Jeff Wood's family trying to stop his execution

A petition to stop a death row inmate's execution is now on the governor's desk.

UPDATE -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has halted the execution of Jeff Woods. The decision comes six days before he was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. 

42-year-old Jeff Wood never took a life, but the state is trying to take his next Wednesday.

A petition to stop the death row inmate's execution is now on the governor's desk. Thousands of people have signed it, trying to grant him clemency.

Now, Wood's family is speaking out since he can't.

Steven Been came from San Antonio to Austin to fight.

"I'm here to try to save Jeff, save my brother-in-law," Been said. "He's not a murderer and never was. He was my best friend."

Thursday morning, he delivered the clemency petition with more than 10,000 signatures to the governor's office and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

"Everyone that knows the truth is really scared for him," Been said.

Jeff Wood is set to be executed for his involvement in the 1996 shooting death of Kerrville gas station clerk Kriss Keeran.

However, he did not shoot and kill Keeran. His friend, Daniel Reneau, was put to death in 2002 for that crime.
Court documents show Wood drove Renau to the gas station.

"What it was is that they had stopped there and Danny had told Jeff that he was going in for Gatorade," Been said.

Been said Wood was sitting inside the truck when Renau killed the clerk.

"He told me, 'Danny came running out with a gun in one hand and a cash box in the other, he pointed the gun at me and told me to come inside,'" Been said. "He's not a murderer and never was."

People across the world have signed the petition, saying Wood was wrongly sentenced to death under Texas' law of parties.

This law states that anyone involved in a crime resulting in death is equally responsible, even if they weren’t directly involved in the actual killing.

"To charge somebody else for the same crime that they did not commit, I don't agree with that," Been said. "It's wrong."

Texas State Representative Jeff Leach, of Plano, agrees and said on Twitter "I simply do not believe that Mr. Wood is deserving of the death sentence."

"I'm hoping that they let him go," said Bella Sanford, Jeff Wood's childhood friend. "I mean, 20 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit?"

Wood's family and friends say there's still time for the parole board to recommend Wood's sentence be changed.

"Hopefully, they'll have a heart and look into the case," Wood’s nephew, Nicholas Been, said.

If they do, Texas Governor Greg Abbott can accept or reject their recommendation.

Without it, all he can do is issue a one-time, 30-day delay of execution.

KVUE reached out to the Governor's office for a comment but did not hear back.

Tonight, Wood's family is pushing people to read more about his story. You can find that and the petition here.

(© 2017 KVUE)


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