Letter to the Editor: Stultz up for parole
As you probably already know, Inmate Carlos Don Stultz is again up for parole. It would be appreciated if you could get the word out to the good citizens of our County so they can write the parole board. Please remember to include Stultz’s information in your communication with the parole board:
Offender: Carlos Don Stultz
State ID# 00999638
TDCJ-ID # 00233884
Send your protest letter to:
Ms. Angela McCown, Director
Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265
Austin, TX 78711-3401
Telephone (512) 406-5900
Fax (512) 452-0825
Also, there will be a petition protesting the release of Inmate Stultz available for signing in the County Attorney’s office and other area businesses for those who wish to make their voice known in that manner. The petition and all the names on it will be forwarded to the parole board in time for Inmate Stultz’s parole hearing. Thanks for helping to keep this person behind bars.
- Roy DeFriend, Limestone County Attorney
The Murders and Convictions
(Derived from Journal archives: June 19, 2014 “Murdered Mexia teen’s parents try to stop killer’s parole” by Roxanne McKnight Thompson)
Carlos Don Stultz, convicted murderer of Mexia teen Kathy Elaine Jones in 1969, is being considered for parole again, Kathy Jones was a 17-year-old Mexia High School junior and was looking forward to the end of school back on June 3, 1969. It was a Tuesday, the last week of regular classes at Mexia High School before finals and the summer break. Kathy had made cookies to take to school and share with classmates, but she forgot the treats at home. So on her lunch break she drove her highly recognizable blue Volkswagen Beetle to her family home on FM 39.
Stultz, who had already served prison sentences in Oklahoma for theft and burglary, was relatively new to Mexia but had already had a run-in with the law in Limestone County. He was out of jail on a $1,000 bond, accused in the theft of a camera from a home burglary. Stultz and his wife were living on Palestine Street and were expecting their first child. He worked as a ranch hand at the J.I. Riddle Ranch in Shiloh, south of town on FM 39.
According to news reports at the time, Stultz later admitted he saw Kathy Jones going into her house that day and followed her. The teen was not seen alive again.
A light rain had fallen that day, and barely an hour after Kathy left the school, a farmer named McKenzie Masters, who lived near the Jones’ home, noticed fresh tire tracks on his land and followed them to a pasture. There he found Kathy’s mutilated, half-clothed body under a bush and called the law.
According to news reports at the time, Justice of the Peace Sam Bonner held an inquest at the scene and determined the girl had been stabbed 18 times and raped. She also had severe defensive wounds to her left hand. Mexia Highway Patrolman Derwood Kennedy, Sheriff Connor Spivey and his staff identified Kathy through Masters, who recognized her, Florence Jones said last week. She and her husband were notified at Varo Inc., a plant in Mexia where they worked, when law enforcement officers arrived there to tell them about finding Kathy, she said. When the Joneses returned home, they found a pool of blood in the house. From that evidence, investigators determined Kathy had probably been killed in her home before her body was dumped in the field.
As the search for a suspect began, Kathy’s grandfather Mose Gamble, who lived near the Jones family, told Kennedy and Spivey he had seen a light-colored pickup truck pull up to the Jones house about 15 minutes after Kathy had arrived at lunchtime. According to the news reports, Gamble said he saw the truck leave then return and back up to the carport. The tire tracks in the field near the body were determined to be the same as those of a white pickup truck owned by the Riddle Ranch where Stultz worked and which Stultz used. The ranch hand was arrested the next morning and taken to Waco for questioning with a lie-detector machine by officers including Texas Ranger Johnny Krumnow.
According to one report, when Stultz and the law enforcement officers emerged from the polygraph room, the ranch hand was crying and had admitted to the crime. He reportedly said he stabbed the teen repeatedly in her home, then put her body in his truck and took her to a field, where he raped her lifeless body. Stultz was said to have then taken the officers to a ditch to show them where he had disposed of the murder weapon, which was then recovered.
The trial was moved to Dallas on a change of venue, and a jury convicted Stultz nine months later of murder with malice.
A week after Kathy Jones was killed, Stultz had been charged with the murder of another girl, Karren Kubat, 11, of Dallas. Karren was stabbed in the throat in Grand Prairie while visiting family members there on Aug. 20, 1968, nearly 10 months before the Kathy Jones murder. He was later convicted of Karren Kubat’s murder, too.
The jury sentenced Stultz on March 12, 1970, to die in the electric chair for the Kathy Jones murder.
In 1972, however, while Stultz was on death row, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated all death-penalty cases, effectively ruling them unconstitutional, and Stultz’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison. Though the Court reaffirmed the legality of capital punishment in 1976, Stultz’s sentence remains life in prison. Despite being convicted of two murders, Stultz has come up for parole every few years since about 1980.
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