Hank Skinner, the Texas death-row inmate convicted of murdering his live-in girlfriend, Twila Busby, and her sons, Randy and Elwin “Scooter” Caler, will not be attending an evidentiary hearing scheduled in Pampa Monday and Tuesday.
An employee who works for Skinner’s defense attorneys, Douglas Robinson and Robert Owen, told The Pampa News that both the state and defense attorneys will offer witnesses and other evidence, such as laboratory reports, to show what results were produced by the DNA testing that has been performed in Skinner’s case over the past 18 months. The attorneys will try to argue about what inferences can be drawn from those test results, she said.
A series of tests on DNA taken from the crime scene have been performed since June 2012, two by a Texas Department of Safety crime lab in Lubbock and one by an independent laboratory in Virginia.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office, who is presenting the state’s case to the court, claims the DNA tests overwhelmingly show that evidence collected at the crime scene consistently shows that Skinner is guilty of strangling and bludgeoning Busby in the living room of her home on New Year’s Eve 1993.
The defense attorneys claim the DNA tests performed at the Virginia lab point to Robert Donnell, Twila Busby’s deceased uncle, as the real killer in the triple homicide. The attorneys say it is well known that Donnell was making unwelcome advances to Busby on the night she was killed.
Judge Steven R. Emmert of the 31st District will not issue a definitive ruling at the conclusion of the hearing, the employee said.
Instead, the parties will have an opportunity to submit written arguments in late February, and the judge will issue a definitive ruling after considering those arguments.
A ruling in Skinner’s favor in this proceeding would not automatically reverse his conviction.