Kiss my a**’, put me on the highway to Jackson and call my Irish buddies
Hey mom and pop. I love ya’ll, all of you people in there. You know, ya’ll have to come together, you too Terrella. Ya’ll work on that. We all have to stand before God at the end of the day. Don’t ever think you’re perfect, none of us are perfect. God is the only one that is perfect. Jesus is perfect. I did wrong, now I am paying the ultimate price, even though it’s a crooked way. I don’t hate ya’ll. Don’t judge, I’m not judging. God has to judge those people. I forgive. Always remember, Romans 12:19 is for real, hell is for real. If ya’ll don’t have your life right, get it right. We all have to die to get to heaven. Get your life right with Christ; it’s coming to an end. I’m talking to each and every soul in this building, in this room. I don’t hate nobody, you’re doing what you think is your job. God’s law is above this law.
Hang on. Cowboy up, I’m fixing to ride. Jesus is my ride. Tell my babies daddy will look down on them. Put a “C” in his name for Carl. Tell my boys and tell Tracy to keep on keeping on. Love one another, go to church, change your life for Christ, live your life for Christ. All right, Warden. Terella, I feel it babe, love.
“I’m sorry,” Cook said as he was strapped to a gurney. “I’m not going to ask you to forgive me. I can’t even do it myself.”
He also thanked his family for “their support, for being with me and I’m sorry I took so much from you all.”
‘This is where drugs lead you,’ Treesh, a former cocaine addict, said in a last statement.
“I would like to apologize to the families of Laci Hill, Forest Boyd and Ray Patterson for the pain I’ve caused them. I don’t deserve it. But as God has forgiven me, I hope you will forgive me for the pain I’ve caused. I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support. When my body is gone, my spirit will be with them. Jesus Christ died for my sins. God has forgiven me. An eternity in heaven is mine.”
Ms. Connie Hilton, I’m sorry for what happened to you. If I hadn’t raped you, then you wouldn’t have lived. If you look at the transcripts, I didn’t kill Mr. Newman and I didn’t rob your house. There are two people still alive. I was just there. When I saw you in the truck driving away, I could have killed you but I didn’t. I’m not a killer. My momma was abused. I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. It wasn’t me that harmed and stole all of your stuff. If you look at the transcripts you will see. I ask the good Lord to forgive me.
I love ya’ll; Sheena, my sister, momma, and daddy. Ya’ll pray for me, keep up the fight. Get the transcripts, let the truth come out so that I do not die in vain. I thank the Lord for the man I am today. I have done all I can to better myself, to learn to read and write. Take me to my King. I love ya’ll and thank you for the love you gave me. I respect all of ya’ll. Ms. Hilton. Ok. Let me rest. It’s burning.
last meal of fried shrimp, fish and scallops, stuffed crabs, ice cream and a soda
he had any last words
To my loved ones and dear friends, I love ya’ll and appreciate ya’ll for being there. I am going to a better place. To all the guys back on the row, keep your heads up, keep up the fight. I am ready. Let’s go.
Life is death, death is life. I hope that someday this absurdity that humanity has come to will come to and an end. Life is too short. I hope that anyone that has negative energy towards me will resolve that. Life is too short to harbor feelings of hatred and anger. That’s it.
Smith’s last meal consisted of pizza, fried fish, chocolate ice cream and soda
Steve Smith declined to say any last words,
First of all; Shonna talk to your brother. He’ll tell you the truth about what happened to your husband. I told Bubba to tell you what happened. Now, my statement to the world: I am in the midst of truth. I am good, I am straight, don’t trip. To all my partners, tell them I said like Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.” These eyes will close, but they will be opened again, my understanding of God is, Jesus has got me through. To my family, I love ya’ll
You clown police. You gonna stop with all that killing all these kids. You’re gonna stop killing innocent kids, murdering young kids. When I kill one or pop one, ya’ll want to kill me. God has a plan for everything. You hear? I love everyone that loves me. I ain’t got no love for anyone that don’t love me.
