TEXAS (USA): MICHAEL ROSALES EXECUTED FOR 1997 MURDER
April 15, 2009: A Texas parole violator was executed for beating and using kitchen tools to kill a 67-year-old woman in her Lubbock apartment.
"I love you all. May the Lord be with you. Peace. I'm done," Michael Rosales said in his brief, final statement.
Three of his brothers were among the witnesses at the injection. No friends or relatives of his victim were present.
Rosales was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m., eight minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow.
Rosales, 35, confessed to the 1997 slaying of Mary Felder a day after her body was found by her grandson, who routinely checked on her. Rosales told police he was high on cocaine and looking for money when he broke into her home as she slept. She was attacked when she woke up.
Rosales was the 13th Texas prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active capital punishment state.
About 90 minutes before Rosales was scheduled to be taken to the death chamber, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals to delay the lethal injection so Rosales could have more time to assemble a state clemency petition and press claims he may be mentally retarded and therefore ineligible for execution.
Prosecutors argued that deadlines for clemency petitions had passed and that the mental retardation issue already had been reviewed and rejected by the appeals courts, including a federal appeals court which in 2004 had stopped Rosales' then-scheduled execution.
Felder, a grandmotherly presence in the neighborhood where she was known lovingly as "Miss Mary," was pummeled and stabbed with a two-pronged fork and a steak knife. Records show she had 113 wounds, including some from needle-nose pliers.
A Lubbock jury that convicted Rosales of capital murder deliberated about two hours before deciding he should die. (Sources: AP, 15/04/2009)