am not otherwise engaged with my legal battle..and sometimes the two become one and we fight together, but helping me fight for my life IS NOT a requisite of being my friend. I only ask that anyone whom offers to be my friend will have some understanding about this situation and not demand too much of me as I will not demand too much of them.

The death row in Texas does not allow inmates to possess pictures of themselves so I do not have a photo to offer... I'll be glad to plant some seeds and grow a garden with whoever writes.


(Gary Etheridge met his wife Claudia as a result of this pen pal request - They married in 2001.)

Gary Etheridge: An Innocent Man Killed by Texas

Hompage; In Memoriam; Pictures; Drawings; Belongings; Music; Testament; Last letter; Execution; Newspaper articles.

History; Statement of crime; Gary needs your help; Online Petition; Governor invited to witness execution; Letters to the governor.

Letters to the parole board; Friend of the victim forgives Gary; How to get in touch; How to make a donation; What happens with your money; Prayers; News; Links.

Cell Door Magazine

On February 2nd, 1990 Christie Chauviere and Gail Chauviere were robbed and stabbed at their home in Richwood, Texas. Gary Etheridge worked at the condominiums that Gail managed. Gary was the maintenance worker.

Gary refused to name who was with him at the crime because under Texas law all parties at the crime can get a death sentence. For this reason Gary gave the police several versions of the events of the crime and demanded that the police releases Gary’s former wife Teresa from jail as she had also been charged with the crime. And the police had taken Gary’s infant daughter (9 months) and hid her away from everyone. Gary signed a statement about the crime that the police wrote to fit what they needed Gary to admit to. This was done in a deal to release Teresa and give Brittany, the daughter, back to Teresa. Gary refused to name the other party of the crime. The written statement did not include that Gary killed a girl. Gary did not confess at any time that he killed Christie Chauviere. He confessed and always refered to the robbing and stabbing of Gail Chauviere but he never at any time touched Christie, Gail’s daughter.

A few days after the crime Gary had heard that the police wanted him for murder charges, so Gary was on the way back to turn himself in to the police and explain that he did not kill Christie, but that he did stab and rob Gail. The Houston SWAT police caught Gary walking down the highway and picked him up. The police demanded his name and were very aggressive. This frightened Gary and as a consequence he lied and said his name was other than Gary.

The SWAT police put handcuffs on Gary and began demanding answers to their questions. Gary told them he did not ever touch the girl Christie but that he stabbed Gail and was on his way to report to the police office for this. The police were not satisfied with Gary’s answers, so they took him to the woods and began slapping and beating him until he agreed to answer in a satisfactory manner. Gary after several minutes of being beaten and hit agreed to answer in what ever way they wanted, but continued to ask for a lawyer. The police did not respond to this.

There were police married into the Chauviere family, Gail’s two older daughters are / were married to police officers who work for the sheriff‘s office which the SWAT police delivered Gary to. The police family members of the victim were there and being physically restrained and were cussing and threatening to get a hold of Gary. The police used this threatening situation to force Gary to endure another four hours of police harrassment and threats and forcing him to answer questions. In these questions Gary again and again tried to explain that he did not stab Christie and that he was not alone at the robbery at the Chauviere home. The police investigated and sought the other criminal – but Gary refused to say the name and the police put all blame on Gary alone. This was when Gary signed the statement that the police wrote to get Teresa out of jail and get Brittany handed back to Teresa. Teresa was also pregnant with Gary’s second daughter.

The reason that the police suspected Gary in this crime was because they found the car in the driveway of the Chauviere home which Gary had been driving. The car was owned by Teresa’s brother and when the police went to arrest him to question him on the crime (they thought he had done it), he told them that he knows Christie and goes to school with her but that he did not do the crime and that Gary Etheridge and Teresa Etheridge had bought the car , which was found in the Chauviere driveway, from him. Gary has always taken responsibility for his part of the crime in which he robbed and stabbed Gail Chauviere. Gail is Christie’s mom. Gail testified at the trial that Gary stabbed and robbed her but that she never saw Gary stab Christie. Gail also testified that, when she came home after a few minutes after Gary‘s arrival at her home, that she saw his car in the driveway and that both doors were open. This is also a clue that a second man was at the crime scene.

Gail was stabbed with Gary’s small folding pocket knife in a rear room in the house. Christie was stabbed to death with a very large knife in the front room of the house. Gary passed a lie detector test saying that he did not stab or kill Christie Chauviere; that he only stabbed and robbed Gail Chauviere.

Because there was no evidence at all to convict Gary, the police created a drop of Gary’s blood that they claim was found on Christie’s shirt and used this to support their accusation that Gary stabbed Christie and Gail at the same time in the same room with the same knife. The drop of blood was found on Christie’s shirt which was soaked with her blood to a point that to single out one small drop of blood is impossible. Strangely this one small drop of blood was the only drop of Gary’s blood found near Christie and no other blood drops were tested ! A proper DNA test will prove that Gary did not leave his blood on Christie and was not bleeding until he went outside and the car would not start. So while one tried starting the car Gary went into the garage and got jumper cables and cut his finger cutting the strap off the cable binders. Gary’s blood is in the garage and on the cables.

Because there is no evidence at all to blame Gary for the murder of Christie, the police developed a theory and claimed that everything happened in the front room but the crime foto’s and blood splatters and Gail herself prove that Gail was in the back of the house and Christie in the front and it is not possible to stab two women at the same time with two different knives in two separate rooms by one and the same person. The judge in this trial is a judge that has always hated Gary from childhood on and called Gary all sorts of names when he passed the death sentence on Gary. The judge even stood up and incited the jury and spectators to clap and cheer upon his words that Gary is going to die because he is nothing but a trash. That judge put lawyers on Gary’s case to cheat Gary out of an effective defense and to rush the case through very fast and keep Gary from telling his part of the actual events. Gary cussed and made a scene when the lawyers refused to allow Gary to take the witness stand and tell what really happened. Gary wanted to tell the jury what happened, that the blood drop is not his and that the police beat him and forced him to sign a statement that they had written.

