On Wednesday, April 16, MSN is reporting that the State of Texas executed a man who was convicted of stabbing to death his ex-girlfriend, her young son and her mother 13 years ago. The three killings were committed in the woman’s Corpus Christi home. Jose Villegas, 39 was executed via lethal injection.
The execution of Jose Villegas took place after his attorneys failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court that their client was mentally impaired and thus ineligible for the death penalty. Moments prior to his execution Villegas made his last statement. He said, “I would like to remind my children once again I love them.”
“Everything is okay. I love you all, and I love my children. I am at peace.” When the dose of pentobarbital began to take effect, Villegas said, “It does kind of burn.” Villegas was deceased 11 minutes later.
The death row inmate was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. CDT. Villegas became the seventh prisoner to be put to death by the state of Texas this year.
On a last day appeal to the Supreme Court, Villegas’ attorneys tried to stop the execution by claiming that Villegas was given an IQ test in February and his IQ was only 59. The Supreme Court denied the appeal several hours later.
The Texas Attorney General’s office disputed the IQ test results claiming that in previous IQ tests had reflected that Villegas had no mental impairment. Villegas allegedly did not show mental impairment until after his execution date was announced.
Villegas was convicted for the murder of Erida Salazar, 23, her son Jacob, 3, and her mother, Alma Perez, 51 in January 2001. Salazar’s father found the bodies that had been stabbed to death when he returned home from jury duty. Each of the victims had been stabbed at least 19 times.
Police arrested Villegas after he was seen driving Salazar’s stolen car. He led the police on a high speed chase. When he was arrested, police discovered three bags of cocaine in his baseball cap.
In addition to the conviction of capital murder, Villegas’ rap sheet revealed two convictions for indecency with a minor, convictions for making terroristic threats to kill women, burglary and possessing inhalants.
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