State-administered death is always a greater horror than any other by virtue of the methodical reasoning that precedes it. French philosopher Albert Camus wrote that "capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders". "The United States' concept of justifiable homicide/Executions in criminal law stands on the dividing line between an excuse, justification and an exculpation. In other words, it takes a case that would otherwise have been a murder or another crime representing intentional killing, and either excuses or justifies the individual accused from all criminal liability or treats the accused differently from other intentional killers.

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An Execution Date set


Luis Ramirez  (#999309

 Texas, Huntsville   


"...NO.. I won’t be the first to die because of shady evidence and I’m probably not going to be the last. "

Oct. 20, 2005, 6:18 p.m.

Associated Press
Luis Ramirez

HUNTSVILLE - Professing his innocence, Luis Ramirez was executed Thursday night for organizing and carrying out what authorities said was a murder-for-hire scheme that culminated in the shotgun slaying of a San Angelo firefighter who was dating his ex-wife.

"I did not kill your loved one, but I hope that one day you find out who did," Ramirez told four siblings of Nemecio Nandin. "I wish I could tell you the reason why or give some kind of solace. You lost someone you love very much, the same as my family and friends are going to lose in a few minutes."

Ramirez was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.

Ramirez, 42, denied any involvement in the 1998 murder of Nandin, 29, whose body was found in a shallow grave in a rural area about 25 miles northeast of San Angelo.

source:  Houston Chronicle  -  News Link


Scheduled execution date: October 20, 2005  

Interview with Luis Ramirez # 999309 to be executed on October 20th 2005

Question.. Your name is Luis Ramirez ?

Answer.. Yes.

Q. So Luis the state plans to execute you on Oct. 20th is that right ?

A. That’s right.. It’s their plan

Q. What are you convicted of ?

A. Well, the state gives a choice here. I was either convicted of murdering Nemicio Nandin . Or of paying to have him killed. Or both.

Q. Are you guilty of this ?

A. No… I am not..

Q. Why do they say he was killed ?

A. the DA said he was killed because I was jealous that he dated my ex-wife.

Q. Any truth to this?

A. I don’t know if he dated her or not. I had never heard of him until he went missing

Q. What do you mean ?

A. They say he was killed on April 8th, 1998. A few days later I don’t’ know the exact date.. I heard on my car radio that a man by this name was missing. I didn’t know anyone by that name so I paid very little attention to it.

Q. So you didn’t know him.

A. that’s right. I did not know him.

Q. Who do they say you paid to kill Mr. Nandin ?

A. A man named Edward Bell

Q. Did you pay him ?

A. No, I don’t even know him.

Q. How did they connect you to him ?

A. they claim we worked together.

Q. Did you ?

A. No, there were only a handful of people working in that office. I knew them all. And he wasn’t one of them.

Q. Can you prove this ?

A. A simple check of the company’s employment records should do that. I’ve mentioned it to my lawyer. But he hasn’t acted on it.

Q. Why not ? This would seem important

A. Who knows ? He’s a court appointed .. They don’t’ get much money to help us. They do the minimum. They basically pay them only enough to lose.

Q. Okay.. Who said that Bell worked there ?

A. I believe it was Tim Hoogstra. He’s the states star witness. He’s also a paid informant. They have no tangible evidence in this case. They want you to rely solely on Hoogstra’s testimony for everything.

Q. What else did this informant say ?

A. It’s basically “hearsay”. He said that Bell told him that I paid him $1000. To murder Nandin. But that I did it myself. Bell never testified . Nor has he ever given a statement to corroborate Hoogstra’s testimony.

Q. You’re saying you were convicted solely on this mans word ?

A. Yes, his testimony is all they have. There is no physical evidence, forensic or scientific evidence. No DNA .. No witnesses.. No murder weapon. No evidence of payment.. And they cannot place me at the crime scene.

Q. You say they can’t place you at the crime scene ?

A. right.. I have an alibi witness. She places me at her property, 100 miles away.. At about the time the police say that Mr. Nandin was being murdered.