Carroll did not make a final statement,
William Van Poyck
http://deathrowdiary.blogspot.ch/ u can read the story of william, the sister of william wrote it. On June 12, 2013 at 7:13pm my brother, William, took his last breath on this earth and began his journey to the other side. His last words were, “Set me Free!” and his soul is indeed free now to continue his work helping others.
|18-24||CO||Nathan Dunlap – Stayed|
November 17, 2012
Dates are subject to change due to stays and appeals
|12.11.2012||Roy Ward||Indiana||Stay likely|
|12.12.2012||Rigoberto Avila||Texas||Changed to 4/10/2013|
The condemned prisoner’s mother sobbed and wailed as she witnessed the lethal injection. Hughes’ sister was at her side.
“You know I’m innocent and I love you both,” Hughes, 46, said as his mother cried loudly.
“Please continue to fight for my innocence even though I’m gone.
“Give everybody my love.”
He took several deep breaths and then stopped moving. His mother, seated in a chair near the death chamber window, cried out: “My baby … I haven’t touched my child in 23 years.”
Hughes was pronounced dead at 7:52 p.m. local time, 15 minutes after the lethal drug began flowing into his arms. No one representing his victims witnessed the punishment.
Hughes became the 15th Texas prisoner executed this year and the second in as many nights.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to stop tonight’s scheduled execution
November 16, 2012 http://www.austinchronicle.com
At press time, the state was readying to carry out the Nov. 15 execution of Preston Hughes III, set to become the 15th inmate executed this year and the 492nd inmate executed since reinstatement of the death penalty. Hughes was sentenced to death for the 1988 double murder of 15-year-old LaShandra Charles and her 3-year-old cousin, Marcell Taylor, who were found stabbed to death on a weed-choked trail behind a Fuddruckers in far West Houston (see “Framing the Guilty?,” Nov. 2). Although Charles’ carotid artery and jugular were severed, the first HPD detective arriving at the scene later claimed that Charles was awake and able to talk – and to tell him that she knew her attacker, whose name was Preston. Police quickly moved to a nearby apartment complex, where they found Hughes. Police say they found evidence in his apartment that matched the crime, including a pair of fashion glasses that Charles had been known to wear as an accessory.
Hughes’ appeals have been unsuccessful despite a plethora of evidence that suggests either that he is the wrong man, or that he was framed by police despite being guilty: Evidence records reflect that police logged evidence into custody several hours before they had permission to search Hughes’ apartment. Notably, the glasses that police considered a direct link between Charles and Hughes were not on the evidence list; Hughes’ attorney and supporters believe they were planted in the apartment some time in the hours after Charles was discovered. Moreover, when asked by the Chronicle this fall to review the autopsy evidence, Tarrant County Deputy Medical Examiner Lloyd White concluded that it would have been medically impossible for Charles to have been conscious and talking after sustaining such a fatal injury.
Hughes‘ attorney Pat McCann has filed several recent appeals – including one that raises the question of police having planted evidence – each of which has been denied. Meanwhile, California-based blogger John Allen, known online as the Skeptical Juror (www.skepticaljuror.com), has helped Hughes to file a flurry of pro se writs; each of those also has been denied, clearing the way for Hughes’ execution this evening, Thursday, Nov. 15.
- TEXAS – A Death Row Struggle Between Advocates and Lawyers – Preston Hughes III (claimyourinnocence.wordpress.com)
- TEXAS – Death row inmate contests the drug – Preston Hughes (claimyourinnocence.wordpress.com)
November 13,2012 http://triblive.com
Gov. Tom Corbett signed an execution warrant on Tuesday for a Clearfield County man convicted of kidnapping and robbing a woman who was slain during a four-county killing spree in 1995.
Mark Newton Spotz received the death penalty for killing three women — including Penny Gunnet, 41, of York County — in Clearfield, Schuylkill, York and Dauphin counties. His execution is scheduled for Jan. 8.
