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Carolyn Lima Verdict (1964)


Sound | 1964

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  •  The jury files into the courtroom 
  •  Criminal District Judge Miron A. Love 
  •  Carolyn Lima with her attorney, Clyde Woody 
  •  Interview with Lima after the verdict 
  •  After deliberating for four hours, the jury convicted Lima of murder without malice and set her punishment for five years 
  •  Woody explains how Lima’s five-year sentence could result in her only serving 10 months. Lima was released on April 3, 1965, with time off for good behavior.  
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This unedited footage from Houston’s KPRC-TV captures the conclusion of Carolyn Lima’s second murder trial on February 28, 1964. Following the reading of the verdict, Lima and her attorney, Clyde Woody, speak to the press. Lima was convicted in 1961 for the fatal shooting of Houston realtor Fred Tones and sentenced to execution. Lima’s partner, Leslie Elaine Perez (a transgender woman then known as Leslie Douglas Ashley) was also convicted and sentenced to death. Lima would have been the first woman legally executed in Texas in nearly 100 years. Federal Circuit Judge John R. Brown issued stays of execution for Lima and Perez on March 29, four hours before they were scheduled to die. In 1963, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the prosecution had suppressed evidence favorable to Lima and Perez, and ordered new trials for both. Lima’s second trial took place from February 17 to 28, 1964. Following their second trials, Lima was sentenced to five years in prison, and Perez was declared insane and sent to a state mental hospital in San Antonio. Perez escaped, spending six months on the run before being discovered working as a clown for a traveling carnival. Perez was tried again for Tones’ murder and sentenced to 15 years, serving five.