Thursday, March 8, 2012

Texas man denies killings before his execution

The 7th Execution of 2012

A Texas man, Keith Thurmond, who killed his estranged wife and her new boyfriend denied killing them, moments before he was put to death by lethal injection.

Strapped to the gurney inside the death chamber, Thurmond declared, "I didn't kill my wife. ... I swear to God I didn't kill her," reported The Associated Press.

His execution for the 2001 slayings near Houston came about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments to halt the capital punishment, the third this year in Texas. The 52-year-old Thurmond was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. -- 11 minutes after lethal drugs began flowing into his arms.

Thurmond's attorneys argued that lawyers representing him in earlier appeals were "grossly deficient" and that his execution should have been postponed until justices decide on a similar case in Arizona.

With his death nearing Wednesday, Thurmond blamed the shooting deaths on another man before telling prison officials, "Go ahead and finish it off," reported AP.
As the drugs began flowing, he said, "You can taste it." He wheezed and snored before losing consciousness.

According to AP, the killings occurred after sheriff's deputies showed up at Thurmond's mobile home on Sept. 25, 2001, with a court order removing his 8-year-old son and putting the boy in the care of his mother.

Thurmond became irate and stormed down the road to the mobile home where his 32-year-old wife, Sharon, was living with her new boyfriend, Guy Fernandes, 35, near Magnolia in Montgomery County, about 35 miles north of Houston.

He is the third person executed in Texas in 2012.

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