Family upset after death row verdict of father's murderer is commuted

Court of Criminal Appeals: Pedro Sosa not mentally competent

WILSON COUNTY, Texas – A ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that convicted killer Pedro Sosa’s death sentence be commuted to life in prison is being criticized by the family of Wilson County Deputy Sheriff Ollie Childress.

The court ruled that Sosa is not mentally competent and should not be executed.

It has been almost 35 years since Childress was killed.

RELATED: Death row inmate who killed deputy has sentence reduced

Sosa, now 55, shot the deputy to death during a Nov. 1983 bank robbery.

Records show Childress was abducted by Sosa and his nephew and used as a hostage in the bank holdup. He subsequently was killed with his own gun.

“I disagree with it 100 percent,” said Childress’ son, Roger Childress. “What Pedro Sosa did to my father back in ’83 was cold blooded-murder.”

Current Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt, Jr. also takes exception to the commutation.

“This was a cold-blooded murder,” Tackitt said. “I think he should have been executed years ago.”


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About the Author

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

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