Monday, May 29, 2006

May 17, 2006

Last Meal: Herrine had a final meal request of sirloin steak, spicy worcestershire sauce, a bacon cheeseburger w/ten slices of bacon, onion rings and fries w/cheese, french dressing, a butterfinger blizzard w/carmel, pecan pie, vanilla ice cream and peach cobbler.

The skinny: Herron was executed for killing a woman and her son nine years ago.

More skinny: A man returned to his mobile home to find that his wife and their 15-year old son shot and killed. A pickup truck had been stolen, and a neighboring residence had been burglarized and set on fire.

Members of the family whose house was burglarized and burned testified that Derrick Frazier and Jermaine Herron had paid a visit to their ranch the day before the murders, on the pretense of looking for work. Herron knew the family because his father had once worked for them, and he introduced Frazier as his cousin Kenny. Friends testified that they planned to kill the family, but got tired of waiting and walked the quarter mile to the victim's home.

According to videotaped confessions of both men, they told the woman they were stranded and asked for drinks. She offered to give the men a ride into Refugio. She left her son in the house and went to the pickup truck with Frazier and Herron. As she started the truck, Herron said he needed to go to the bathroom, and returned to the house. Shortly thereafter, he enticed the woman to return to the house, saying she had a phone call. Frazier admitted to killing her using a 9 mm pistol they had stolen from the other house. Then Herron shot the son with the same weapon.

The men then used her truck to carry loot taken during a burglary from the house next door.

Herron turned himself in three days after the slayings. He and Frazier gave nearly identical confessions, but later each defendant blamed the other for the killings.

Derrick Frazier was also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. He remains on death row.

Legal Machinations: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid for a last-minute appeal claiming the drugs used in lethal injections cause "excessive pain."

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Herron's appeal earlier in the afternoon. In a separate opinion, the court lifted the temporary stay of execution it had granted for another Texas inmate on the same issue.

Last words and such: Herron, 27, addressed his victims’ husband and father, Jerry Nutt, during his final statement. “I just hope this brings some kind of peace to your family. I wish I could bring them back, but I can’t,” he said. “I hope my death brings peace; don’t hang on to the hate.” Herron then looked to his mother, telling her to stay strong. “Lord, forgive me for my sins because here I come,” he said. Herron stared at the ceiling for several moments before closing his eyes and taking several deep breaths.

Nutt said he was frustrated and angered that Herron's execution might have been delayed because of his claims lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. "I'll tell you what the cruel and unusual punishment is, it's the victims having to wait for justice. That is what's cruel and unusual," he said. "Watching him die looked very easy. He went peacefully. I just hope that the terror he felt in the last hour or two of his life was just a little bit of the terror that my son felt before he shot him in the head."

Factoids: Herron was the...

19th murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1023rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
9th murderer executed in Texas in 2006
364th murderer executed in Texas since 1976