Execution date set for East Texas man who beat toddler with a hammer in alleged exorcism

Crime

RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – An East Texas man has received an execution date for the brutal murder of a toddler when he was just 18.

30-year-old Blaine Milam, of Henderson, is set to die January 21, 2021, for the murder of Amora Carson back in 2008. Carson was his girlfriend’s daughter and was just 13 months old at the time of her death.

Investigators found that the pair had beaten Amora to death with a hammer in an alleged exorcism and her body was found riddled with bite marks.

The child’s mother, Jessica Carson, and Milam were both found guilty in 2011. Milam was given the death penalty while Jessica was sentenced to life without parole.

Milam was initially set to die back in January 2019, but was given a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals just one day before the sentence was to be carried out.

The court objected to the bite mark science used back at trial, which has largely been discredited, as well as the trial court needing to look closer at his lawyer’s claims of intellectual disability.

In 2017, the Supreme Court tossed Texas’ method of determining intellectual disability for those facing executions. According to TDCJ, Milam dropped out of school after the fourth grade.

The court wrote in its stay: “Because of recent changes in the science pertaining to bite mark comparisons and recent changes in the law pertaining to the issue of intellectual disability … we therefore stay his execution and remand these claims to the trial court for a review of the merits of these claims.”

Last year, the new guidelines for intellectual disability more than likely kept a Smith County man from eventually being executed.

Zavala Garcia pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of Kayla Gomez in Bullard back in 2016. Jacob Putman, the Smith County DA pursued the death penalty for Garcia.

However, under the new definitions, Garcia was classified as intellectually disabled. Due to this, the only sentencing option available under Texas law was life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“If there was any legal way to ensure that Mr. Zavala-Garcia would face the death penalty, I would persist. However, I took an oath to uphold the rule of law,” said Putman at the time.

If Milam were to be put to death next year, it would be the first execution ever for a crime in Rusk County.

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