48-year-old executed for ex-girlfriend's murder
Texas executed Thursday a man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend by throwing gasoline on her and setting her on fire, after the US Supreme Court denied his last appeal, prison authorities said.
Carl Blue, 48, was convicted over the 1994 death of 38-year-old Carmen Richards-Sanders in College Station, outside of Houston. She died 19 days after the attack.
Blue was pronounced dead at 6:56 pm (0056 GMT), according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
In his final statements, he acknowledged Richards-Sanders's daughter Terella.
"Hang on, cowboy up, I'm fixing to ride," Blue said. "Jesus is my ride."
His death marked the first execution this year in Texas, the most active death penalty state. He was the second man executed nationwide in 2013.
During the attack on his former girlfriend, Blue had also thrown gasoline on Larence Williams, who had come to the aid of Richards-Sanders, and ignited him. Williams survived the attack.
Blue claimed the incident was a prank gone awry and that he had not intended to kill his ex-girlfriend.
"I wish I could take it all back," he told The Eagle newspaper. "I'm not an evil person."
Five years after his 1995 conviction, Blue's death sentence was overturned by a federal judge who ruled that an expert's testimony suggesting the black man's race could make him inclined to engage in violence was improper.
But he was sentenced to die once more at a 2001 trial.
His attorneys had highlighted Blue's difficult childhood -- born prematurely to a 13-year-old teenager -- and his below-average IQ. But all his appeals were exhausted.
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