Q. And the jury heard this alibi ?

A. No, my trial lawyer never talked to her.

Q. Why not? Didn’t they know about her ?

A. I told the second chair attorney, Gonzalo Rios about her. He did most of the leg work concerning the investigation. He had Ms. Raby’s ( my alibi witness) information in his files. I can only guess at why he didn’t’ talk to her. What I didn’t’ know back then. And what Mr. Rios has never disclosed.. Is that he and his family were victim’s of a capital murder .. His brother and a cousin were murdered together. Another cousin was left wounded . Knowing that he’s a victim , it’s not hard to imagine that his objectivity in this investigation may have been compromised. His brother and cousin were shot with a shotgun at close range. Mr. Rios may have identified with the victim’s family. Maybe on some subconscious level he chose to overlook this alibi witness.. I don’t’ know. What I do know is that if I had known he was a victim I would not have wanted him to represent me.

Q. Has this alibi witness ever testified ?

A. Yes, she testified at an evidentiary hearing in April of 2001. It was before Judge Ben Woodward. Her testimony directly contradicted Hoogstra’s testimony about me being at the crime scene to commit this murder.

Q. The jury didn’t hear this testimony ?

A. No .. Only the judge.

Q. What was his opinion ?

A. Well, its kind of absurd. He ruled that in his opinion , had the jury heard this alibi testimony that it would not have made a difference in the outcome of the trial.

Q. But you disagree “

A. Yes, Hoogstra’s testimony about me actually murdering Nandin had to mislead the jury. Ms. Raby’s testimony would have served to impeach him. Without Hoogstra’s testimony there is no case against me. Now, after the fact, the state admits that I wasn’t there to kill Nandin but they say it doesn’t matter. According to them. I’m still guilty because I paid to have it done.

Q. What evidence do they have that you paid for this murder ?

A. None. Absolutely none. They have no bank records, cash, check, or money order to support their theory. They want you to believe Hoogstra. Who said that Bell told him he was paid. Even though the state admits there are problems with his testimony. He was wrong when he said that Bell told him I was there to actually commit this murder. Both of their theories are not supported by any evidence. They want you to rely solely on Hoogstra’s word.

Q. Can you tell me anything about Hoogstra that would call his credibility into question ?

A. I don’t’ know him personally but I have learned various things about him through the course of this case. I know that he’s a self described daily drug abuser. He admitted he was getting high with Bell. When Bell supposedly told him that I killed Nandin. He was Bell’s drug dealer. The state paid him $500 prior to his testifying. They help some shoplifting and other charges over him too. And he and Bell were conspiring to murder a man named “Juan Lira”, this is after Nandin went missing. Hoogstra was apparently going to pay Bell $500 to kill him. It was in a dispute over drugs. He was a police informant. They cleaned him up and trotted him before the jury. And not they admit that what he said was wrong. He can hardly be seen as credible.

Q. So you didn’t even know Hoogstra ?

A. No.. I did not.

Q. Okay let’s go back to their jealousy theory.. Did your ex-wife testify ?

A. Yes, she said I was obsessed with her. That I’m not a nice guy and that I threatened anyone she dated.

Q. Were you possessed with her ?

A. No. In fact the whole thing makes no sense. We did have our disputes. But it was about her messing with my visitation with our kids.

Q. You said being obsessed with her makes no sense. Explain?

A. My ex-wife Dawn Holquin had been having affairs while we were still married. We have been married about three months when she had her first .. It was with some Arab dude she met in Utah. I knew about most of them. I didn’t threaten or murder this Arab dude. And we were newly weds. It makes no sense to kill somebody who may have been seeing her 3 years after our divorce .

Q. No, it doesn’t. the jury hear about this ?

A. No.. My lawyers didn’t’ want to bring it in. “Trial Stragegy” they called it.

Q. You have another ex-wife don’t you ?

A. Yeah

Q. Did she testify ? And what did she say about you being jealous ?

A. She did testify. She said that I am not a jealous man. And she’s known me since I was 16.

Q. Is there anything about your trial that you’re not comfortable with ?

A. Oh yes.. It begins with jury selection. We did a shuffle. It’s suppose to be random. But the computer left two jurors off the list. The judge (Alcale) simple added them to the end. This isn’t random. Also the state used strike to exclude a potential black juror..

