Thursday, September 11, 2003

September 10, 2003

a rocky road....

Last Meal: For his final meal, Hayes requested two bacon cheeseburgers, french fries, onion rings, cole slaw, fried okra, a pint of Rocky Road ice cream, a quart of milk and two diet Cokes.

The skinny: Hayes was executed by lethal injection for killing his wife. That same night, he admitted to also killing an 18-year-old convenience store clerk and driving off with her car.

Hayes was convicted of shooting his wife seven times in the head on July 15, 1999, the night after she told him she'd been having an affair. Twenty minutes later he shot the college-bound clerk.

Hayes was captured a few hours after the incident and shot by police in Polk County.

No Legal Machinations: Hayes expedited his death by dropping his appeals. He said he is eager to atone for his crime. "I feel by carrying (the appeals) on I'm lying about the fact of what I did," said Hayes.

Last words and such: With a shaky voice, he apologized to the victims' family members.

"I would like for Rosalyn's family and loved ones and my wife Mary's family to know that I am genuinely sorry for what I did. I would like for you to reach down in your hearts and forgive me. There is no excuse for what I did," he said while strapped to the gurney.

Hayes also thanked loved ones for their support.

"As for my friends and family here, thanks for sticking with me and know that I love you and I will take a part of you with me," he said. "I would like to thank one of the arresting officers that I would have killed if I could have. He gave me CPR, saved my life and gave me a chance to get my life right."

Factoids: Hayes, who once served as Sunday school director for a Conroe church, did not have much of a criminal record prior to the night of violence.

It is unusual for a condemned inmate to drop his or her appeals and volunteer for execution. Of the 309 people executed in Texas since 1976, only 19 have waived their appeals and voluntarily gone to their deaths. Nationally, 99 out of the 873 people executed since 1976 volunteered.

Hayes said he used his time on death row to make peace with God and he is prepared to die. "I actually get excited when I think about seeing friends and loved ones ... in heaven," he said. "I have no doubt where I am going."

Texas inmates average nearly 10 years in prison before their sentence is carried out.

Hayes was the....

54th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
874th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
21st murderer executed in Texas in 2003
310th murderer executed in Texas since 1976