Family of Man Slain at Hurst Mini-golf Park Trying to Stop Execution of Son's Killer

The parents of a man slain during a 2006 robbery at a Hurst miniature golf park are asking the state not to execute one of the killers. Glenn and Judy Cherry wrote a letter to the Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson, Gov. Greg Abbott and other state officials asking that Paul Storey's sentence be commuted to life without parole, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. "Paul Storey's execution will not bring our son back, will not atone for the loss of our son and will not bring comfort or closure," the affidavit stated. "We are satisfied that Paul Storey remaining in prison until his death will assure that he cannot murder another innocent person in the community, and with this outcome we are satisfied and convinced that lawful retribution is exercised concerning the death of our son."Storey's execution date is scheduled for April 12, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Jonas Cherry was shot in the head and legs the morning of Oct. 16, 2006, during what Hurst police said was a robbery at Putt-Putt Golf and Games where he was the general manager. Cherry, who had gotten married a year earlier, began working for the miniature golf park when he was 16, according to his obituary. A co-worker found the 28-year-old's body shortly before the course was set to open at 10 a.m. Evidence showed that $150 was taken in the robbery and that Storey had previously worked there.Within two weeks of the slaying, police arrested Paul David Storey, then 21, and his accomplice Mark Devayne Porter in Cherry's death. Porter, who was 20 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty and took a life sentence. In 2010, Storey's attorney's attempted to appeal his death sentence, claiming there were errors in his 2008 trial in Fort Worth. The appeal was denied. Years after the trial, one of the jurors who sentenced Storey to death, said he wished he had done something to deadlock the jury, but didn't have "the personal strength to do it," he said in a post on The Marshall Project. During the appeals, a lawyer called Sven Berger and showed him a report from a psychologist that said Storey had "borderline intellectual functioning," as well as depression and other evidence that was not presented at trial. Had Berger heard the evidence, he "would not have voted for the death penalty," he said in an affidavit. 'He's still my son'Storey's mother, Marilyn Shankle-Grant, said she is "just so grateful" for Cherry's parents effort to commute her son's sentence, the Star-Telegram reported. "I think about how difficult it must have been for her at Christmas and Thanksgiving to have that empty chair at the table," she said. "They must have the heart of Jesus Christ himself to want to have anything to do with the life of someone who was involved in taking their own son's life."The idea that her son was involved in the death of another person is devastating, "but Paul is my son," Shankle-Grant told the Star-Telegram. "As devastating as what he did was, he's still my son," she said. "I still don't want to see him die."  Continue reading...

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