Sunday, April 21, 2013

Texas executes man for fatal 2001 shooting

The 8th Execution of 2013

Ronnie Threadgill was executed on April 16, 2013 in Texas for fatally shooting a teenager during a carjacking outside a nightclub 12 years ago, reported The Associated Press.

Threadgill received lethal injection in Huntsville less than two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal.

“To my loved ones and my dear friends, I love y’all and appreciate y’all for being there,” Threadgill said. “I am going to a better place. To all the guys back on the row, keep your heads up, keep fighting. I’m ready. Let’s go.”

He nodded to a female friend standing a few feet away behind a window, then smiled broadly, showing off a mouthful of gold teeth. As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began taking effect, he took several deep breaths, then began snoring loudly. Within a few seconds, the sounds stopped.

He was pronounced dead 25 minutes later, at 6:39 p.m. CDT.

No friends or relatives of the murder victim in the case attended Threadgill’s execution, the third in Texas this year.

Attorneys for Threadgill unsuccessfully argued his case deserved court review because he had deficient legal help during his 2002 capital murder trial when he was sentenced to die for the killing of 17-year-old Dexter McDonald. The appeal argued he would not have received a death sentence if he had better legal representation, and asked that his case be returned to a lower court.

In 2001 he murdered Dexter McDonald who was sitting in the back seat of a friend’s idling car near Corsicana, about 60 miles south of Dallas. Threadgill started shooting then jumped inside the vehicle and drove off. He threw McDonald from the car; the teenager died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Threadgill, who already had a long criminal record, led officers on a chase along Interstate 45 through Navarro County. He lost control of the stolen car and slid into a ditch, then ran away. Police found him hiding at a truck stop, clinging to an axle under a parked semitrailer.

A bandana that witnesses said the carjacker was wearing was found stuffed under the truck trailer. Blood on Threadgill’s clothing matched McDonald’s blood. Threadgill’s fingerprints were found on the stolen car.

At least 10 other Texas prisoners have executions scheduled in the coming months, including another inmate set to die next week.

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