Dallas man to be executed Wednesday for slaying of McKinney real estate agent (2023)

A Dallas man who was convicted of killing a real estate agent inside a McKinney model home in 2006 is once again asking to be spared death on the eve of his execution.

Kosoul Chanthakoummane, 41, has already successfully halted his execution twice, citing questionable forensic techniques that helped send him to death row.

But the state has opposed any new delays, saying DNA testing and retesting over the years has provided solid evidence of his guilt. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in October 2020 that Chanthakoummane’s DNA was found under the victim’s fingernails and in the model home where she was killed.

Chanthakoummane is scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday in Huntsville for the slaying of Sarah Anne Walker, 40.

Dallas man to be executed Wednesday for slaying of McKinney real estate agent (1)

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(Video) Dallas man to be executed for McKinney real estate agent's 2006 murder

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He admitted to being inside the model home where her body was found but maintains his innocence. Anti-death penalty activists oppose his execution, saying his conviction 15 years ago was based in part on flawed and outdated evidence such as bite mark analysis and forensic hypnosis.

Police arrested Chanthakoummane after they released a sketch with the help of a hypnotized witness who claimed to have seen a young Asian man at the scene. Law enforcement officials believe hypnosis acts as a “relaxation tool” to get witnesses and victims to recall what they saw. But its use has dropped off since the 1970s and ’80s, and many states have banned it because of questions of reliability. Chanthakoummane’s attorneys have called it “junk science.”

The hypnosis was used for the police sketch after the witnesses, a real estate agent and her husband, reported seeing an Asian man in a white Mustang at the model home the day of the murder. At trial, they identified Chanthakoummane as the man they saw, as well as his Mustang.

Another real estate agent who had previously helped Chanthakoummane find an apartment told police he showed up at her home the night before the murder and banged on her doors.

The state appeals court found that the bite mark analysis played a “minimal role” in the case.

“The linchpin of the State’s case was the DNA evidence found at the scene and under Walker’s fingernails,” the appellate judges wrote in a 2020 opinion.

Chanthakoummane’s lawyer, Eric Allen, said on Monday that a defense expert had given his opinion on the DNA match relied on by prosecutors, saying his client could have been in the home days before the murder.

(Video) North Texas realtor's murderer set for execution

Allen said the state appeals court recently rejected his request for a re-analysis of the DNA evidence. He said it’s extremely rare for a Texas governor to issue a stay of execution but that all hope has not yet been extinguished

The state also relied on Chanthakoummane’s own admissions, eyewitness accounts and other circumstantial evidence linking him to the murder, the appeals court ruled.

Assistant Attorney General Rachel Patton wrote in a July filing in federal court that the question about DNA evidence has been “thoroughly covered in the numerous post-conviction proceedings” since Chanthakoummane’s conviction.

Trial evidence, for example, included DNA “consistent with Chanthakoummane’s” DNA that was recovered from under Walker’s fingernails, window pull cords, the deadbolt lock and swabs throughout the house.

Chanthakoummane had scratches and other wounds on hands and arms at the time of his arrest, court records show. And during police questioning, he admitted to being in the model home the day of the murder.

“None of the DNA results have been remotely exculpatory. Any belief by Chanthakoummane that further DNA investigation would yield results that will be helpful to his case is a fantasy,” Patton wrote in her filing. “It is very likely that further review of the DNA testing results, which have not been favorable to him, will also be unfavorable.”

Chanthakoummane’s last execution date was in July 2017. The Court of Criminal Appeals at the time sent his case back to the Collin County trial court to review questionable forensic evidence that was used to convict him in 2007.

The trial court held a hearing on the issues raised by Chanthakoummane and denied all of his claims. The state, however, agreed to conduct additional DNA testing on two exhibits that hadn’t previously been tested. After reviewing the DNA report, a state judge concluded in October 2021 that the results, if used at the trial, would likely not have changed the outcome, according to court records.

(Video) Texas set to execute Kosoul Chanthakoummane for real estate agent Sarah Walker's murder

A couple visiting a model home on Conch Train Road near Custer Road found Walker’s body on July 8, 2006.

Walker had been beaten, bitten and stabbed multiple times. Her nose and teeth were fractured. A medical examiner testified at trial that 10 of her 33 stab wounds were fatal. The jewelry she was wearing was stolen but never recovered.

Chanthakoummane was at the time a 25-year-old felon who was living with relatives in Dallas after being released from prison on parole from North Carolina. He had served seven years of an 11-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. The conviction stemmed from an incident in which he and a friend held two women at gunpoint before stealing a car and leading police on a chase.

Chanthakoummane, the son of Laotian immigrants who worked as a delivery driver, was arrested nearly two months after the McKinney murder.

At his murder trial, his attorneys admitted that he stabbed Walker but argued that he didn’t deserve the death penalty because it was a robbery that “didn’t go the right way.”

