Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, November 14, 2001


Emerson Edward Rudd Scheduled to be Executed

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Emerson Edward Rudd, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2001.

On March 17, 1989, Rudd was sentenced for the capital murder of Steve Morgan, which occurred in Dallas County, Texas, on September 2, 1988. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows.


On September 2, 1988, 18-year-old Emerson Edward Rudd intentionally shot Steve Morgan during a robbery at a Captain D's restaurant in Dallas County. The victim was a manager of the restaurant and married with a young child.

When the victim told Rudd that Captain D's did not have large amounts of money, Rudd leveled his weapon and shot him in the abdomen at close range. While the conscious victim lay wounded on the floor, Rudd threatened a 4-month-old child unless the mother, who worked at the restaurant, cooperated in finding money. Rudd later threatened another employee of the restaurant.

Rudd and his companions eventually left the Captain D's and committed aggravated robbery at another restaurant. Later that evening, Rudd bragged to his friends about having shot Morgan at Captain D's, saying, "(the victim) tried to be a hero, so (Rudd) made him a zero." Rudd also told others that he had to shoot the "whore" (Morgan) when he said Captain D's did not have a lot of money. Steve Morgan died a few hours later at a hospital.


On September 20, 1988, Rudd was indicted for capital murder for causing the death of Steve Morgan during the course of committing and attempting to commit the offense of robbery. The jury found him guilty of capital murder on March 10, 1989. After a separate hearing on punishment, the jury affirmatively answered both special issues required to assess the death penalty. In accordance with state law, the trial court then sentenced Rudd to death by lethal injection. On September 22, 1993, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction on direct appeal. On June 30, 1994, the Supreme Court denied certiorari review.

Next, Rudd sought state collateral relief in the convicting court. The trial court recommended that relief be denied and, upon review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, relief was denied on October 29, 1997. Rudd filed his federal application for habeas corpus on May 1, 1998. On September 8, 2000, the district court entered its order adopting the magistrate's findings and recommendations and denied relief. Rudd filed an application for a certificate of appealability with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 3, 2001. His application was denied on June 28, 2001. On August 27, 2001, Rudd filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied his petition on October 29, 2001.


During the punishment phase of trial, the State presented evidence that Rudd was placed on probation as a juvenile for the offenses of aggravated robbery, two aggravated assaults and theft. Rudd subsequently violated his probation and was placed in juvenile detention where he continued to commit acts of violence by fighting and stealing. The State further presented evidence that after being released from juvenile detention, Rudd robbed five fast food establishments between August 13, 1988, and August 25, 1988, the weeks immediately preceding the robbery and murder of Steve Morgan. Finally, the State presented evidence that Rudd robbed a Mr. Jim's Pizza later that same evening of the Captain D's robbery and a Pizza Inn two days later.


For additional information and statistics, please log on to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website,

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