Texas woman on death row gets new sentencing trial

November 2, 2011 - 12:55 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — One of 10 women on death row in Texas won a new sentencing trial Wednesday after an appeals court agreed that prosecutors improperly withheld evidence at her original punishment hearing.

Chelsea Richardson, 27, was convicted of masterminding the slayings of her boyfriend's parents so her boyfriend could inherit their $1.56 million estate. She was 19 at the time of the December 2003 killings.

Her appeal focused on what her attorney said was a prosecutor's failure to give Richardson's trial lawyers notes from a psychologist that suggested another woman masterminded the plot to kill Rick and Suzanna Wamsley, of Mansfield.

Tarrant County prosecutors didn't dispute the material was withheld but argued the notes would not have changed the outcome of the jury's decision to send Richardson to death row.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday sent the case back to Tarrant County for a new punishment hearing.

Richardson's boyfriend, Andrew Wamsley, and the other woman, Susana Toledano, are serving life prison terms in the case. Toledano took prosecutors' plea deal and testified against Richardson and Wamsley, who also was convicted at trial.