September 14, 2013
Michael Yowell’s execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CDT, on October 9, 2013, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Forty-three-year-old Michael is convicted of murdering his parents, 55-year-old John and 53-year-old Carol Yowell, on Saturday, May 9, 1998. Michael has spent the past 14 years on Texas’ death row.
Michael Yowell had a 10-year drug habit that cost him in excess of $200 a day. In the months prior to his parents’ murder, Yowell would steal from his parents and grandmother to finance his drug habit. Additionally, Yowell cashed forged checks from his grandmother’s bank account and used his mother’s credit cards to buy three guns. Yowell served three months in 1989 for a burglary conviction and, at the time of the murder was on probation for a drug possession charge. In the days leading up to the murder, Yowell had learned that his probation officer was going to report him for violating his parole, meaning he would likely end up back in prison.
On the night of May 9, 1998, Yowell crept into his parents’ bedroom to steal his father’s wallet. Yowell called it a “spur of the moment” decision, however he also admitted that at the time, he was experiencing a “drug induced paranoia” and thought that someone was “out to get [him].” To calm down, Yowell “needed to get high.”
As he reached for the wallet, Yowell startled his mother, who woke up and reached out to grab him. According to Yowell’s confession, when she reached up to grab him, the gun went off. The bullet struck Yowell’s father in the head, killing him. Prosecutors believe that Yowell entered the house with the intention of shooting his father and his mother, but the gun malfunction when he attempted to shoot his mother.
Yowell and his mother then began fighting, although Yowell alleges that they were not trying to hurt each other. Yowell hit his mother and “freaked out.” Yowell went on to say that “there was blood everywhere” and that he “didn’t want her to suffer.” Evidence showed that Carol fought back vigorously. Yowell wrapped a lamp cord around her neck several times, strangling her. Carol’s body was found face down with the lamp on her back.
Before leaving the house, Yowell turned on the natural gas jet in the kitchen and closed his grandmother’s door. When he was a few blocks away, Yowell heard the house explode. Yowell’s father was burned beyond recognition. His mother’s body was also charred. His grandmother, 89-year-old Viola Davis, was pulled from the house by neighbors. She died two weeks later from smoke inhalation and burns from the explosion. Yowell was charged, but not tried for murder of Viola Davis.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of John and Carol Yowell, and Viola Davis. Please pray the Michael Yowell will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.