Q. I just read the Miller-El Supreme Court ruling. Tell me more about this. Did it result in an all white jury?

A. It did result in an all white jury. By agreement the DA and my lawyers . Had agreed to release anyone under the age of 21 by agreement.. And we did in fact release several young potential jurors. Without so much as asking them one question. A young Black woman named “Felicia Teagle “ was called. I think she was 20 at the time. And instead of the DA (J. Bryan Clayton) asking to release her. He began to question her . I told my lawyer (Randol Stout) that if the state didn’t’ strike her to not ask her any questions . To just accept her. He asked me why I wanted to do this.. And I told him that I liked Ms. Teagle as a juror.. But that I felt we could make the state use one of their strikes. I told him he would strike her because of her race.

Q. And did the DA strike her ?

A. Yeah.. He passed the witness and as soon as we accepted her he jumped up and struck her. He had found nothing wrong with her during his questioning . So we accused him of striking her because of her race. And we had a Batson hearing. The DA agued that he struck her because of her age. And even though we pointed out that everyone else her age was released by agreement.. Judge Alcala sided with the state. Later, this judge admitted he had made a bad ruling on this Batson hearing.. We were down to picking the alternates and he offered to let us have Ms. Teagle as an alternate.. Which is next to useless the alternates do not vote the case.

Q. So you ended up with an all white jury ?

A. Yes.

Q. Sounds like Miller-El material to me ..

A. Tell it to my lawyer. He won’t raise it that way.

Q. Anything else ?

A. Well just that the state’s case is so weak that several times the jury was deadlocked. This is why Ms. Raby’s alibi testimony would have been so important… I believe that had they heard her it would have made the difference between guilt or innocence. The case is so weak. That while the jury was deliberating guilt or innocence I was offered a 20 year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.. Had I been guilty I would have taken that. And I wouldn’t be facing death now.

Q. Okay let me see if I have this straight .. The state says you murdered Nandin out of jealousy ?

A. right.

Q. But you can prove you are not jealous ?

A. right.

Q. And you can prove you didn’t kill Nandin. You were not there when he was killed?

A. Right. Using Hoogstras’ testimony they mislead the jury into believing that I actually killed Nandin Bow they admit that I didn’t ..

Q. But they say you’re still guilty because you paid , right ?

A. That’s what they say. But the only proof of payment comes from Hoogstras testimony. And he’s already been proven to be unreliable.

Q. Is there anywhere that a person can find more information about your case ?

A. Yes there is a web site with my information on this case ..

Q. Okay this case does seem thin. And based on this seemingly faulty information. You face an execution ?

A. yes..

Q. Tell me about yourself .. Even been in trouble with the law.

A. No .. Before this case I had a clean record.. Not so much as a parking ticket.

Q. Tell me about yourself personally.

A. Well I have three wonderful children. I was a doting dad. I’m a veteran of the U.S. Military. I was still serving as a combat medic in the reserves. I had a decent job. I worked for a mortgage company. I let a very quiet life. I was either at work or at home I wasn’t running the streets. Or getting into trouble.

Q. How are your family and friends taking this execution date ?

A. Well my mom and family are taking it very hard.. My friends , well everyone is afraid. My oldest son is taking it real hard too. I don’t’ know if my youngest kids know about it. My ex forbids me any form of contact with them. I don’t even know where they live anymore.

Q. You say you’re an innocent man heading to the death house.. Do you believe that you will be the first ?

A. No. I do not. For many years the state of Texas proudly proclaimed that they had never executed an innocent man.. They cannot say that anymore. They murdered Cameron Todd Willingham.. I didn’t’ know Mr. Willingham but I read about his case. He was convicted of arson/murder that took the lives of his daughters. Arson Investigators at the time said that “spider” webbing on the glass and burn patterns on the floor proved it was arson. More modern studies have concluded that these are not indications of arson. These are common in most fires. Mr. Willingham professed his innocence until the moment of his death. His please fell on deaf ears. Ironically the same evidence that got Mr. Willingham murdered by the state set Ernest Willis free. He was also convicted of an arson/murder based on the same type of evidence. And the state still has the audacity to say that the death penalty is not applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner.
So NO.. I won’t be the first to die because of shady evidence and I’m probably not going to be the last.

Q. Any personal message you’d like to get out ?

A. Yeah.. To my children.. I want them to know that I’ve always loved them. And that will never stop. To my family and friends.. That I love them too. And to be strong for me.. Let’s keep hope alive that something good will happen before October 20th..





