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Tarrant County DA accuses prosecutors of lies, perjury in death penalty case

Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson.
Christopher Connelly
Sharen Wilson has been the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney since 2014.

The Tarrant County District Attorney has accused two former prosecutors of lying and perjury in the death penalty case of Paul David Storey, and she's asking the state’s highest criminal court to grant Storey a new punishment trial.

Storey was sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of Jonas Cherry, a manager at a mini golf course in Hurst.

During the trial, Tarrant County prosecutors Christy Jack and Robert Foran told the jury that Cherry’s family wanted the death penalty, but eight years later, Storey’s attorneys found out that wasn’t true, according to court documents.

Cherry’s parents said they never wanted the death penalty and have since pushed to get Storey off death row.

In a motion filed with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on August 17, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson accused Jack and Foran of lying, perjury and hiding evidence that could have helped Storey’s case.

“Under these most extraordinary circumstances, Storey should, at the very least, be granted a new punishment trial,” Wilson wrote in the motion. “Justice demands it.”

A photo of Paul David Storey, a Black man looking directly at the camera against a blue background. The image appears to be a mugshot or prison photo.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Storey has been on death row since 2008, against the wishes of the parents of the man Storey was convicted of killing.

Wilson's motion could open up a new avenue to get Storey off death row, said Mike Ware, one of Storey's lawyers.

"It's not just me saying it, as Paul Storey's attorney. It's the elected district attorney of Tarrant County saying it," he said. "She's not even a quote-unquote 'progressive prosecutor' from one of the more liberal counties. She's anything but that."

Ware applauded Wilson for the motion.

"Even she has recognized the profound unfairness here," he said.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals has decided against Storey before. In 2019, the court decided to maintain his death sentence, despite a trial judge’s earlier recommendation that his sentence be reduced to life in prison without parole, the Texas Tribune reported. In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Storey’s case, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a strong statement in support of Storey.

KERA has reached out to Wilson for comment.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

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Corrected: September 1, 2022 at 10:03 AM CDT
A previous version of this story said the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Storey’s case in 2020. The Supreme Court declined to hear Storey's case in 2022.
Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.