Texas executes man for 2002 double murder

Washington, Jan 27 (IANS) The US state of Texas has executed a man who was on death row for killing two employees of a fast food joint in 2002.

Terry Edwards, a 43-year-old black man, had been sentenced to death for the double murder of Tommy Walker, 34, and Mickell Goodwin, 26, at a Subway restaurant – which had sacked him shortly before – in Balch Springs, a Dallas suburb, Efe news reported.

“Yes, I made peace with God. I hope y’all make peace with this,” were the last words of Edwards, who was declared dead at 10.17 p.m., on Thursday night after he was administered a lethal injection at the Huntsville prison, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Although his execution was scheduled for 6 p.m., it was delayed by over four hours after his lawyers filed last-minute appeals claiming Edwards was not responsible for pulling the trigger and said his case had suffered due to prosecutorial misconduct.

Evidence presented during the trial showed Edwards had been fired from the restaurant weeks before the crime, that took place on July 8, 2002, and that a bag containing $3,000 from the eatery cash register was recovered from him after he was arrested by the police.

Edwards’ nephew Kirk Edwards had turned himself into the police as an accomplice in the crime and was awarded a 25-year jail sentence for aggravated robbery.

Terry Edwards always maintained it was his nephew, who had pulled the trigger, but the jury did not believe him and all his subsequent appeals met with failure.

Edwards’ execution is the third one in the US this year and the second in Texas, making him the 1,445th inmate to have been put to death in the country since capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976.

He is also the 540th person to be executed in Texas, the US state where the death penalty is handed out the most.