Tuesday, January 31, 2006

January 25, 2006

...Dudley had to be carried to the chamber...

Last Meal: Dudley had no final meal request.

The skinny: Dudley, an Alabama man who was part of a ring that shuttled drugs from Texas to his home state, was executed for the slayings of four people nearly 14 years ago.

More skinny: Dudley, who lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, occassionally traveled to Houston to buy drugs from Rachel and Jose Tovar.

Dudley and three men drove from Tuscaloosa to Houston. After arriving, Dudley and one of the men went to the Tovar residence and asked for three kilograms of cocaine. Rachel Tovar told the men she did not have the cocaine and asked them to come back later. Dudley and the other man returned to the Tovar residence a few hours later and the Tovars showed them a kilogram of cocaine. The men were told more cocaine could be obtained, so the pair left.

At dusk, Dudley and two men returned and bound six people with towels or strips of sheets, hands tied behind their backs and nooses around their necks. All six were then shot. Jose Tovar was fatally shot in the head, as were his wife's son, the son's girlfriend, who was seven months pregnant, and a neighbor who had just stopped by to visit.

Rachel Tovar and another friend survived to identify their attckers. Rachel Tovar managed to crawl to a neighbor's house for help.

About 2 1/2 weeks after the shootings, Dudley was arrested in Fayetteville, N.C.

Besides Dudley, Arthur "Squirt" Brown, of Tuscaloosa, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Now 35, he remains on death row. A third man, Tony Dunson, also from Alabama and 19 at the time of the shootings, received a life sentence.

Quote: "My number one problem was women," Dudley said from death row. "I was running around. Everything went downhill from there... I just wanted to get money, easy money. And once you start getting easy money, it's so hard to slow down."

Last words and such: Prison officials said while he wasn't combative, Dudley had to be carried to the chamber by officers after he refused to leave a death house cell voluntarily.

When asked by a warden if he had any final statement, Marion Dudley did not respond, kept his eyes closed and never turned his head toward witnesses in the chamber, which included one of his survivors and relatives of one of the people killed.

Factoids: Dudley was the...

3rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1007th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Texas in 2006
356th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Nineteen convicted killers were executed in 2005 as Texas maintained its notoriety as the nation's most active capital punishment state.

Another inmate is set for lethal injection next week and three more next month. They are among more than a dozen Texas prisoners with execution dates in the first five months of this year.