Friday, November 12, 2004

November 9, 2004

...these Friday Night Lights have been turned off...

Last Meal: A big cheeseburger, lots of french fries, apple pie, three Cokes and five mint sticks.

The skinny: McCullum, 30, was executed for the abduction, robbery, beating and fatal shooting of a Houston man.

McCullum was arrested the day in he was supposed to leave for Tyler Junior College, where he had an athletic scholarship to play quarterback.

However, authorities linked him and several football-player companions to a series of robberies and assaults around Houston, culminating in the slaying of the 29-year-old victim.

More skinny: Friendly and sociable, McCullum was voted "Mr. Aldine" by his high school classmates.

McCullum, who was 19 when he was arrested, blamed his actions on a lack of maturity. "I wasn't one of those that had goals," he said recently from death row. "I was one of those that whatever the wind was blowing."

Prosecutors said the victim, who had moved to Houston from Toledo, Ohio, was approached by McCullum, who needed money to buy clothes for school, and three of his buddies outside a Houston gay club. Authorities believed the four were looking for easy money and figured a homosexual made a good target.

McCullum disputed that, "That wasn't the case at all," he said. "This guy approached us. The dude was drunk and high."

The man was beaten and taken away in his own car, was forced to withdraw $400 from an automated bank machine, then was shot in the back of the head. His body was dumped miles from where he was abducted, and the car was abandoned and torched three blocks from where one of his attackers lived.

Also arrested were Terrance Perro, Decedrick Gainous and Christopher Lewis. Gainous, who also was to have played football with McCullum at Tyler Junior College, and Perro received life prison terms. Lewis testified against McCullum and got a 15-year sentence. He was recently paroled.

Last words and such: "I just wanted to say to all of those that have supported me over the years that I appreciate it and I love you. And I just want to tell my Mom that I love her and I will see her in heaven."

The victim's mother was among four witnesses to watch McCullum die, but he did not acknowledge her presence.

Factoids: McCullum was the...

56th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
941st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
21st murderer executed in Texas in 2004
334th murderer executed in Texas since 1976