A jury convicted him after 30 minutes of deliberation. They heard testimony about the DNA evidence during the eight-day trial and watched a police video in which Chanthakoummane repeatedly changed his story during the two-hour interview after his arrest. Near the end, he admitted going into the McKinney model home that day but he said he never saw anyone inside.

Jurors also decided his fate, saying he deserved death rather than life in prison.

Death Penalty Action, a nonprofit group that opposes capital punishment, recently held a news conference about the case, highlighting its concerns. The group played a video produced by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, about how the victim’s father, a devout Catholic, had forgiven Chanthakoummane and opposed his execution.

(Video) Man convicted in murder of Texas realtor set for execution

“We are not prepared to say today that Kosoul is innocent. But we are here to say, there’s some real questions,” said Abraham Bonowitz, executive director of Death Penalty Action, during the Aug. 3 news conference.

Bonowitz said Chanthakoummane’s DNA was not found in the bite mark on Walker’s neck. He said it wasn’t his group’s normal practice to investigate a capital murder case. But nobody else was doing it, he said. The biggest question people should ask, he said, was: “Can we trust the government to tell the truth?”

He said his organization has filed a clemency petition with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on behalf of Chanthakoummane, seeking a stay of execution.

The petition concludes by saying Texas has a history of wrongful convictions.

“With a punishment so severe as the death penalty, there can be no room for error. We are not convinced that the state of Texas got it right in this case. We urge you to recommend clemency or a reprieve in order to allow a more thorough review of the concerns raised in this letter.”

If his 11th-hour appeal fails, Chanthakoummane will become the 575th prisoner put to death in Texas since 1982, according to state statistics.

Texas leads the nation in executions since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

And Texas has the third-highest number of death row inmates in the nation, behind California and Florida, according to the Austin advocacy group, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

(Video) Man convicted on murdering north Texas man set for execution Wednesday

Man who beat, bit, stabbed McKinney real-estate agent to death gets execution date
Texas uses hypnosis to investigate crimes. Dallas death row inmates say it's time to stop


What real estate agent murdered McKinney? ›

In 2007, Kosoul Chanthakoummane was convicted of killing McKinney real estate agent Sarah Walker. Chanthakoummane's attorneys said their concerns about the DNA evidence was part of a pattern by prosecutors in using faulty evidence in the case.

What real estate agent was murdered by his husband in Texas? ›

On Nov. 30, 2022, Athena Strand went missing from her front yard. Two days later, her body was found and 31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner was charged with her murder.

Who was just executed in Texas? ›

HOUSTON, Texas -- Texas has executed an inmate convicted of the drug-related killings of four people more than 30 years ago, including a woman who was 9-months pregnant. Arthur Brown Jr., 52, received a lethal injection Thursday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville.

Who was executed in Texas in 2023? ›

On March 7, 2023, the same day that Thomas's execution date was withdrawn, Texas executed Gary Green. Green's attorneys had argued that he was intellectually disabled and that he had schizoaffective disorder.

What was Stephanie Keller sentenced to? ›

Stephanie Keller was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the killing of her husband, Vestavia Officer Andy Kimbrel. Signed-in readers now can bookmark stories to read later. NEW!

Who killed Hutch McKinney? ›

Due to his longstanding love for Miss Ellie, and not wanting to devastate her life, as would be the case if Jock were sent to prison, Digger made a deathbed confession that he had murdered Hutch.

Who is the most popular serial killer in Texas? ›

15 most deranged serial killers in Texas
  • Joe Ball. ...
  • Carl Eugene Watts. ...
  • Genene Jones. ...
  • Charles Albright. ...
  • Dean Corll. ...
  • The Phantom Killer. ...
  • Kenneth McDuff. ...
  • The Servant Girl Annihilator.
Mar 6, 2023

Who is the Texas serial killer targeting the elderly? ›

Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir (born December 8, 1972) is a Kenyan convicted murderer and suspected serial killer accused of the murders of elderly women in Dallas, Texas and its surrounding suburbs. As of June 2022, Chemirmir has been indicted for 22 murders. As of October 2022 he has been convicted of two of the murders.

Who was the last serial killer in Texas? ›

Henry Lee Lucas
1983 mugshot
BornAugust 23, 1936 Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.
DiedMarch 12, 2001 (aged 64) Ellis Unit, Huntsville, Texas, U.S.
Criminal statusDeceased
10 more rows

Which state executes the most? ›

United States Capital Punishment:

The death penalty is still legal in California, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, but there are gubernatorial moratoriums on executions in these three states. Texas leads the nation in the number of executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Who is the youngest person executed in Texas? ›

George Stinney

What do death row inmates do all day? ›

They stay in their cells except for medical issues, visits, exercise time or interviews with the media. When a death warrant is signed, the inmate may have a legal and social phone call. Prisoners get mail daily except for holidays and weekends. They are permitted to have snacks, radios and 13-inch TVs, but no cable.

