texas

Mothers of Killer, Victim Work to Stop Execution

There is an unusual plea for mercy for a convicted killer set to die next week.

Paul David Storey was convicted of killing Hurst Putt Putt assistant manager Jonas Cherry during a robbery in 2006.

The 32-year-old is set to be transported from the Tarrant County Jail to Huntsville to be executed April 12. Two women are trying to stop this from happening: Storey's mother Marilyn Shankle-Grant and Cherry's mother.

"I will not leave my son," said Shankle-Grant. "I'm fighting for his life tooth and nails. He made a horrible decision but that's not who my son is."

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Shankle-Grant and the Innocence Project of Texas have been trying to save Storey's life.

The mother of the 28-year-old Cherry has also been trying to help.

"They're of different heights, different color, different backgrounds, but they both love their children," Innocence Project of Texas' Cory Session said.

Session and Cherry's parents met with some members of the state's Pardons and Parole Board about the planned execution by lethal injection. They asked that Storey's life be spared in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"To see what Judith Cherry and Glenn Cherry are going through to stop this execution, who can go against them?" said Session.

Shankle-Grant says she's not given up, hope but is preparing.

"I try to visualize, imagine what it's going to be like to stand and watch someone stick a needle in my son, my son's life and take it," she said. "And I can envision him looking at me and it's like that little boy saying, 'Mommy, save me.' And I can't save him. There's nothing I can do."

According to Session, the state's appellate court could issue a stay of execution as early as Friday. The Pardons and Parole Board is expected to decide on Storey's fate Monday. His attorney points out Storey's low intellectual functioning and depression among the reasons to spare his life.

Regardless of the outcome, Shankle-Grant says she will be forever grateful to the Cherry family, especially Cherry's.

"I just want to thank her from the bottom of my heart," she said. "From one mother to another."

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