The 19th Execution of 2013
On July 16, 2013 Texas executed John Manuel Quintanilla for gunning down
a retired deputy sheriff at a game room in Victoria, about 125 miles
southwest of Houston, reported CBS News.
The 2002 slaying came just a few months after Quintanilla
had been released from prison after serving a sentence for several burglary
Asked to make a final statement before his execution, Quintanilla told his
wife he loved her.
"Thank you for all the years of happiness," he said. He never acknowledged
his victim's friends or relatives, including two daughters, who watched through
As the lethal drug began taking effect, he snored about a half dozen times,
then stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead 15 minutes after being given the
Quintanilla's wife, a German national who married him by proxy while he was
in prison, watched through an adjacent window and sobbed.
Quintanilla's punishment was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court refused
two last-day appeals.
His lawyers contended his confession was coerced by authorities threatening
to also charge one of his sisters and that the statement improperly was allowed
into evidence at his trial in 2004. The lawyers obtained affidavits from two
jurors who said the confession was key to their decision to convict him.
"It is clear that Quintanilla would not have been convicted of capital murder
if his confession had not been admitted - a fact confirmed by two of his
jurors," appeals lawyer David Dow told the high court.
"There wasn't any coercion whatsoever," Dexter Eaves, the former Victoria
County district attorney who was lead prosecutor at the trial, recalled last
week. He also said that while the robbers, who fled with about $2,000, were
masked, witnesses were able to "describe very clearly who the triggerman
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