Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Friday, May 26, 2000



AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Ricky Nolen McGinn who is scheduled to be executed after Thursday, June 1st.

In June 1995, Ricky Nolen McGinn was found guilty and sentenced to death for the May 1993 murder of his 12-year-old stepdaughter.


On the morning of May 22, 1993, Janet McGinn, Ricky Nolen McGinn's wife, left her home in Brownwood, Texas for a trip to Arlington. She left her 12-year-old daughter, Stephanie Flanary, in the care of McGinn. McGinn and Stephanie spent the day alone together. Three days later, police found Stephanie's lifeless, broken body in a culvert off of Highway 183 in Brownwood, approximately three miles from the McGinn residence. She had been sexually assaulted and died as a result of four wounds to her head inflicted by an ax.

McGinn claimed that he spent the day working on his truck and fishing in the tank behind his house. McGinn said Stephanie also swam in the tank, fished, and watched McGinn work on his truck. McGinn said while he worked on the truck, he and Stephanie drank beer together - enough beer to make Stephanie sick. McGinn claims that Stephanie then took a nap induced by drinking, woke up, and then left on a walk from which she never returned. According to McGinn, after realizing that Stephanie was missing late that afternoon, he notified his friend Steven Sirois but failed to notify the police until 9:30 p.m. When the authorities arrived at McGinn's house, the authorities, along with volunteers, searched the premises.

The next day members of the sheriff's department returned with several dogs trained for searches. One dog, trained to find cadavers, barked at the back of McGinn's hatchback. The police discovered numerous blood splatters in McGinn's car which he said were splatters of blood from the fish he had caught the day before. Testing identified blood splatters throughout the car as human blood. Blood found in the spare tire well matched Stephanie's blood type, type A. And tests run on a blood stain on the back of the drivers seat scientifically excluded McGinn's blood, matched Stephanie's, and excluded 96.4 percent of the population as possible donors. Similarly, blood found on the metal frame of the trunk scientifically excluded 99.59 percent of possible donors. Blood found on the plastic liner of the back seat and on the rear bumper guard scientifically excluded 99.56 percent of all possible donors. And blood found on the metal frame of the vehicle scientifically excluded 99.99 percent of all possible donors. Hair sticking to a blood stain in McGinn's car matched Stephanie's.

The Department of Public Safety analyzed the blood discovered on an ax found under the seat of McGinn's pickup truck, the truck McGinn had worked on the day of the murder, and determined through enzyme testing that the sample matched Stephanie's blood and excluded 93.1 percent of possible donors. PCR DNA analysis also matched the blood on the ax to Stephanie's blood and excluded 99.99 percent of possible donors. Reverse paternity DNA testing confirmed that the blood on the ax matched Stephanie's blood and excluded 99.9999999 percent of possible donors. In addition, hair found in the blood on the ax matched Stephanie's. Furthermore, McGinn's right tennis shoe, which he was wearing on the day of Stephanie's murder and at the time investigators arrived at his house, had blood stains identified as human blood. The stain on his left tennis shoe matched Stephanie's blood type.

Underwear worn by McGinn when the police took him into custody had a stain containing human blood, and shorts he had been wearing when the sheriff's officers first arrived on the scene revealed a type A blood stain. McGinn changed into blue jeans during the course of the evening of the initial investigation. These jeans had blood stains, established by DNA evidence as matching Stephanie's blood and excluding all but one in 900,000 other possible donors.

Semen was found on the victim's shorts. A pubic hair recovered during the autopsy of Stephanie Flanary matched McGinn's.


McGinn was indicted on June 10, 1993, in the 35th Judicial District of Brown County, Texas, for the offense of capital murder of Stephanie Flanary in the course of committing and attempting to commit aggravated sexual assault. McGinn was tried before a jury upon a plea of not guilty, and the jury found him guilty of the capital offense on June 5, 1995. On June 7, 1995, after a separate punishment hearing, the jury answered the first special punishment issue in the affirmative, and the second special punishment issue in the negative. In accordance with Texas state law, the trial court assessed McGinn's punishment at death.

Because McGinn was sentenced to death, appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was automatic. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence on Jan. 21, 1998.

McGinn did not petition the United States Supreme Court for writ of certiorari. McGinn also filed an application for writ of habeas corpus in the convicting court. On July 8, 1998, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied McGinn habeas corpus relief. McGinn's petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the United States Supreme Court on Nov. 2, 1998.

McGinn then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal district court on Sept. 14, 1998. After conducting a hearing, the district court denied habeas relief on Jan. 20, 1999, and denied permission to appeal on Feb. 24, 1999. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied permission to appeal on Oct. 22, 1999. On Nov. 2, 1999, McGinn filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on Feb. 22, 2000. McGinn also filed a second state application for habeas relief which was dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeals on Mar. 29, 2000. McGinn is currently seeking permission to file a second federal habeas petition from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Evidence was introduced at trial that, on Aug. 1, 1986, McGinn threatened Pamela Adams with a knife and forced her to remove her clothes and undress him. He then forced her into sex acts with him. Evidence was also produced to show that in Apr. of 1985, McGinn assaulted Sonya Vaughn, at the time a sophomore at Abilene Christian University, when she refused to have sex with him. McGinn punched her several times in the head with his fists, and subsequently engaged in sexual intercourse with Vaughn. Latasha McGinn, McGinn's 12-year-old daughter, testified that she was sexually assaulted by McGinn in 1987, when Latasha was three or four years old. McGinn threatened to kill his daughter and her mother if Latasha ever told anyone. As a result of this incident, Latasha began bleeding whenever she went to the bathroom. A doctor recommended that she go to the emergency room, where she received a catheter to help her urinate. A couple of years later, when Latasha's mother, Imogene Bible, attempted to prevent McGinn from visiting with her alone, McGinn threatened to beat Bible to death with a stick he brought with him, and threatened to break the door down.


McGinn's own testimony indicated that he and Stephanie Flanary drank beer together on the day of the murder until Stephanie vomited and lost consciousness due to alcohol poisoning.

SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS 06/12/2000 Thomas Wayne Mason (Smith County)
06/14/2000 John Albert Burks (McLennan County)
06/15/2000 Paul Selso Nuncio (Hale County)
06/22/2000 Gary Graham (Harris County)
06/28/2000 Joe Lee Guy (Hale County)
06/29/2000 Jessy Carlos San Miguel (Dallas County)


If this execution is carried out, it will be the 219th execution since executions resumed in Texas in December 1982 and the 55th since General Cornyn took office.

This cases is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Wymer in the Capital Litigation Division.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050