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Liar, liar, can't lie to the needle

Mario Swain
Texas Prison System

On December 28, 2002, 44 year old Lola Nixon’s friends called the police after she did not show up for dinner the night before and they could not locate her the next day. Police went to Nixon’s house on Iris Circle in Longview, Texas, and discovered evidence of forced entry and blood throughout the house.
Police focused their investigation on a truck that one of Nixon’s neighbors said was parked in front of a vacant house on Nixon’s block the night before. The truck was registered to Mario Swain’s grandfather, and when investigators spoke with him, he told them his grandson had been using the truck.
Detective Terry Davis spoke with Swain on the phone, and Swain told him he could come speak with him where he worked, at a residential treatment center. Detectives Davis and Jim Nelson drove to the address Swain had given and Swain’s grandfather’s truck was parked in the driveway.
Swain came out and met them in front of the open garage door. They asked him why his truck was seen parked on Iris Circle the night before, and Swain told them that he had gone riding with a friend and ended up parking his truck there. One of the detectives told Swain that this was his opportunity to come clean, which prompted Swain say, the night before, he and a friend, Casey Porter, broke into a house on Iris Circle and when the owner came home, Porter attacked her. They put the woman, who was alive but unconscious, in the trunk of her car and drove to a remote location near the airport where they left her.
Swain took the detectives to the place where he said he and Porter had left the woman. Swain rode in the back
of the detectives’ car and directed them to a field where they discovered blood, a black trash bag, and a piece of a tire jack, but they did not find Nixon.
Detective Davis testified in court he did not recall handcuffing Swain at any point while they were at Swain’s workplace or while Swain rode in their car, and that he administered Miranda warnings to Swain when he got into the detectives’ car.
Detective Nelson testified that he handcuffed Swain at some point “when we were in the garage talking” and “at that point, we told him we were going to detain him.” The detectives then took him to the Longview Police Department. There, he was read his Miranda rights again and he gave several written statements. In his first statement—which included an acknowledgment that he had the “right to remain silent and not make any statement at all and . . . the right to have a lawyer present” Swain admitted that he participated in burglarizing Nixon’s house, but accused Porter alone of assaulting her.
Police arrested Porter, but soon discovered that he had an alibi. The detectives confronted Swain with this information and after they informed him of his rights again, Swain provided a second written statement. This statement also included
an acknowledgment “that I have the right to remain silent” and “to have a lawyer present.” Swain again admitted to participating in the burglary; however, this time, he claimed a man named Brian Mason Woods was his accomplice and that Woods had assaulted Nixon.
As with Porter, police questioned Woods and discovered that he had an alibi. Several hours later, Swain was charged with burglary of a habitation and was taken before a magistrate who read him his rights in accordance with Texas law. Swain was then taken to the district attorney’s office where a different detective and an investigator with the DA’s Office
questioned him.
He agreed to lead them to Nixon’s body, and directed them to a vehicle containing her corpse that was close to where he had first led Detectives Davis and Nelson.
Nixon had been beaten over the head and stabbed in the chest. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death was
“homicidal violence, including sharp force injuries, blunt force injuries, and probable strangulation.”
After disclosing the location of Nixon’s body, Swain was taken back to police headquarters. There, Detective Davis read him his rights again and Swain gave a third written statement. As with the previous two, this statement included an acknowledgment of “the right to remain silent” and “the right to have a lawyer present.” This time, Swain admitted that
he had committed the burglary on his own.
He also confessed the burglary ended in a struggle with Nixon when she returned home and that he bludgeoned her
with a tire tool and placed her semi-conscious body into the trunk of her car and drove her to a field where he left her while she was breathing but barely conscious. Then he returned to her home where he stole her money, jewelry and credit/debit cards.
Later, police found the tire tool that Swain had used to bludgeon Nixon; they also searched Swain’s truck and found clothing with Nixon’s blood on it and Nixon’s car keys and garage door opener.
Swain was tried for capital murder and, over his objection, his several statements were introduced against him. After a three-day trial, a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld his conviction and sentence; and the Supreme Court denied review.
Mario Swain is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas on November 8, 2012. He will be 33 year old.

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