Thursday, March 04, 2004

March 3, 2004

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 900....

Last Meal: chicken fried steak with cream gravy, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, one slice of cheesecake with whipped cream and sprinkled pecans, one slice of pecan pie and apple juice.

The skinny: Marcus Cotton, 29, was executed for the shooting death of an assistant district attorney.

Although Cotton repeatedly denied shooting the man, tips led police to him, and he was arrested at his girlfriend's home about a week after the slaying.

The victim was one of two men confronted by robbers that night, and testimony revealed that he was shot after Cotton saw his prosecutor's badge. The victim was found dead in the back seat, shot twice in the head.

Witnesses told police that Cotton had bragged about "shooting the law," after seeing the man's badge.

Cotton was tried twice for the slaying, and the first trial was declared a mistrial when a juror refused to even discuss the case with the others, shouting profanity and at one point blurting out an anti-Semitic remark.

He had pleaded guilty earlier to attempted murder for shooting a man at a Houston apartment complex, had served four years of a six-year term and was released under mandatory supervision.

On the day he killed, Cotton's parole officer received approval to place an electronic monitor on Cotton's ankle.

Cotton had an extensive criminal record for theft and drug dealing. He said one of his heroes was the Miami drug lord played by Al Pacino in the violent 1980s movie "Scarface."

The second gunman, Lawrence Watson, testified against Cotton in exchange for a 10-year prison term. Both had ridden their bicycles to the community center.

Words from Death Row... "I was not there," Cotton, insisted recently from the visiting area of Texas' death row. "I don't have any remorse because I didn't do it." Asked where he was that night, he replied: "I have no alibi. I don't know. I'd just done 4 1/2 years in prison and I wanted to be alone. Nine times out of 10, I was in my apartment." A former security guard also testified she saw Cotton point a gun at the victim. "I'm not saying these people didn't see what they saw," Cotton said. "I'm saying it wasn't me."

Last words and such: "Well Mom, sometimes it works out like this," Cotton said. "Love life, live long. When you're dealing with reality, real is not always what you want it to be.

"Take care of yourselves. I love you," he said. "Tell my kids I love them. God is real. Y' all are fixing to find out some deep things that are real. Bounce back, baby. You know what I'm saying."


Cotton was the...
15th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
900th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
8th murderer executed in Texas in 2004
321st murderer executed in Texas since 1976