Robert Jennings was executed on January 30, 2019 for July 1988 fatal shooting of Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore that authorities said was part of a crime spree, according to the Washington Post.
As witnesses filed into the death chamber, Jennings asked a chaplain standing next to him if he knew the name of the slain officer. The chaplain didn’t respond, and a prison official then told the warden to proceed with the punishment.
“To my friends and family, it was a nice journey,” Jennings said in his final statement. “To the family of the police officer, I hope y’all find peace. Be well and be safe and try to enjoy life’s moments, because we never get those back.”
Outside the prison, more than 100 officers stood vigil. And a motorcycle club that supports police revved their engines, with the roar from the bikes audible in the chamber.
Jennings was pronounced dead at 6:33 p.m., 18 minutes after the drug started. He became the first inmate put to death this year both in the U.S. and in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.
His attorneys had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his execution, arguing Jennings’ trial attorneys failed to ask jurors to fully consider evidence — including details of his remorse for the officer’s shooting and possible brain damage — that might have spared him a death sentence.
A twice convicted robber, Jennings had been on parole for about two months when prosecutors say he entered Mr. Peeper’s Bookstore with the intention of robbing the business. Since being paroled, Jennings had gone on a crime spree, committing about 10 robberies, including having already robbed the same adult bookstore 12 days before Howard’s slaying.
Officer Howard, 24, was in the middle of arresting the store clerk for operating a pornographic video arcade without a permit when Jennings shot the officer twice in the head.
Howard, who had been wearing a jacket with the words “Houston Police” on it, staggered for a few feet before falling to the ground, where he was shot twice more by Jennings. The clerk later testified the shooting was so quick, Howard never had a chance to unholster his gun.
Jennings was arrested hours later when he went to a Houston hospital after being shot in the hand by his accomplice, who got angry at Jennings for shooting the officer.
To read more CLICK HERE