Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Texas Executes Man Who Killed Wife and Police Officer

The 39th Execution of 2011

On October 27, 2011, Texas executed Frank Garcia by lethal injection.  Garcia shot his wife to death on the day she tried to leave him, and killed a police officer who came to the home to check on the domestic disturbance call.

Texas officials said Frank Garcia gunned down Jessica Garcia in 2001 after she tried to leave her abusive husband. He killed police officer Hector Garza when he arrived at the home to check out a disturbance, reported Reuters. Garcia told police he aimed for Garza's head because he knew officers wear bullet-proof vests, detectives told reporters shortly after Garcia's arrest. The Garcias' 5-year-old daughter witnessed both murders, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Frank Garcia shot Garza first, three times, and then shot his wife six times.

Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed, who prosecuted the case, attended the execution in Huntsville, Texas, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Earlier in the week, she called the murders "a huge tragedy." "If there was ever a poster child for the death penalty, this is the case," Reed told Reuters.

The San Antonio Police Department said in a statement on behalf of Garza's family that the officer was a devoted husband and father committed to protecting his community. "Though the execution does not bring complete closure to Hector's family, as we all miss him dearly, it comforts us to know that Frank Garcia will never destroy another family," reported Reuters.

Garcia prayed aloud at length in his final moments alive, Clark said. "Thank you, Yahweh, thank you, Jesus Christ, hallelujah, amen, and thank you, warden," were his final words, Clark said. Garcia's execution was the 12th this year in Texas, which has executed more than four times as many people as any other state since the United States reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Their was no traditional last meal provided to Garcia. Texas last month abolished the long-held tradition of allowing condemned inmates to order what they want for their last meal. Instead, they receive what other prisoners are served.

To read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/28/us-execution-texas-idUSTRE79R05Q20111028

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