What's In the Brown Paper Bag ?
By Luis Ramirez #999309

I'm about the share with you a story who's telling is long past due. It's a familiar story to most of you reading this from death row. And now it's one that all of you in "free world" may benefit from. This is the story of my first day on the row.

I came here in May of 1999. The exact date is something that I can't recall.

I do remember arriving in the afternoon . I was placed in a cell on H-20 wing over at the Ellis Unit in Huntsville, Tx. A Tsunami of emotions and thoughts were going through my mind at the time. I remember the only things in the cell were a mattress, pillow, a couple of sheets, a pillow case, a roll of toilet paper ,, and a blanket .. I remember sitting there, utterly lost.

The first person I met there was Napolean Beasley. Back then, death row
prisoners still worked . His job at the time was to clean up the wing and help serve during meal times. He was walking around sweeping the pod in these ridiculous looking rubber boots. He came up to the bars on my cell and asked me if I was new.. I told him that I had just arrived on d/r. He asked what my name is. I told him., not seeing any harm in it. He then stepped back where he could see all three tiers. He hollered at everyone, "There's a new man here. He just drove up. His name is Luis Ramirez."

When he did that, I didn't know what to make of it at first. I thought I had made some kind of mistake. You see ? Like most of you, I was of the impression that everyone on d/r was evil. I thought I would find hundreds of "Hannibal Lecter's in here. And now , they all knew my name. I thought "Oh well," that's strike one. I was sure that they would soon begin harassing me. This is what happens in the movies after all.

Well, that's not what happened . After supper was served. Napolean was
once again sweeping the floors. As he passed my cell, He swept a brown
paper bag into it. I asked him "What's this"? He said for me to look inside and continued on his way . Man, I didn't know what to expect. I was certain it was something bad. Curiosity did get the best of me though. I carefully opened the bag. What I found was the last thing I ever expected to find on death row, and everything I needed. The bag contained some stamps, envelopes notepad, pen, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brush, a pastry, a soda, and a couple of Ramen noodles. I remember asking Napolean where this came from ?

He told me that everyone had pitched in . That they knew that I didn't
have anything and that it may be a while before I could get them. I asked him to find out who had contributed . I wanted to pay them back. He said, "It's not like that . Just remember the next time you see someone come here like you.You pitch in something ?"

I sat there on my bunk with my brown paper bag of goodies, and thought about what had just happened to me. The last things I expected to find on death row was kindness and generosity. I thought of how many times I had seen "good people" of the world, pass by some man, woman, or child holding a sign that read, "Hungry, or will work for food."  I'm guilty of the same. I just passed them by. By the end of the block, or upon reaching my destination . That poor, hungry, tattered, and perhaps dirty , soul had been forgotten. Lost among my daily challenges and struggles with life. Yet, here on death row Among the worst of the worst . I didn't have to hold up a sign.

They knew what I needed and they took it upon themselves to meet those

They did this without any expectation of reimbursement or compensation. 
They did this for a stranger, not a known friend. I don't know what they felt when they committed this act of incredible kindness. I only know that like them,, twelve "good people" had deemed me beyond redemption. The only remedy that these "good people" could offer us, is death. Somehow what these "good people" saw and what I was seeing didn't add up. How could these men, who just showed me so much, humanity, be considered the "worst of the worst."

It chills me to my core when I think about it. Those twelve "good people" were given this enormous God like responsibility . They had to decide who lives, and who dies. The state of Texas gave them this responsibility. But they didn't give them any God like training. I'm sure that they all meant well. They probably thought, as the DA and judge told them, that they were doing their civic duty. I personally have never considered murder a civic duty. That aside, how many times have we gotten this wrong ? I'm on the inside looking out now. I have that advantage over you. So I can tell you this. I have yet to meet a man here who I feel is beyond redemption. If you took a good look, and I invite you to do that, You may just come to realize how often you have been wrong.