The slayings began on Jan. 31 when Spotz fatally shot his brother, Dustin, during a fight at the family home.
Gunnet, the third person to die, was on her way home from work on Feb. 2 when she stopped her car at an intersection in York. Spotz, armed with a gun, forced his way into the car and drove around before shooting Gunnet twice at close range. He abandoned her and the car.
After killing another woman that day, Spotz drove around the Carlisle area, picked up friends, bought drugs and went to a motel. There, he bragged about how he killed his brother and “these other women,” a Corbett spokeswoman said.
Gov. Ed Rendell declined a Vatican request in 2003 to commute Spotz’s death sentence because he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Christian counseling while in prison and helped develop programs to guide young people in avoiding violent crime.
November 13,2012 http://www.dailymail.co.uk
A death row inmate set to die Thursday is pinning his final hopes on convincing people that his victim’s dying words never happened.
When police found La Shandra Charles bleeding from neck wounds in a west Houston filed in 1988, they claimed she whispered the name of her assailant, ‘Preston,’ before dying.
That evidence, along with the police assertion that the girl said her attacker lived nearby, were key bits of evidence in convicting Preston Hughes 11, a New York-born warehouse worker.
But Hughes attorney now says it would be medically impossible for the girl to tell police anything about her attacker and he’s got medical testimony to prove it, the Houston Chronicle reports.
‘It is simply not medically feasible that this young woman, particularly given the fact that one’s heart rate accelerates during stress, and thus blood loss occurs more rapidly, could have spoken to the officers as they claimed,’ wrote Dr. Robert White, Dr. Robert White, who was chief medical examiner in Nueces County before joining the Fort Worth forensics department.
Defense attorney Pat McCann said it would take roughly 13 minutes for police to reach Charles after she was injured, a time frame that does not allow her to be conscious by the time authorities found her with the wounds she sustained.
Assistant District Attorney Lynn Hardaway has brushed aside McCann’s argument: ‘That’s obviously this guy’s opinion.’
Hardaway further noted that in the original police report an unnamed medical technician is supposed to have heard the dying girl’s accusation.
But the technician never testified.
A state pardons board is to review Hughe’s request to have his sentence commuted Tuesday.
Hughes, 46, was convicted of the murders of both Charles and her cousin, Marcel Taylor, 3, who was also stabbed.
At the time of his arrest, Hughes was on probation for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, though he maintained innocence in that crime as well.
After his in the 1988 case, he offered two confessions to police but they contained contradictory statements.
In an interview at the time, he said the police didn’t type what he said.
He claimed that on the night of the murder he met with friends for drinks.
When he returned home he took his dog for a walk, crossing the field where the children were murdered.
He then went back to his apartment where he stayed until police knocked on his door.
‘I didn’t hear or see anything,’ he said. ‘I never killed anyone.
- TEXAS – A Death Row Struggle Between Advocates and Lawyers – Preston Hughes III (claimyourinnocence.wordpress.com)
Ramon Torres Hernandez, 39, was pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m., 26 minutes after the lethal dose was administered. His lawyers had filed an appeal earlier Wednesday, but it was denied, paving the way for his execution for the murder of Rosia Maria Rosado in 2001.
Final confession sought from death row murderer
since then, prosecutors have also tied Ramón Hernandez, 39, to the murders of two young girls and say he could be responsible for even more killings.
But Rico Valdez, who serves as the appellate division chief for the Bexar County District Attorneys Office, fears Hernandez may take the answers to those unsolved murders to the grave since prosecutors are nearly out of time. It is the eleventh hour for Bexar County prosecutors seeking a confession on at least two more murders from Hernandez and they are doing everything they can in the next 24-hours to get him to talk.
“We’re still hopeful in the hours that we have left that we’ll have that opportunity, but there are no guarantees,” explained Valdez.
Valdez has been working to get a confession from Hernandez on two unsolved murders ever since the DA’s office first learned about the cases.
