Sunday, August 14, 2005

August 10, 2005

Last Meal: Sterling requested a chicken fried steak, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, French fries, pecan pie, sweet tea and a vanilla milkshake.

The skinny: Sterling, former farm worker from Central Texas was executed for using a car bumper jack to fatally beat and rob a man during a violent spree 17 years ago that also left three other people dead.

More skinny: Sterling, 38, was condemned for the beating death of a 72 year old man, killed in 1988 at his home. Prosecutors also had evidence tying him to the slaying of a 52 year old woman, a friend of the victim's whose purse and glasses were found at Sterling's home, although he was not tried for the woman's death.

Sterling led police to their bodies after he was arrested for the slayings of two seventy year old brothers. He pleaded guilty to their slayings and received two life prison terms. Authorities said Sterling knew the four victims, who all were fatally beaten.

Evidence showed Sterling, who was 20 at the time, took a car, a TV, shotgun and a lantern. Police said he sold the car for cash he needed to buy crack cocaine. "He was looking for enough to just buy some rocks," Hill County Sheriff Brent Button said.

In the big house: While in jail in Hillsboro, Sterling gained notoriety for trashing his cell, tearing up steel jail fixtures officials had been told were indestructible. Sterling also was remembered for a physical training regimen where he would do push-ups for hours.

Last words and such: "I wish I could do something to replace your father, your loved one," Gary Sterling said as two daughters and three sons of his victim stood a few feet away watching through a window. "But I can't. I know this was a heinous crime. I just wish I could get him back. I would like the chaplain to say a prayer, not only for me but for the victim's family. For them being misled, I am sorry. That is all I have to say. I'll put in a good word for everybody."

Factoids: Sterling was the....

34th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
978th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
11th murderer executed in Texas in 2005
347th murderer executed in Texas since 1976