The state built it’s case against Gerald Marshall mainly on the self-serving statement of a co-defendant and “snitch” testimony, while significant evidence points towards another co-defendant as the perpetrator
According to HPD (Houston police department) no physical evidence was secured at the crime scene. Also the weapons that were used to commit the crime never were found.
After carefully reviewing the HPD file, we discovered that in the vehicle, which the robbers used, a “towel that appears to have blood on it” was discovered and taken into evidence. None of this evidence though was ever subjected to DNA testing. Though the potential blood on the towel most likely belonged to the victim and the towel could (still!) provide information about the person who shot the victim (by providing “touch”- DNA).
Compelling Evidence points towards Ronald “Bo” Worthy as the perpetrator
Two employees of the Whataburger Restaurant (Wilbert Marsh and Tony Ketchum) had a brief look on the robber, who forced his way into the Restaurant via the drive-through window. Though the robber wore a bandana over his nose and mouth, both witnesses congruently stated when questioned by police after the crime, that the robber held the victim (Christopher Dean) with his right hand and had a shiny gun in his left hand (indicating that he was left-handed). He was also described as dark colored and slim built. This description exactly fits Ronald Worthy. In contrast, Gerald Marshall is light-skinned, right-handed and broad built.
Both witnesses immediately ran and hid, not being able to see what was going on during the robbery/murder.
A crime stopper’s tip delivers Bo’s confession and address
Not long after the crime an anonymous ‘crime stoppers’ tip gave the following information:
Police should look in the Greenspoint area of Houston and look for “Bo” and “Tank”.
“Bo” was the killer. They also gave “Bo’s” address in Northborough. It was further said that “Bo” admitted to the anonymous caller, that he had murdered Dean, since he would “not open the safe”. The informant stated that “Bo” had said that the shooting was “an accident” because the victim had been moving too slowly in response to his demands. According to the informant “Bo” stated that he had told Dean twice to open the safe before shooting him.
The information was deemed credible by the police, especially since the details about the murder coincided with the statements the witness Marsh had made about the robber demanding the key to the safe twice. HPD though never made any attempt to identify or locate the informant.
In another anonymous call HPD received the address of “Bo” and the supposed name: Samuel Robinson. The address provided though was the address of Ronald Worthy, who also went by the nickname of “Bo”.
A witness identifies a person who resembles “Bo” Worthy
“Tank” later was identified as Gerald Marshall. Police then produced photo spreads with photos of Samuel Robinson and Gerald Marshall and presented it to the witness Marsh. Marsh immediately picked out Samuel Robinson (and never picked Gerald Marshall).
Later police learned that Samuel Robinson had nothing to do with the crime, but physically strongly resembled Ronald Worthy.
Worthy’s statements to the police evidently were riddled with lies and contradictions. For example he later would claim that he never went inside the Whataburger, but earlier admitted, he “wouldn’t go back [!] in there” what leads to the obvious conclusion, that he actually was inside.
This is particularly relevant because in Gerald’s trial the state presented the theory, that only one robber entered the Whataburger (and shot the victim). According to the state’s theory and Worthy’s own (indirect) admission, then Worthy must have been the killer.
Lies, guns and blood
Remarkable are also Worthy’s ever changing stories about the guns. He first stated that he only had a “toy gun”. Finally he admitted that both guns were real guns and that he supplied the guns for the crime and got rid of them by selling them later. He also sent the police on a wild goose chase for the guns before admitting to having sold them. The police though never followed the leads of the sold guns.
The “wild goose chase” Worthy had taken the police on soon would uncover more crucial information.
From the HPD file:
“Ronald Worthy would tell us many lies on the night of may 14, 2003. He would take investigators on a wild goose chase looking for evidence in this murder. He would also be allowed on several occasions to use my personal cellular phone [!] so that he could call his family members […] We would learn that [Worthy’s] girlfriend had destroyed evidence by throwing bloody clothing into a waste management dumpster at his direction.”
Only one defendant had bloody clothing
The fact that Worthy discarded bloody clothing should have rang off an alarm bell, since it obviously indicated that he shot the victim and got blood spatter on his clothing (the victim was shot from a close range). Though police never followed up on this lead, never confronted Worthy or his girlfriend on these issues.
It is important to note that HPD retrieved the clothing Gerald wore during the robbery and it was clean and free from any blood or gun powder residue.
Worthy later disclosed, that about two hours after the Whataburger incident the three defendants had driven to a Shipley’s donut for another robbery. In a surveillance video Gerald can be seen committing the robbery (notably nobody got hurt during this offense). It is important to mention that in this video it is evident that there is no blood on Gerald’ clothing.
Having no physical evidence from the crime scene, not having followed up on the fate of the guns or the bloody clothing or the physical evidence from the vehicle, the prosecution relied their case entirely on three inherently unreliable witnesses to pursue a conviction of Gerald Marshal