According to Valdez, “Jennifer Taylor and Laura Gamez, they disappeared or they were last seen in November 9, 1994 and their bodies were discovered April 15, 1995 the next year.”
The young girls’ bodies were discovered on a ranch belonging to Hernandez’ uncle in Bandera County one year after they were killed.
“Unfortunately, because the bodies had been exposed to the elements we weren’t able to obtain any DNA linking Hernandez directly to the crime.”
But he added Hernandez’ style of killings from the murder and rape of Rosado from 2001 and two young cousins: Sarah Gonzales and Priscilla Almarez in 1994 matches the murders of Taylor and Gamez.
The DA’s office was able to obtain indictments for Hernandez in the killings of those two cousins dating back to 1994. The deaths of Taylor and Gamez are still considered unsolved.
The DA’s office has once again reached out to Hernandez through his attorney in recent days to get answers in those unsolved cases. He has declined speaking to them again. However, prosecutors remain optimistic that he will change his mind.
November 13, 2012 http://www.mysanantonio.com
But the man prosecutors have called a serial rapist and murderer is known to have other victims.
Rosado, whose body was found in a shallow grave near Loop 1604 and UTSA Boulevard, was the first of five victims authorities connected to Hernandez or named him as suspect. It was his only conviction.
The single mom, 37, was snatched from a bus stop near Highway 90 and Military Drive. She was bound with tape, had her head covered and was driven to a Culebra Road motel, where she was killed.
By the time Hernandez was linked to Rosado’s homicide, the families of Sarah Gonzales, 13, and Priscilla Almares, 12, had been searching seven years for answers in the young cousins’ killings.
“I can’t explain the feeling; I can’t explain the hurt,” said John Gonzales, father of Sarah and uncle to Priscilla. “Unless you walk in my shoes, you just can’t imagine it. You’re kind of numb. There’s disbelief it happened.”
For Gonzales, there also was disbelief that police had found his daughter’s killer. But after they told him about DNA evidence that linked Hernandez to the crime, he finally could stop searching.
Hernandez also is the main suspect in a 1995 Bandera County case involving two teens reported missing about a month before Sarah and Priscilla.
At the time of all of the homicides, Hernandez was on parole for breaking into a house and allegedly raping a woman.
While Hernandez wasn’t convicted in the killings of Sarah and Priscilla, Gonzales said justice was done because authorities announced they closed the case using DNA.
Gonzalez said no one from their family planned to witness the execution.
Hernandez, 41, declined to comment. His attorney, Robin Norris, requested a commutation of Hernandez’s sentence to life without parole, arguing that his client was a party to the crime but didn’t rape or kill Rosado.
Norris pointed to Hernandez’s co-defendant, Santos Minjarez, as the main culprit.
Minjarez also was sentenced to death in a separate trial. He died of natural causes in Jan. 2012 before his execution was set.
Hernandez was afraid of Minjarez and he also was withdrawing from addictive medication prescribed as part of his parole, Norris said.
The medication was to treat anxiety and post traumatic stress disorders that developed after Hernandez watched his father get shot in front of him, he added. That made Hernandez more susceptible to Minjarez’s suggestions, Norris said.
“Clearly he’s responsible in some measure for this,” Norris said. “But in the past, the governor has commuted a sentence if the person didn’t commit the offense by his own person.”
The status of the commutation request wasn’t available. Both Hernandez and Minjarez pointed to each other as the murderer in their separate trials, according to previous stories. Prosecutors pointed to Sarah and Priscilla’s cases to show a pattern.
“They were like sisters,” Gonzales said. “They disappeared together. They found them together and we buried them together.”
The two girls last were seen on Timbercreek Drive the evening of Dec. 16, 1994. They were expected at their church for caroling, Gonzales said. Their bodies were discovered in Rodriguez Park the next day.
At least the girls were found quickly, Gonzales said.
That wasn’t the case with Laura Gamez and Jennifer Taylor, both 15 when reported missing two days apart in November 1994, previous reports state. Their bodies weren’t found until April, 1995, according to previous stories.