What state executed the youngest? ›

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Why does Texas execute so many? ›

There are a variety of proposed legal and cultural explanations as to why Texas has more executions than any other state. One possible reason is due to the federal appellate structure—federal appeals from Texas are made to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Who was the only woman executed in Texas? ›

She was convicted of murder in Texas in 1984 and executed by lethal injection after 14 years on death row.
Karla Faye Tucker
BornNovember 18, 1959 Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedFebruary 3, 1998 (aged 38) Huntsville, Texas, U.S.
Cause of deathExecution by lethal injection
Criminal statusExecuted
15 more rows

How old was Stephanie when she was murdered? ›

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Samuel Little

Who is the most famous serial killer in real life? ›

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  • Jeffrey Dahmer. ...
  • Harold Shipman. ...
  • John Wayne Gacy. ...
  • H.H. Holmes. ...
  • Pedro Lopez. ...
  • Ted Bundy.

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Who was the serial killer in McKinney? ›

The case had not been progressing steadily until Talisha Haithcox, 37, called the police and told them that her boyfriend, Eddie Williams, was involved with the murders of the four victims in McKinney, Texas.

Who shot McKinney? ›

Assassination of William McKinley
PerpetratorLeon Czolgosz
MotiveTo advance anarchism
ConvictionsFirst-degree murder
7 more rows

What real estate tycoon was a serial killer? ›

Robert Alan Durst (April 12, 1943 – January 10, 2022) was an American real estate heir and a convicted murderer.

Who was murdered in the mansion in Keller Texas? ›

A Millionaire Murdered

13, 2011, in his mansion in Keller, Texas, a wealthy suburb of Fort Worth. Police say he was shot in the right temple and pronounced dead at the scene.

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Serenity's mother, Catherine McKinney, and her boyfriend, Dakota Hugh Hill, were charged with Serenity's murder and abuse of a corpse in Bullitt County. They face up to life in prison if convicted. Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.

Who was the cheeseburger serial killer? ›

Joseph Roy Metheny (March 2, 1955 – August 5, 2017) was an American serial killer and rapist from the Baltimore, Maryland area. While he claimed to have killed 13 people, sufficient evidence was only found to convict him of two murders. Research later confirmed 3 more victims, though he had not been charged with them.

What serial killer had a twin brother? ›

Ronald Kray (24 October 1933 – 17 March 1995) and Reginald Kray (24 October 1933 – 1 October 2000) were identical twin brothers, gangsters and murderers. They were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London, England, from the late 1950s to 1967.
Kray twins.
Ronnie and Reggie Kray
OrganizationThe Firm
7 more rows

Who killed the son of McKinney Indian father? ›

Subramanian Ponnazhakan, 39, is accused of killing his son, Nanitin Ponnazhakan, who was found dead of stab wounds in the family's garage in McKinney on Jan. 6.

Who is the McKinney man accused of killing his son? ›

Ponnazhakan Subramanian was arraigned on a capital murder warrant and given a $1 million bond. He was taken to jail after being hospitalized for treatment of self-inflicted wounds, according to police. Police said Subramanian killed his son before turning the knife on himself.

What happened to Leon Czolgosz? ›

Caught in the act, Czolgosz was tried, convicted, and executed by the State of New York seven weeks later on October 29, 1901.
Leon Czolgosz
DiedOctober 29, 1901 (aged 28) Auburn Prison, Auburn, New York, U.S.
Cause of deathExecution by electrocution
Known forAssassination of William McKinley
9 more rows

Who is the most successful serial killer? ›

The most prolific modern serial killer is arguably doctor Harold Shipman, with 218 probable murders and possibly as many as 250 (see "Medical professionals", below). However, he was actually convicted of a sample of 15 murders.

Who is the most feared serial killer? ›

7 of History's Most Notorious Serial Killers
  • Jack the Ripper. We call him “Jack the Ripper,” but we don't really know who the person behind one of the older and most notorious murder sprees was. ...
  • Jeffrey Dahmer. ...
  • Harold Shipman. ...
  • John Wayne Gacy. ...
  • H.H. Holmes. ...
  • Pedro Lopez. ...
  • Ted Bundy.

Who is the most insane serial killer? ›

  • Ted Bundy (1946-1989) ...
  • Harold Shipman (1946-2004) ...
  • Andrei Chikatilo (1936- 1994) ...
  • Jeffrey Dahmer (1960- 1994) ...
  • Albert Fish (1870-1936) ...
  • John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994) ...
  • Jack the Ripper (Unidentified Serial Killer ∼1888) ...
  • Joachim Kroll (1933-1991)


1. McKinney police identify man accused of fatally stabbing 9-year-old son
2. McKinney father stabbed 9-year-old to death, police say
(FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth)
3. Execution date set in 1992 quadruple murder
(KPRC 2 Click2Houston)
4. Vigil held for McKinney 9-year-old allegedly killed by father
(FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth)
5. Father fatally stabs 9-year-old son in McKinney, police say
6. Neighbor recalls 'heartbreaking' scene in McKinney where police say father stabbed son to death
(FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth)
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