Murder victim’s niece weighs in after Supreme Court sides with death row inmate

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The niece of a 1980 murder victim said Thursday that she is “accepting the inevitable” two days after the Supreme Court ruled that Texas courts must reconsider whether death row inmate Bobby Moore is intellectually disabled and thus exempt from execution.

On April 25, 1980, Moore fatally shot elderly store clerk James McCarble during a robbery at Houston’s Birdsall Super Market, not far from Memorial Park. He told police he and his two accomplices picked the store because two elderly people were running the customer service booth, and the cashier was pregnant.

McCarble’s niece Marti Jones was 30 at the time. She and other relatives pushed for the death penalty for decades.

“He went to the trouble of killing my uncle,” said Jones, now 67. “He leaned over and looked at my uncle … and shot him. He could’ve taken the money that he already had and run.”

Family members joined the prison’s mailing list to follow the case, Jones said. The past 37 years of litigation included at least two execution dates, one stayed just 10 hours in advance.

After the Supreme Court’s intervention this week, Jones said she thinks her family is “accepting the inevitable”: Moore likely will never be executed.

“I’m OK with him not dying. I don’t care, I really don’t care,” Jones said. “After this long in prison, hopefully he’s learned his lesson.”

Jones recalled that her uncle took her to church as a child. More than 15 years ago, she told the Chronicle about McCarble, who worked 35 years at the Birdsall Super Market.

“He was a very giving man, a religious man,” Jones said in 2001 after Moore received his second death sentence. “He often paid for people’s groceries when they couldn’t afford them.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling struck down the test that Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals developed to help determine whether someone is intellectually disabled, sending Moore’s case back for reconsideration.

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