After San Antonio police linked Hernandez to Rosado, Sarah and Priscilla, Bandera County authorities revealed he was the prime suspect in the deaths of Laura and Jennifer.
An autopsy couldn’t determine rape, but they had been strangled, a previous report states.
The Express-News was unable to find the families of either teen.
Bexar County First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said recently that investigators still hoped to talk to Hernandez about the unsolved cases.
Whether Rosado’s family planned to attend the execution wasn’t known. Rosado’s sister declined to comment. Attempts to reach Rosado’s daughter weren’t successful.
She was 14 when her mom was killed and the first to report her missing after Rosado failed to come home from a night shift at a telemarketing firm April 1, 2001, court documents said.
“Mom, please call and let me know you are OK,” read a sign she posted in her neighborhood, a previous report said. “I miss you, please come home. Love Patricia.”
Hernandez’s girlfriend Asel Abdygapparova led police to Rosado’s body five days after she was abducted.
Then 26 and a University of Texas at San Antonio exchange student from Kazakhstan, Abdygapparova was pregnant with Hernandez’s child, who would be born after her arrest.
She was with Hernandez and Minjarez when Minjarez spotted Rosado as a possible robbery victim, previous stories said.
They grabbed her from the bus stop and took her to the motel, she told police. She left to buy a shovel and bleach while Rosado was raped.
Police first considered Abdygapparova a witness but later arrested her. Prosecutors wanted the death penalty.
She feared Hernandez and was under control, she said during testimony in her defense. Jurors sentenced her to life in prison but an appeals court overturned that decision in 2007. She’s still in Bexar County Jail awaiting a new trial.
Her attorney didn’t return calls for an interview request.
Gonzales takes no comfort in Hernandez’s execution. It took many years of praying to forgive Hernandez and to tame the anger he felt.
“It festers inside of you; it eats you up and can totally destroy you” he said.
He and knows the pain Hernandez’s mother will feel. He does not wish that on anyone, he said.
“I did tell his mom that one day she would walk in my shoes,” Gonzales said. “I said to her when he did go to prison she would have the opportunity to write him or go visit him. Now for me, for my family, when we want to go see (Sarah and Priscilla), we can’t physically see them. We go anyway. … They are just shells now. Their spirits are in Heaven.”
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 http://www.vindy.com
Gov. John Kasich has denied clemency to the death row inmate facing execution next week for the brutal murder of an Akron woman 15 years ago.
Barring last-minute court intervention, Brett Hartman will be put to death Tuesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.
Kasich’s decision was in line with the unanimous recommendation of the state parole board, which last month, for the third time in recent years, said Hartman deserved the death penalty for the crime.
Hartman was convicted of murdering 46-year-old Winda Snipes in September 1997, stabbing her more than 130 times, slitting her throat and cutting off her hands. The latter never were found.
Evidence used in the conviction included DNA taken from Snipes’ body, fingerprints at the scene and a bloody T-shirt and woman’s watch found at Hartman’s apartment.
Additionally, a cellmate and former co-worker testified that Hartman had made incriminating comments.
But Hartman, who admitted having sexual relations with the victim hours before her death, has maintained his innocence, saying fingerprints and hair found at the crime scene and phone records prove he did not commit murder.
“My heart goes out to [Snipes’ family],” Hartman told the Statehouse Bureau of Dix Newspapers and The Vindicator during a death row interview last month. “I know losing anyone, especially family, is a very traumatizing experience. I recently lost my mom and my sister. And no one in the world deserves to lose a relative or anyone the way that Winda was taken, and my heart goes out to them. But I didn’t do it.”
But the parole board and Kasich were not swayed by his claims of innocence.
“The overwhelming evidence presented during trial clearly established that Hartman is guilty of this crime,” the parole board wrote. “Hartman shows no remorse and continues to claim his innocence despite the evidence indicating his guilt.”
