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A man convicted of a 1991 El Paso murder is still on death row. The judge says he’ll decide on an execution date in the coming weeks.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Will an El Paso man who has been on death row for more than 30 years soon fulfill his sentence?

That was the question today at the center of a hearing in the County Courthouse downtown.

Today on ABC-7 at 10 we will provide you with Xtra depth on the capital murder case of Tony Ford.

In court today

Ford was not in the 34th District Court today, but his attorney Richard Burr was.

Burr argued that Judge Bill Moody should dismiss the District Attorney's motion to place Ford's execution on the calendar.

The DA's office asked Judge Moody to allow the state to schedule Ford's lethal injection for November 14, 2024.

The victim's family speaks

The father of Ford's victim, Armando Murillo Senior, delivered a passionate and emotional plea to the judge to schedule the execution so he and his adult daughters can, in his words, "get closure and be allowed to truly heal."

Ford was 18 when he was arrested, accused of a home invasion and murder at a home in East El Paso.

Myra Murillo was shot and left paralyzed. Her daughters were wounded, and her son, Armando Junior, was killed.

Ford maintained that he was not the shooter, and that he was instead the lookout for his accomplices. He also argues that he did not know anyone was going to be killed during the home invasion.

Ford's attorney today argued that the conviction was based on eyewitness testimony, which can be unreliable.

Murillo Senior told me that he believes his daughters, who survived the shooting and identified Ford as the one who pulled the trigger.

"This is too long. My case, my two daughters, even my ex, saw Tony Ford. They were this close together, not even two feet apart. And when he shot, he didn't shoot at long-distance. He put the gun right up on her head. You see, it's a tough situation. It's tough for my daughters. It's tough for my ex, too."

Murillo said he and his daughters and ex-wife have been filing letters with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Ford's accomplice

The Murillo family is urging the parole board to deny early release to Ford's accomplice, Vanjarmar Belton.

Belton was sentenced to prison until 2066 on aggravated assault and has been eligible for parole since 2006, according to the TDCJ. Belton will go before the review board in September.

Judge Moody said he will make a decision on the state's request to schedule Ford's execution no more than 6 weeks from today.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Stephanie Valle

Stephanie Valle co-anchors ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10 weeknights.


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