Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Eyeball Killer

The Case Against Albright

The charges against Albright shifted and changed as the prosecutors prepared for trial. First the three murders were attributed to him, and then the unsolved 1988 stabbing murder of an Oak Cliff-area prostitute, based on several strands of hair found on her that were consistent with Albright's (although her eyes had not been removed). Then Albright came up with an alibi for that one — he was out of town — so that charge was dropped. Given the type of evidence available, a grand jury reduced the capital murder charges to murder, so the death penalty was off the table, and eventually the district attorney's office settled on prosecuting Albright for only one murder, Shirley Williams, without explaining why they were doing so.

The judge said that, should they lose, they could not reinstate the other charges for later cases. It wouldn't matter. The Williams case was their strongest one, and if they lost that, they would surely lose the others, too. The judge knocked down the bond to $750,000, but Albright could not afford that any more than the original $3 million, so he remained in prison.

Thus, when his trial date was finally set for December 2, 1991, Albright faced prosecution for the murder of Shirley Williams, which carried a sentence of life in prison. However, the court ruled that the prosecution could bring in the other cases, based on the linkage. Once the legal issues were worked out, the trial, initially delayed, began.

 

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