- OHIO – Inmate on death row professes innocence – BRETT HARTMANN (claimyourinnocence.wordpress.com)
NOVEMBER 8, 2012 http://www.yorkdispatch.com
Just hours before his scheduled execution Thursday, death-row inmate Hubert Lester Michael Jr. was granted a stay of execution.
His attorneys filed two last-minute appeals with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, one of which resulted in the stay.
York County District Attorney Tom Kearney expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying the time to execute Michael is “long overdue.”
“This case has been up and down the legal ladder for 20 years,” he said. “There needs to be some finality, in the interests of justice. It’s about time the decision of this community is carried forth.”
Michael is represented by the Federal Community Defender Office in Philadelphia. His attorneys have declined interviews, but released a statement
Thursday afternoon from Helen Marino, chief of the office’s capital habeas unit:
“On behalf of Hubert Michael, we are extremely pleased that the federal Court of Appeals has granted (him) a stay of execution. Mr. Michael has suffered from debilitating mental conditions throughout his life. Mr. Michael has compelling legal claims in his case which have never been reviewed by any court. The Court of Appeals recognized that there are complicated issues involved in this case that should be carefully considered.”
Last stop: Kearney has said the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was Michael’s last chance to avoid being put to death for the 1993 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Trista Eng of the Dillsburg area.
The Third Circuit granted the stay based on Michael’s appeal of Wednesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III.
Jones declined to stay the execution, writing:
“This court is disinclined to exercise its reservoir of discretion simply because the petitioner has now changed his mind. … The case law simply doesn’t support such a result.
“Indeed, to grant the relief requested by the petitioner would make the case a monumental example of the seeminly endless and oft-criticized federal habeas practice. Over 19 years after the heinous murder the petitioner has admitted committing, it is time to draw this affair to a close.”
The Third Circuit issued the stay because it wants to know why Jones granted Michael a “certificate of appealability” when he refused to grant Michael a stay and refused to reopen Michael’s habeas corpus appeal proceedings, according to Kearney.
The Third Circuit also noted parties should be prepared to litigate all their issues at one time.
No clemency: Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, the state Board of Pardons unanimously denied Michael’s request for clemency.
Kearney said the time has come to execute Michael.
“If a sentence is to mean anything, then it must be carried out.” he said. “If it’s the will of the community, we need to follow through, or else it’s meaningless.”
13 years: Michael, 56, formerly of Lemoyne, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Thursday.
He would have been the first murderer put to death in Pennsylvania in 13 years, and the fourth inmate executed since 1972, when the state reinstituted the death penalty.
It’s the third death warrant Pennsylvania governors have signed for Michael. The first two were in 1996 and 2004. Both times, his execution was stayed pending further appeal.
For years, Michael maintained he wanted to die, but he changed his mind in 2004, just days before his scheduled execution.
Attorneys with the Federal Community Defenders Organization in Philadelphia have argued he was not mentally competent when he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 11, 1994, and didn’t challenge his death sentence.
Mental-health issues: Court filings indicate Michael suffered from mental-health issues while he was held in Graterford state prison, but that those issues improved when he was transferred to Greene state prison.
Now that his mental health has improved, Michael is fighting his death sentence.
Second denial: On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane also refused to grant Michael a stay of execution.
She is presiding over Chester v. Beard, a lawsuit filed six years ago on behalf of a number of Pennsylvania’s death-row inmates. It claims the state’s method in obtaining the drugs used for lethal injection is unconstitutional.
While Chester v. Beard remains active, Kane made a specific ruling in Michael’s case, denying his request for a stay.
Michael’s attorneys appealed both rulings to the Third Circuit, which denied a stay of execution for Michael in the Chester v. Beard class-action lawsuit.
The background: Michael told his former defense attorney, chief public defender Bruce Blocher, he went to the Franklin Township home of Eng and her mother to answer an advertisement about a chair for sale.
He told Blocher that when Eng answered the door in a Hardee’s uniform, he made the decision to force her to have sex with him. While there, he stole some electrical cords from the house, the attorney previously testified.
