Appeal denied for ETX man who killed blind man - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Appeal denied for ETX man who killed blind man


An East Texas man convicted for the 2006 killing of Alton Hicks, a blind man, has been denied by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Carlos Stiff appealed his life sentence to the court, arguing that evidence is legally insufficient to support his Gregg County trial's judgment. 

Lasinda Crockett, Stiff's mother, was hired as Hicks' caretaker, and documents state Hicks accused Crockett and a friend of taking money from his home.

After Hicks notified the police, Crockett posted bond for Stiff. The next morning Hicks was killed. Stiff called his then-girlfriend and did not fully end the call. The girlfriend overheard Stiff and Crockett talking about disposing of bloody clothes and surveillance video from Hicks's home.

The appeal claims Stiff's girlfriend said he told her that he shot Hicks and cut his throat. But Hicks was not shot during the crime. The appeal says the physical evidence linked Crockett to the crime scene, but no evidence linked Stiff to the crime scene. According to the appeal, Crockett took sole responsibility for the murder and said she was capable of killing Hicks unaided.

The Court of Criminal Appeals said the Gregg County jury had examined the evidence and could have determined beyond a reasonable doubt that Stiff participated in the murder in retaliation for Hicks filing having filed a police report accusing Stiff's mother of theft.

The court overruled Stiff's appeal and affirmed his life sentence from Gregg County.

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