Ever since Napolean was executed, for a crime he committed as a teen. I've wanted to share this story with his family. I've never been able to find anyone with their address. If anyone out there can share this with them, I would appreciate it very much. I would like for them to know that their son was a good man. One who I will never forget. I want for them to know how sorry I am that we as a society failed them and him. I still find it ridiculous that we as a people feel that we cannot teach or love our young properly. I'm appalled at the idea that a teen is beyond redemption, that the only solution that we can offer is death. It's tragic that this is being pointed out to the "good people" by one of the "worst of the worst." God help us all.

What's in the brown paper bag? I found caring, kindness, love, humanity, and compassion of a scale that I've never seen the "good people" in the free world show towards one another.

Luis Ramirez
# 999309
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351

In Memory - Napoleon Baezley



Was ist in dem braunen Papiersack?

Ich werde Euch eine Geschichte erzählen, die schon lange erzählt gehört hätte. Es ist für jene von Euch, die das hier im Todestrakt lesen, eine bekannte Geschichte. Und jetzt ist sie eine, von der Ihr in der "freien Welt" etwas lernen könnt. Das ist die Geschichte meines ersten Tages im Trakt.

Ich kam im Mai 1999 hier an. An das genaue Datum kann ich mich nicht erinnern.

Ich kann mich erinnern, am Nachmittag angekommen zu sein. Ich wurde in eine Zelle im H-20 Flügel des Ellis Gefängnisses in Huntsville, Texas,untergebracht. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt ging ein Sturm von Emotionen und Gedanken durch meinen Kopf. Ich kann mich erinnern, dass in der Zelle nichts anderes war als eine Matratze, ein Kopfkissen, einige Laken, ein Kissenüberzug, eine Rolle Klopapier und eine Decke. Ich erinnere mich,wie ich da saß, im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes verloren.

Der erste Mann, den ich dort kennen lernte, war Napoleon Beazley. Damals arbeiteten die Todestraktgefangenen noch. Sein Job war es damals, den Flügel zu reinigen und bei der Ausgabe der Mahlzeiten zu helfen. Er ging herum und wischte in seinen lustig aussehenden Gummistiefeln den Boden auf. Er kam zu den Gitterstäben meiner Zelle und fragte mich, ob ich neu sei. Ich sagte ihm, dass ich gerade erst im Todestrakt angekommen war.
Er fragte mich nach meinem Namen und ich nannte ihn, da ich kein Problem darin sah. Dann ging er ein wenig zurück und schrie allen zu: "Es gibt einen Neuen. Er ist gerade erst gekommen. Sein Name ist Luis Ramirez.

Als er das tat wusste ich erst mal nicht, was ich davon halten sollte. Ich dachte, dass ich irgendeinen Fehler gemacht habe. Versteht Ihr? Wie die meisten von Euch dachte ich, dass jedermann im Todestrakt böse ist. Ich dachte, dass ich hier auf Hunderte von "Hannibal Lecters" treffen würde. Und jetzt wussten sie alle meinen Namen. Ich dachte: "Na gut, das ist der erste Schlag." Ich war sicher, dass sie bald beginnen würden mich zu belästigen. So geschieht es doch schließlich immer in den Filmen.

Und folgendes geschah: Nachdem das Abendessen gebracht worden ist wischte Napoleon noch einmal die Böden auf. Als er an meiner Zelle vorbei kam, warf er einen braunen Papiersack hinein. Ich fragte ihn: "Was ist das?" Er sagte mir, dass ich hineinsehen sollte und ging weiter. Mann, ich hatte keine Ahnung, was ich erwarten sollte. Ich war sicher, dass es etwas Böses ist. Die Neugierde siegte. Ich öffnete den Sack ganz vorsichtig. Was ich fand war das Letzte, was ich im Todestrakt erwartet hatte, und alles was ich brauchte. Im Sack befanden sich einige Briefmarken, Kuverts, ein Block, ein Kugelschreiber, Seife, Shampoo, Zahnpasta, eine Zahnbürste, ein Kuchen, ein Erfrischungsgetränk und einige Nudelgerichte. Ich erinnere mich, dass ich Napoleon fragte, woher das alles kam.

Er sagte mir, dass alle etwas gegeben haben. Dass sie wüssten, dass ich nichts habe und es eine Weile dauern würde, bis ich etwas besorgen könnte. Ich bat ihn darum herauszufinden, wer etwas gegeben hat. Ich wollte es ihnen zurückgeben. Er sagte: "So läuft das nicht. Erinnere dich einfach daran, etwas hineinzuwerfen, wenn das nächste Mal jemand wie du hierher kommt."

