Retired HPD officer continues campaign for second suspect to die in death chamber


by Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 8:03 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- A retired Houston Police Officer watched Tuesday night as the man who killed his wife was put to death. Now he plans to continue his campaign to see a second suspect meet the same fate.

Susan Canfield was a correctional officer guarding inmates working outside the Wynne Unit September 24, 2007. Jerry Duane Martin, an inmate serving 50 years for attempted capital murder, escaped along with fellow inmate John Falk Jr., who was serving a life term for murder.

The men stole a City of Huntsville truck and sped away, striking Canfield who was on horseback. Her head hit the hood and windshield of the truck and the men left her to die.

Both men were captured that same afternoon. And as he was brought back to prison that day, Martin told KHOU 11 News why he considered an officer’s life worth his escape.

“Because I don’t have nothing left to lose. I’m down here for a crime I didn’t commit in the first place,” Martin said referring to his original attempted murder sentence.

Convicted of Canfield’s murder in 2009 Martin agreed to give up the appeals process and choose death over life in prison.

“I don’t feel any anger toward Jerry Martin. He is serving what he should get,” said Susan Canfield’s husband Chuck Canfield, a retired Houston Police officer who was among the witnesses at Tuesday’s execution. “He owned up. Good enough. There’s no need for us to carry it any further. It’s time to do what we need to do.”

He attended every court hearing leading up to Tuesday’s execution and said he wanted to make sure justice was served.

“To be there, to represent her, to know that he paid a price for what he did to her. That he is paying the price he should have to pay. I’m done with Jerry Martin. I just need to be there for the end. I’m gonna see the end. He deserves the end. He should get the end.”

A mistrial was declared in John Falk Jr.’s case. Canfield believes a new trial will eventually be set and that he deserves and eventually will see the death chamber too.