Kosoul Chanthakoummane: On the Nature of Execution and Doubt (Of Course in Texas)

Kosoul Chanthakoummane: On the Nature of Execution and Doubt (Of Course in Texas) July 15, 2022

Kosoul Chanthakoummane / Sarah Walker

 

Kosoul Chanthakoummane: On the Nature of Execution and Doubt (Of Course in Texas)

 

According to the prosecution…

 

On July 8, 2006, Kosoul Chanthakoummane arrived at a model home in Collin County, Texas.  There he found Sarah Walker.  A struggle ensued.  Chanthakoummane proceeded to brutalize Walker.  Eventually, hitting her with a plant stand, stabbing her over 33 times and leaving a vicious bite mark on her neck.  When he was finished, he stole a watch and ring off of her body.  After it was all over with, Chanthakoummane fled.  Walker’s body was found by couple viewing the model home later on in the day.  In their investigation, police found Chanthakoummane’s blood at the scene, Walker’s DNA under Chanthakoummane’s fingernails, concluded that Chanthakoummane’s teeth matched the bitemark on Walker’s neck and found multiple eyewitnesses who placed Chanthakoummane near the model home at the time of the crime.  When a jury heard this information, Chanthakoummane was convicted and sentenced to death.

 

So, it sounds like a pretty open and shut case right?  Think again.

 

Since July 8, 2006 or whenever he found out that he was under the investigation for the murder of Sarah Walker, Kosoul Chanthakoummane has claimed his innocence.  Before you dismiss him outright, consider the following facts.

 

Those that identified Chanthakoummane as the man at the scene of the crime did so under hypnosis…and their identifications were flawed.  Relator Mamie Sharpless identified an athletic Asian man…but was unable to speak to Chanthakoummane’s prominent tattoos or glasses.  Sharpless’ husband Nelson Villavicencio also identified an athletic Asian man…but also was unable to speak to Chanthakoummane’s prominent tattoos or glasses.  Both also said that Chanthakoummane had longer hair…which he did not.  Sharpless said that the man identified himself as “Chan Lee”…but when a “Chan Lee” was actually found he was immediately dismissed as a suspect because he didn’t sound “black enough.”  In addition to all of this, hypnosis has repeatedly been discredited by a variety of studies.  Eyewitness evidence is often flawed.

 

The bite mark on Sarah Walker’s neck was claimed to exactly match the teeth of Chanthakoummane.  But such bite mark evidence has repeatedly been discredited in a variety of studies.  Even Dr. Brent Hudson, the prosecution’s bite mark expert said, “I can’t tell you that he’s the one and only person in the world who could have made that.”  Other experts who have examined the case, have declared that the conclusory value give to the bite mark evidence was greatly overstated…and such evidence wouldn’t even be allowed in most courts today.  Bite mark evidence is often flawed.

 

The DNA evidence collected at the scene was considered to be the strongest evidence that the prosecution had against Chanthakoummane…but one of the things that was left out at trial and consistently since in conversation about this case is is that there was unknown DNA mixed in with the other DNA that they claimed to be able to identify.  The Texas Forensic Science Commission recently cast doubt on the methods used to reach the DNA conclusions in this case.  DNA evidence is often flawed.

 

So, what actually happened?  Well according to Chanthakoummane…

 

Needing a new place to live, he simply entered the model home to tour it.  Before arriving, he cut his hand at work and thus bled a little bit.  Before he left, he washed his face and got a drink of water in the kitchen.  After, he left without ever seeing or interacting with Sarah Walker.

 

So, who do you believe?

 

While it’s ok to say that you have doubts about both accounts, it’s not ok to execute someone in the midst of such doubts.  Kosoul Chanthakoummane might not be perfect…but the evidence that he is a murderer is far from conclusive.

 

Sign the petition to stop the execution of Kosoul Chanthakoummane @ https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-execution-of-kosoul-chanthakoummane-in-texas/

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