A man convicted of the 2012 capital murder of his wife in front of her daughter now has a hearing set for July 15 as part of a plan to challenge that conviction.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had already ordered a new punishment hearing for US Carnell Petetan, Jr, but this new action will put that on hold while his conviction itself is scrutinized.
A spokesman for the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office said filings with the Court of Criminal Appeals in a pending writ of habeas corpus challenging that conviction are due by October 12 of this year.
A hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. July 15 with respect to various procedural matters relating to that writ.
The history of the case following Petetan’s conviction has become increasingly convoluted.
It had already been before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals twice before the May ruling on his death sentence, once following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding mental capacity and the death penalty.
The arguments before the court centered on whether Petetan should have been able to claim intellectual disability and whether it would have made him ineligible for the death penalty.
Court records show there had been multiple presentations made before the court regarding Petetan’s mental abilities and IQ with some conflicting results.
The original jury rejected his defense of intellectual disability against what the ruling described as “the great weight and preponderance of the evidence.”
In their May ruling, the Court of Criminal Appeals vacated the death sentence and remanded the case for a new punishment hearing.
Now that may have to wait until after this new action is decided.
A 19th District Court jury convicted Petetan, in connection with the September 27, 2012 shooting death of Kimberly Petetan who was shot twice in front of her nine-year-old daughter.
She had been living apart from Petetan following alleged physical abuse. The two had been married in 2010 after they became pen pals while Petetan was serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder.
In the meantime, Petetan has been moved from a state prison facility and brought back to Waco for this new hearing, and is currently being held in the McLennan County Jail.