A former South Texas avenue gang member was executed Thursday evening for killing 4 ladies in a gang ambush 11 years in the past. Robert Gene Garza, 30, grew to become the twelfth convicted prisoner to be executed this yr in Texas, which has extra loss of life sentences than some other state. Garza smiled and blew kisses to pals and household as they entered the loss of life chamber. In a quick closing be aware, he thanked them for coming and advised them he beloved them.
“I do know it is arduous for you,” he stated. “It’s not straightforward. This is salvation. You can lastly get on together with your life.” As the deadly dose of pentobarbital started pouring into his arms, he took a couple of deep breaths and started to snore. In lower than a minute, all motion stopped. He was pronounced dead 26 minutes later at 20:41 CDT.
Garza, who was a member of the Rio Grande Valley gang often known as the Tri-City Bombers earlier than his teenagers, insisted on an announcement to police acknowledging his involvement within the September 2002 bloodbath in Hidalgo County. The taking pictures was performed beneath duress and improperly obtained.
However, prosecutors stated Garza orchestrated the gang’s plan to silence the ladies, who Garza believed had witnessed one other gang crime, had been seeking to attain their trailer when a number of gang members opened fireplace on the ladies. Garza was current when the ladies labored the bar within the room. “I actually don’t have anything to do with what the state has give you,” Garza advised The Associated Press lately on loss of life row. “I believed since we had been gang members, they received me concerned by way of the gang.
“I feel they simply needed to shut his case… they wanted somebody.” Evidence later emerged that the ladies had been killed unintentionally. Another gang member by no means appeared in courtroom as a result of he accepted a plea deal and jail time.
Garza was arrested in late January 2003 and convicted beneath Texas political events regulation, which makes non-triggers equally responsible. Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Orendan stated there was proof Garza was the gang chief, advised his associates how you can commit the homicide, and was current when the taking pictures occurred. , accusing him, stated this week.
In February, the US Supreme Court declined to overview his case. His lawyer, Don Vernay, stated appeals have been exhausted. Garza filed his personal enchantment to the Supreme Court on Thursday, delaying his sentencing for about two hours earlier than the decide may decide.
In his enchantment, he argued that his trial legal professional didn’t get hold of testimony from his mom, and that the jury ought to have heard testimony that he remained within the gang as a result of he feared retaliation for quitting. He additionally claims that his trial courtroom decide wrongly denied his request earlier this week to postpone the execution date.
Garza argued that the state ought to have assured him that the deadly dose of pentobarbital used to punish him was chemically lively and authorized. Texas jail officers say their inventory of pentobarbital will expire this month. Texas jail officers stated earlier Thursday they’d proceed to make use of the identical drug, however declined to say how the state would exchange its provide. “We haven’t modified our present enforcement settlement and haven’t any fast plans to take action,” Texas Justice Department spokesman Jason Clarke stated in an announcement to The Associated Press.