Michael stopped to offer Eng a ride as she was walking along Route 15 to her job at the Dillsburg Hardee’s on July 12, 1993. She accepted, and Michael kidnapped her.
At some point during the ride, Michael stopped the car and used the electrical cords to tie up Eng, then drove her to state game lands in Warrington Township, according to Blocher.
Raped: He raped her, put a bag over her head and shot her three times, Blocher has said, then hid her body in a wooded area.
Blocher revealed details of Michael’s confession to him when called to the stand during a 1997 appeals hearing in the case.
Michael fled the state 10 days after killing Eng. At the time, he was free on bail for a Lancaster County rape charge.
Captured: He was captured July 27, 1993, in Utah, at which point police found the murder weapon in the car he was using, officials said.
He was charged with Eng’s homicide in late August 1993, after her body was found by his family members after Michael confessed the murder to his brother.
In November 1993, Michael escaped from Lancaster County Prison but was captured in New Orleans in March 1994, according to the Department of Corrections.
He was later sentenced to 10 to 20 years for the Lancaster County rape, according to court records.
Mario Swain, 33, was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 6.39 pm (0039 GMT Friday), according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. When asked by a warden if he had a final statement before his punishment, the condemned prisoner shook his head, closed his eyes and took several barely audible breaths.
No family members or friends of Nixon were at the execution. Swain also had no relatives among the witnesses.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A man who was sentenced to die in the fatal beating, stabbing and strangling of an East Texas call center supervisor a decade ago displayed a pattern of obsession and violence that a former district attorney said indicated the potential of a serial killer.
Mario Swain has since lost state and federal appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to review his case. Swain, 33, is scheduled for execution Thursday.
Worried friends alerted police when Lola Nixon didn’t show up for dinner two nights after Christmas in 2002. Officers discovered signs of forced entry at her home near Dallas — and blood throughout — but no sign of the 46-year-old woman. A neighbor said he saw a truck parked outside the night she went missing, and police traced that vehicle to a man who said his grandson, Swain, had borrowed it.
Swain gave several confessions, and said his friends had beaten Nixon while burgling her home. But those friends all had credible alibis.
Eventually he led detectives to Nixon’s body, in the backseat of an abandoned vehicle at a remote site in Gregg County. She had been beaten with a tire iron, stabbed and strangled.
“Unless you knew where you were going, you wouldn’t get there,” Lance Larison, a prosecutor at Swain’s 2004 trial, said.
Evidence indicates Nixon fiercely resisted the attack and that Swain left her bleeding in her bathtub before throwing her in the back of her BMW and driving her to the site where she was found. He then returned to her house and tried to clean up.
The tire iron was recovered from a trash container where Swain said he had thrown it. Prosecutors said Swain used Nixon’s credit cards and that he gave a piece of her jewelry to a friend.
Nixon’s blood was found on Swain’s clothing in the truck, along with her car keys and garage door opener.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence and witnesses that showed a pattern of crimes: Swain gathered information about women he wanted to rob, then attacked them, forcing them to inhale the anesthetic halothane and hitting them over the head with a wrench or shooting them with a stun gun.
“Not only did he stalk, he started making physical assaults,” Larison said.
“Girlfriends told us he loved to watch detective shows, crime science shows, that he was fascinated by them,” he said. “He would keep lists of women’s cars and certain license plates.”
He was “a serial killer in training,” the prosecutor said.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court rejected Swain’s appeal that argued his confessions to the slaying should not have been allowed at trial, that his lawyers were deficient and that there was a problem in jury selection. The U.S. Supreme Court three weeks ago refused to review Swain’s case. And last week the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused an appeal challenging an investigator’s trial testimony.
Nixon was unmarried and lived alone. She had been a supervisor at a telephone call center in Longview where Swain once worked.
Swain declined from death row to speak with reporters as his execution date neared.
His lethal injection would be the 13th this year in Texas, where two more executions are set for next week.