Saturday, November 27, 2004

November 17, 2004

Last Meal: Fuentes had a final meal request of fried chicken with biscuits and jalapeno peppers, steak and french fries, fajita tacos, pizza, a hamburger, water and Coca-Cola.

The Skinny: Fuentes, 30, was executed for fatally shooting a man who tried to nab the robber of a Houston convenience store.

Fuentes denied he was responsible for killing the 28-year old man, who became known as a slain good Samaritan, although Fuentes acknowledged he was with three companions when they were holding up the store.

More skinny: Fuentes and three accomplices robbed the Handi Food Mart in north Houston. Fuentes and one of his companions brandished pistols. The victim, who had been drinking beer with friends in the parking lot of the store, chased one of the bandits when he left the store with two cases of beer. He grabbed accomplice Templeton, and the robber dropped the beer. Just then, Fuentes came running out of the store and shot the man twice in the chest. He died in a ditch across the street from the store. A witness at the trial identified Fuentes as Tate’s murderer. Accomplice Templeton also testified at the trial identifying Fuentes.

It took two years before authorities could piece together the case and arrest Fuentes and his three companions. His accomplices received prison terms for aggravated robbery. Fuentes got a death sentence.

"What Texas doesn't realise is that I am not afraid to die and they can never break me," Fuentes wrote on an Internet site devoted to his case. "My time has been pretty easy here," Fuentes said. "I don't complain about the conditions. I write letters to my family and listen to the radio. I don't read books.

Priors: Fuentes had two previous convictions. He pleaded guilty and spent a year in the Harris County Jail for shooting a man in the leg with a shotgun in 1992. Eight months before the slaying, he pleaded guilty to an attempted murder charge and was placed on probation for shooting a man who was sitting in a car.

Last words and such: "Sorry that I have to put my family through this. To everybody else, the truth will be known. It didn't come out in time to save my life . . . . But when it comes out I hope it stops this. It is wrong for the prosecutors to lie and make witnesses say what they need them to say. The truth has always been there. I just hope everybody has their peace. Today I get mine."

Factoids: Fuentes was the...

59th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
944th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
23rd murderer executed in Texas in 2004
336th murderer executed in Texas since 1976