AXTELL, Texas — A man on Texas death row for a triple murder in Axtell will be put to death on Feb. 28, a judge ordered Wednesday.
"It’s still another waiting game. It’s taken a long time and it shouldn’t take this long. Hopefully nothing will get in the way and it will happen and then it’ll finally be over” said JR Vicha, the son of one of the victims.
Billy Wayne Coble has been on death row for almost three decades for the slayings of the parents of his estranged wife, Robert and Zelda Vicha, and her brother, Waco police Sgt. Bobby Vicha.
“Regardless of tragedies we are very close and blessed by love and grateful for all of the support,” said Anne Marie, granddaughter and niece of the victims.
Cobble lost a federal court appeal in April, which moved him closer to execution.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said unreliable and fabricated testimony from two expert prosecution witnesses at the 2008 punishment retrial of Coble was not unconstitutional and didn't harm his case. In 2007, the court threw out Coble's original death sentence and ordered a new punishment trial.
"Justice for these families has been a long time coming," said McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna. "I'm glad that with today's hearing we are one step closer to fulfilling the jury's verdict."
The former electrician was convicted of capital murder in the 1989 shooting deaths of his estranged wife's parents, Robert and Zelda Vicha, and his wife's brother, Waco police Sgt. Bobby Vicha, at their Axtell homes.