The lawyers, the judge forced onto Gary’s case were put on the case specially to keep Gary quiet, rush the case and forfeit Gary’s rights and allow the judge and prosecution to get away with all sorts of improper behaviour and cheating lying ways. Gary was totally alone against the entire state of Texas in this case. Poor with no money and no help at all. After the trial the same judge forced Gary to have the same two-faced lawyers to make his first appeal – and it was rushed and ruined as well.

On the second appeal the judge forced a young two-faced incompetent and inexperienced lawyer (it was his first death penalty case after final examination) on the case and Gary resisted and filed complaints and fought for his rights because the second appeal is the state habeas corpus and ALL PROOF AND ALL CLAIMS must be made at the second appeal. The judge put this moron lawyer on Gary’s case to again rush and keep Gary from developing the truth in the case. This state habeas appeal was rushed and nothing at all was developed and the court ruled against Gary quickly. The judge attempted to force the same lawyer to ruin Gary’s federal appeal and Gary flatly resisted and filed and complained and managed to find the help of a friend in Luxembourg which hired a very good lawyer to make a fair and fully developed appeal in federal court for Gary. This new lawyer did develope everything and is the one that gave Gary the lie detector test which Gary passed. This new lawyer also proved how the state cheated and lied about the drop of blood they claim was Gary’s blood. And that they had kept Gary from telling the full story and that the police lied and cheated Gary and forced him to sign the things they had written.

The federal court acknowledges that all of these things the new lawyer developed were reasonable and should have been developed by the first and second appeal lawyers. But because they were not raised sooner the court is not allowed to consider them due to new federal laws that push death cases through the court very fast and limits what a convict can claim. If the claims were not made at trial and at the first and second appeal then they are lost forever. The judge knew this and that‘s why he put the two-faced lawyers on Gary’s case to cheat Gary. Because of those special federal limits Gary’s case was rushed through federal court and never allowed to be properly developed or recognized.

Gary was 40 hours from being strapped on a table and killed by poison injections on November 8th, 2000. In the 12 years on death row Gary has had very little help and no contact with family or former wife. Teresa married after a couple of years and is doing fine. The daughters Brittany and Brandi are doing very well and that is what is important to Gary. Gary has also remarried. Claudia and Gary fell in love and got married in 2001 and are doing fine (under the circumstances). They share as many visits as possible but since Claudia still lives in Germany it is difficult at times.

Claudia is the one that managed to save Gary’s life at the last possible moment by finding a new lawyer to file and stop the executiion since all other lawyers had abandoned Gary after court refused to hear his case. Claudia made a frantic action and got a lawyer who saved Gary’s life by filing new appeals to the state court about these claims. The state court stopped Gary’s execution and is now considering wheter or not to grant Gary a new and fair second state appeal which is the state habeas corpus.

The former lawyers ruined the first state habeas corpus and the new lawyer that saved Gary 40 hours from death has asked the court to allow Gary a fair state habeas appeal in order to develope all of Gary’s proof and claims. This lawyer cannot continue as Gary’s lawyer for free and when Gary gets the new state habeas corpus he and Claudia will need to be ready to hire a competent and professional lawyer to handle the state habeas corpus. The proper state habeas corpus will result in a new trial and a new trial will result in Gary being punished and sentenced for what he actually did to Gail rather than for what he did not do to Christie.

Dear friends of Gary,
Dear opponents of the death penalty,

Today I ask you for some help. As you know is Gary scheduled to die on June 27th, 2002 and before that date the Board of Pardons and Parole will think about if they commute his penalty into a lesser penalty. Chances are very small as you know but we need to try to convince them that Gary does not deserve the death penalty.

Please send letters to the Parole Board with the following contents:

To those who are friends with Gary please write your personal opinion about him. What he mean to you. What would it mean to you if Texas will kill him. Please remind them that he did not kill Christie Chauviere and it only need a DNA testing to prove this. Please mention that he plays a big role to his little daughters, that it will hurt them forever when they kill their daddy and if you like please mentione me, his wife and that it will break my heart forever. Please ask for justice. Please remind them that one of the reasons a convict can get the death penalty is that the jury think he is a future danger and threat to society. To kill Gary is vengence because for 12 years while on death row he did not hurt anyone, no other inmate and no guard. This is proof enough that he is no future dangerous or threat.

To those who ain't in touch with Gary please write your opinion about the death penalty. That it does not prevent further crime, that it is no deterrent at all and that it does not bring closure to the victims family, as a letter of a murder victims mother proves. She recently wrote a letter to the Parole Board, asking for the life of her sons killer. Next Wednesday we will see if her letter was helpful or if they execute Mr. Martinez. The death penalty only creates a new violent act. The death penalty is barbaric, old-fashioned and a cruel and unusual punishment etc. etc. etc.

Please include that we do not plea or beg for Gary's life because he did not kill. We plea for true justice which truth will save Gary's life. Please keep the letter short (just one page) and don't send it anonymus. Include your home address, phone number and e-mail address. If you have a legible handwriting it would be best to write by hand or type the letter but don't forget a hand signed signature. Please send your letters to the Parole Board chair man Gerald Garrett as well as to each board member and to the governor Rick Perry.

We have to have everyones letter or statement in Gary's favor in by Friday June 7th. So please send it right in time. You know that letters from overseas need round about a week, sometimes even longer. So please send out your letters quickly.

Thank you for your help and understanding.

God bless, Claudia & Gary