Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Texas Eyeball Killer

Appeals

Albright's attorney appealed the case, based on a lack of evidence against him for the murder conviction. He also said that the trial court erred in not conducting a separate hearing on punishment. In 1994, the Texas Court of Appeals, Fifth District, published an opinion in which they dismissed Albright's first point of error, said that the appellant had provided nothing for review on the second issue, and they overruled the third point of error, because the issue had not been raised in the court. In fact, the judge had pronounced a sentence after Albright's attorney agreed that there was no reason not to. Albright never objected to it when it occurred or when he made a motion for a new trial. His objection in this appeal, then, was not considered timely, as required by law. The final sentence of the published opinion was, "We uphold the trial court's judgment."

Charles Albright in jail
Charles Albright in jail

Hollandsworth visited Albright in prison for a 1993 story in Texas Monthly, and he posed Albright's manner and words in such a way that it was clear that the man was psychopathic — deceptive, charming, manipulative, and without either self-insight or remorse for what he had done. He assured Hollandsworth that he was "not going to tell you anything that's not true," and yet his history of chronic lies, theft, deception, and fraud belie his apparent sincerity.

Hollandsworth indicated then that Albright had appealed to Barry Scheck's Innocence Project for assistance. Situated at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and founded in 1992, it was set up as a nonprofit legal clinic to do post-conviction DNA testing for cases in which biological evidence is available. "Most of our clients are poor, forgotten, and have used up all their legal avenues for relief," the organization's Web site says. Because the analysis of the hair evidence in Albright's case was controversial, and because the Innocence Project looks at the way evidence is handled and assists those for whom evidence can be tested (and who also seem deserving), Albright apparently hoped to see justice done. But his case did not involve DNA testing, and as of this writing, there is no record that the clinic has assisted, or is assisting, him.

A group of women in the Department of Psychology at Radford University in Virginia published a detailed biography of Albright online, with their analysis of the evidence against him for the murder of which he was convicted. They concluded that after reading the book by Matthews and Wicker, along with news articles, "we feel Mr. Albright may have been wrongly convicted of Shirley Williams's murder, and that whoever killed her likely killed the other two as well. We cannot guess if he has ever killed others, but lean towards his innocence in these three that qualify him as a serial killer."

Albright's friends agree. Many who have known Albright for years (but were nevertheless entirely unaware of his criminal record or dealings with prostitutes) still think SpeeDee is the true offender and that a miscarriage of justice took place at the trial.

In the Dallas Morning News, before the trial began, it was reported that Albright was a suspect in two other murders as well, both in Arkansas, but nothing ever came of those cases.

 

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