POSTED: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 5:38pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 14, 2011 - 6:49am
Average intelligence. That's how a corrections employee describes convicted killer David Leonard Wood.
Cheryl Whitesel interacted with Wood many times and says she would not characterize him as mentally retarded.
Wood's defense is trying to prove he is retarded because under U.S. law, a mentally retarded person cannot be executed.
Whitesel says Wood is a very good artist and that he can follow orders.
Whitesel said, "He does what I need him to do, like filling out a form."
But during cross examination Whitesel admits she isn't qualified to determine anyone's mental health and she also helped him fill out several forms from his pod.
An escort officer from the corrections department took the stand and admitted he's seen Wood get angry. He describes him as a confident man and doesn't think he is slow.
The officer claims he has worked with inmates who he considered slow because they couldn't hold conversations with him, but Wood could communicate.
Wood's defense rebutted his testimony by asking him if he is trained and qualified to judge whether a person is mentally retarded, but the officer said he wasn't.
Wood was on Texas death row for killing several girls more than a decade ago and burying their bodies in the Northeast El Paso desert.
Prosecutors plan on bringing more witnesses and one expert to testify in Wood's hearing.
If wood isn't found mentally retarded, he could face the death penalty as soon as 31 days after the verdict.