Texas executes man who lit ex-girlfriend on fire
A man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend by dousing her with gasoline and
setting her on fire was executed in Texas on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme
Court refused his final appeal.
Carl Blue, 48, was condemned to die for attacking Carmen Richards-Sanders at
her apartment in Bryan, about 100 miles northwest of Houston, in September
1994. He also tossed gasoline on a man in the apartment, but the man survived
and testified against Blue.
Blue claimed it was a prank gone wrong, but prosecutors said it was an
intentional attack sparked by jealously.
In his final statement, Blue greeted his victim's daughter, Terrella Richards,
as she entered the death chamber viewing area by telling her he loved her.
"I never meant to hurt your mama," Blue said while strapped to a gurney. "If I
could change that, I would. ... I hope you can forgive me."
He then told his parents, watching from an adjacent room, that he loved them
and acknowledged he had done something wrong. He said he was "paying the
ultimate justice. ... It may be crooked justice but I forgive those people."
He later added: "Cowboy up. I'm fixin' to ride, and Jesus is my vehicle."
Blue took about a dozen breaths as the lethal drug began taking effect. He said
he could "feel it," then slipped into unconsciousness before being pronounced
dead at 6:56 p.m.
Richards declined to take questions after the execution, but said her journey
was over. "I can move on with my life," she said. "My journey has ended today."
Prosecutors said Blue walked seven miles from his home to a convenience store,
and had been drinking malt liquor and smoking crack behind the store, when he
bought 50 cents' worth of gasoline and put in a "Big Gulp" cup.
Court records said he waited outside Richards-Sanders' apartment, then when she
opened the door, rushed in and told her: "I told you I was going to get you."
He then doused Richards-Sanders and set her ablaze.
When Blue discovered Larence Williams at the apartment, he threw what was left
of the gasoline on Williams, setting him on fire.
"He had only one true love in his life ... and here she was with another guy,"
recalled John Quinn, the lead defense attorney at Blue's 1995 trial.
Hours after the attack, Blue turned himself in to police.
"When I went to knock, she snatched the door open and had a cigarette," Blue
told police in a tape-recorded statement played at his trial. "I wasted gas on
both of them. And she caught on fire, and he caught on fire, and I took off
running ... I was scared, man."
Shane Phelps, a prosecutor at Blue's punishment trial, said Richards-Sanders
was trying to start her life over after she and Blue broke up months earlier,
"and Carl wasn't part of that, and that was a problem for Carl."
In appeals this week, Blue's attorney, Michael Charlton, argued that it was a
conflict of interest for one of Quinn's co-counsels to represent him in appeals
because he likely wouldn't contend his previous work was deficient. The
conflict "resulted in valuable and worthwhile claims not being presented to any
court," Charlton said.
But the Texas Attorney General's office said the federal appeals were meritless
because Blue had waived his right to a different lawyer, negating the conflict
5 years after Blue's conviction, his death sentence was among about half a
dozen in Texas overturned by a federal judge who ruled it was improper for a
former state prison psychologist to testify that the black man's race could
indicate a propensity for violence. But Blue again was sentenced to die at a
second punishment trial in 2001.
Blue becomes the 1st condemend inmate to be put to death this year in Texas and
the 493rd overall since the state resumed capital punishment on December 7,
1982. At least 11 other prisoners are scheduled for lethal injection in the
coming months in Texas, which executed 15 inmates last year. Blue becomes the
254th condemned inmate to be put to death since Rick Perry became Governor of
Texas in 2001.
Blue becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA
and the 1322nd overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.
(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
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EEUU PENA DE MUERTE
Ejecutan en Texas a un hombre que prendió fuego a su exnovia en 1994
Washington, 21 feb (EFE).- Las autoridades de Texas ejecutaron
hoy a Carl Henry Blue, que fue condenado a muerte por matar a su
exnovia al prenderle fuego en 1994, después de que el Tribunal
Supremo de EE.UU. rechazara su última apelación.
Blue, un afroamericano de 48 años, recibió la inyección letal
poco después de las 00.00 GMT del viernes en una prisión de
Huntsville (Texas), según informó la cadena de televisión local
La ejecución fue la primera de este año en Texas, uno de los
estados que más aplica la pena de muerte y que en 2012 ejecutó a 15
Poco antes de la ejecución, el Supremo rechazó la apelación final
de Blue, culpable del asesinato de Carmen Richards-Sanders, que
tenía 38 años en 1994.
El suceso se produjo cuando Blue entró en el apartamento de su
exnovia, le vertió encima una taza llena de gasolina y después le
prendió fuego con un mechero, causándole quemaduras que le
provocaron la muerte días después.
Blue repitió el ritual con Larence Williams, que también estaba
en el apartamento y trató de ayudar a la mujer.
Williams sobrevivió y testificó más tarde en contra de Blue,
quien argumentó en su juicio que todo había sido una broma que se le
fue de las manos, y que la muerte de Richards-Sanders fue
La ejecución es la segunda en todo Estados Unidos en lo que va de
2013, tras la de Robert Gleason en Virginia a el pasado 16 de enero.
En 2012, un total de 42 personas fueron ejecutadas en el país
norteamericano, las mismas que en 2011, según la página web Beath
Penalty Information Center. EFE
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