Wednesday, February 01, 2006

January 31, 2006


Last Meal: Fried chicken, onion rings, French fries, two bowls of peach cobbler, two milk shakes and two glasses of orange juice.

The skinny: Elizalde Jr. was executed for the fatal shooting of two men outside a Houston cantina more than 11 years ago.

More skinny: Elizalde was at a nightclub with his father when the two men got into a confrontation witht he two men. Four days later, the father and son returned to the bar and sat on opposite sides of the room. Jaime Elizalde, Sr. gestured to the two men to follow him outside of the El Lugar bar, where Elizalde Jr. was waiting for them. He pulled a gun and shot both men to death. A witness testified that from the bar he saw one man as he was shot. He further testified that, although he did not see the killer who shot the man, when he exited the bar he saw Elizalde flee with a gun.

Elizalde's father was arrested in the case and jailed for some two years before he was released. Prosecutors said the father signaled his son, pointing out the victim, while heading outside. Both Elizalde and his father, who never was tried, denied any such signal.

Priors: Elizalde, Jr. was paroled from prison approximately 8 months before the murder, serving 4 years of a 10 year sentence for possession of cocaine and car theft.

One delay: Elizalde was set to die in November but received a reprieve after confessing to another killing that landed someone else in prison. He also said the man convicted of that slaying was responsible for the two killings that earned him a spot on death row. When a judge called on him two weeks ago to testify about the other case, Elizalde cited his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions.

Last words and such: In a brief final statement, Elizalde thanked friends for their support and urged fellow death row inmates to "keep the faith and stay strong and put your faith in the Lord." "Many times in life we take the wrong road and there are consequences for everything. Mistakes are made but with God all things are possible, so put your faith and trust in him." Elizalde said that inmates talk about Supreme Court reprieves, but "the real supreme court you must face up there and not down here. The best reprieve is from God himself." Elizalde also urged them to keep their heads up and stay strong and expressed his love. Then he began praying as the drugs were taking effect.

Factoids: Elizalde was the...

5th murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1009th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Texas in 2006
357th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Three more Texas inmates, among at least a dozen with execution dates in the coming months, are scheduled to die in February.