TEXAS, USA. LUIS RAMIREZ EXECUTED FOR 1998 MURDER PLOT
October 20, 2005: Luis Ramirez was put to death by injection for paying for the 1998 murder of his ex-wife's boyfriend. Ramirez, 42, was condemned for hiring a man to murder Nemecio Nandin, 29, at a house in Miles, Texas, on April 8, 1998. Ramirez had said he had nothing to do with the murder and was working 70 miles away when Nandin was killed.
Prosecutors said Ramirez was present when Edward Bell lured Nandin to the house, handcuffed Nandin and then shot him in the head. Prosecutors claimed Ramirez was obsessed with his ex-wife, Dawn Holquin, who divorced Ramirez in 1995 and later said he physically abused her.
After Bell was arrested, police discovered evidence linking him to Ramirez, including statements by Bell to friends prior to the murder that he had been paid $1,000 to kill a firefighter, Nandin's primary occupation.
Bell received a life sentence for his part in the murder.
In a final statement while strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, Ramirez spoke first to Nandin's family and denied involvement in the slaying.
"You lost someone you love very much the same as my family and friends are going to lose in a few minutes," he said. "I am sure he died unjustly, just like I am. I did not murder him. I did not have anything to do with his death."
Ramirez then told his own family and friends that he loved them.
Ramirez was the 15th person executed in Texas this year. He was the 351st put to death since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982, six years after the US Supreme Court lifted a national death penalty ban, a total that leads the nation. Texas has seven executions scheduled before the end of 2005. (Sources: Reuters, 20/10/2005)