Ich saß da mit meinem braunen Sack voller guter Dinge auf meiner Bank und dachte an das, was mir gerade passiert war. Das Letzte, das ich im Todestrakt erwartet hätte waren Freundlichkeit und Großzügigkeit. Ich dachte daran, wie oft ich gesehen habe, wie "gute Menschen" an einem Mann, einer Frau oder einem Kind vorbeigegangen waren, die ein Schild mit "Hunger" oder "arbeite für Essen" hochgehalten haben. Auch ich bin desselben Verhaltens schuldig. Ich ging einfach an ihnen vorbei. Am Ende des Häuserblocks oder beim Erreichen meines Zieles war die hungrige, lumpige und wahrscheinlich schmutzige Seele bereits vergessen, verloren unter meinen täglichen Herausforderungen und Kämpfen im Leben. Und hier im Todestrakt, unter den Schlimmsten der Schlimmen, musste ich nicht einmal ein Schild hochhalten.

Sie wussten was ich brauchte und sie übernahmen es, mir damit zu helfen.

Sie taten dies, ohne irgendeine Rückzahlung zu erwarten. Sie taten dies für einen Fremden, nicht für einen guten Freund. Ich weiß nicht was sie fühlten, als sie diese unglaubliche Freundlichkeit zeigten. Ich weiß nur, dass zwölf "gute Menschen" sie genauso wie mich als unverbesserlich eingestuft haben. Die einzige Besserung, die diese "guten Menschen" uns bieten konnten war der Tod. Irgendwie passt das, was diese "guten Menschen" gesehen haben und was ich sehe nicht zusammen. Wie können diese Männer, die mir soviel Menschlichkeit bewiesen haben, als die "Schlimmsten der Schlimmen" angesehen werden?

Es erschreckt mich bis ins Mark wenn ich darüber nachdenke. Diesen zwölf "guten Menschen" wurde diese enorme, gottähnliche Verantwortung übertragen. Sie mussten entscheiden wer lebt und wer stirbt. Der Staat Texas gab ihnen diese Verantwortung. Doch er gab ihnen kein gottähnliches Training. Ich bin sicher, dass sie es alle gut gemeint haben. Sie dachten sicherlich, dass sie, wie die Staatsanwaltschaft und der Richter ihnen sagten, ihre Bürgerpflicht erfüllten. Ich persönlich habe Mord niemals als Bürgerpflicht angesehen. Und außerdem, wie oft hat man sich geirrt? Ich habe jetzt das Insiderwissen darüber. Diesen Vorteil habe ich Euch voraus. Also kann ich Euch das erklären. Ich habe bis jetzt keinen Mann hier getroffen, der sich nicht verbessern könnte.
Wenn Ihr gut nachseht, und ich lade Euch ein das zu tun, müsst Ihr erkennen, wie oft Ihr falsch gelegen habt.

Seit man Napoleon hingerichtet hat, für ein Verbrechen, dass er als Jugendlicher begangen hat, wollte ich diese Geschichte mit seiner Familie teilen. Ich konnte niemals jemanden finden, der ihre Adresse wusste. Wenn irgendjemand da draußen sie ihnen erzählen könnte, wäre ich dafür sehr dankbar. Ich möchte, dass sie wissen, dass ihr Sohn ein guter Mann war, einer den ich niemals vergessen werde. Ich möchte, dass sie wissen, wie leid es mir tut, dass wir als Gesellschaft bei ihm und ihnen versagt haben. Ich bin von dem Gedanken schockiert, dass ein Jugendlicher sich nicht bessern könnte, dass die einzige Lösung die wir anbieten können der Tod ist. Es ist tragisch, dass die "guten Menschen" von einem der "Schlimmsten der Schlimmsten" darauf hingewiesen werden müssen. Möge Gott uns allen helfen.

Was ist in dem braunen Papiersack? Ich fand Sorge, Nettigkeit, Liebe, Menschlichkeit und Mitgefühl, wie ich es niemals gesehen habe, dass die "guten Menschen" in der freien Welt einander zeigen.

Luis Ramirez
# 999309
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351