AUSTIN, TX (ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OF TEXAS OFFICE) — Pursuant to an order from Criminal District Court No. 3 of Dallas County, Anthony Doyle is scheduled for execution after 6 p.m. on March 27, 2014.
On May 10, 2004, Doyle was sentenced to die for the capital offense of murdering Hyun Cho while in the course of committing and attempting to commit robbery.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The Court of Criminal Appeals for the Fifth Circuit described the Jan. 16, 2003, murder of Hyun Cho as follows:
In 2003, Doyle placed an order for delivery with the Chaha Donut shop, disguising his voice and saying his name was Mary. When Cho arrived to deliver the food, Doyle beat her to death with a baseball bat, put her body into a trash can, and attempted to clean the blood from the walls and floor. He took her car, cell phone, and credit cards and drove to meet his friends, to whom he indicated he had murdered someone, stating that he was not “playing” anymore. They attempted to use Cho’s credit cards to make purchases.
When Doyle learned that police had found Cho’s body, he fled. Police searched the house where he had committed the murder and found his bloodstained clothes, blood spatters on the floor and walls, marks from the trash can’s wheels, and other evidence. Doyle later abandoned Cho’s car at a carwash and threw her possessions into a nearby dumpster. The police found those items and the original receipt for the donut delivery.
Doyle’s mother tried to convince him to come to the police station to talk to officers, and although he agreed, he never did but was arrested shortly thereafter. He eventually orally confessed to the crime under police questioning, taking more than two hours to write a ten-page confession.
PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY
Under Texas law, the rules of evidence prevent certain prior criminal acts from being presented to a jury during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. However, once a defendant is found guilty, jurors are presented with information about the defendant’s prior criminal conduct during the second phase of the trial – which is when they determine the defendant’s punishment.
During the punishment phase of trial, the State put on extensive evidence of Doyle’s propensity for aggressive behavior from an early age. Doyle’s fourth and fifth grade principal was required to deal with him on an almost daily basis for disciplinary issues – despite no evidence that Doyle’s behavior was caused by psychological issues, hyperactivity, or problems at home. In the fifth grade, Doyle’s behavior on the school bus was so disruptive that the driver became afraid for the safety of himself and the other children on the bus. The school originally decided that Doyle would have to be banned from riding the bus; however, at his mother’s request, Doyle was allowed to continue riding the bus – but he was physically restrained in his seat.
In the sixth grade, Doyle was regularly in trouble at school for bullying, fighting, pushing, and hitting other students. He also talked back to and threatened teachers. In one instance, Doyle stabbed a fellow student in the back several times with a pencil for no apparent reason.
At one point after the sixth grade, Doyle created a situation of racial conflict, dividing the African-American and Hispanic students against the Anglo students, necessitating group counseling and intervention by the school staff to diffuse the situation. Other disciplinary problems included slapping, punching, and harassing other students, stealing, pushing people down, defacing school property, and skipping detentions. Doyle regularly blamed others for his behavior and minimized his involvement. He had a quick and bad temper.
In 1997, Doyle was adjudicated in juvenile court for assault, theft, and criminal mischief, and he was placed on probation in the custody of his parents. In 1998, he was adjudicated for the offense of evading arrest. Doyle also harassed a faculty member of his school by repeatedly calling the teacher’s home late at night and cursing at whomever would answer the phone. The teacher had the calls traced and pressed charges against Doyle, who was placed on juvenile probation. As a result, Doyle was removed from his parents’ custody and placed in the Dallas County Youth Village.
In February of 1999, Doyle entered a boot camp program. He was discharged from the program in March of the same year for repeated violent outbursts against the staff and other students. While at the Dallas County Youth Village, Doyle threatened a teacher who challenged him for not doing his homework. Despite the staff’s extra efforts to help Doyle, he was terminated unsuccessfully from the program for constant bad behavior, including fighting, bullying, disrespecting the staff, and arguing.
As an adult, Doyle was arrested for stealing a paint sprayer. In another incident, Doyle was in the process of fleeing a gas station without paying for gas. He broadsided a car in the street, abandoned his car, and was chased down by the police on foot. Consequently, he served time in the Dallas County Jail. At the time Doyle murdered Cho, he had connections with a gang known for numerous acts of violence.
While in jail awaiting trial for Cho’s murder, Doyle wrote letters to several friends in which he mentioned wanting to fight and having fights with other people in the jail. In one letter, Doyle blamed his circumstances on the betrayal of his “so-called friends” and threatened to harm his girlfriend and her family if given the chance to do so.
On April 2, 2003, Doyle was indicted in Criminal District Court No. 3 of Dallas County, Texas, for the capital offense of murdering Hyun Cho while in the course of committing and attempting to commit robbery.
On May 5, 2004, after Doyle pleaded not guilty, a jury found him guilty of the capital offense.
On May 10, 2004, after a separate punishment hearing, the court assessed Doyle’s punishment at death.
On May 10, 2006, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Doyle’s conviction and sentence in an unpublished opinion.
On Oct. 16, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Doyle’s petition for writ of certiorari.
On Nov. 7, 2005, Doyle filed a state application for writ of habeas corpus in the trial court. The trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending that Doyle be denied relief. On Jan. 23, 2008, the Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the trial court’s findings and conclusions and denied Doyle habeas relief.
On Jan. 14, 2009, Doyle filed a federal habeas petition in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. On June 25, 2012, the federal district court denied the petition. Doyle then sought permission to appeal this decision. On July 10, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied Doyle permission to appeal.
On Dec. 5, 2013, Doyle filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court denied the petition on Feb. 24, 2014.