Monday, July 09, 2007

June 21, 2007

Last Meal: Reyes had a final meal request of BBQ turkey legs and BBQ brisket, a bowl of cheddar cheese and avocados.

The skinny: Reyes was executed for killing a ex-girlfriend he stalked before raping, strangling and using a claw hammer to beat her to death.

More skinny: The victim was reported missing after she failed to come home the night before from her waitress job at a restaurant in Muleshoe, Texas.

Authorities investigating the disappearance wanted to question Reyes but couldn't find him, adding to suspicion he was involved. Reyes already was known to local police. A month earlier, he chased the woman around town, took a shot at her with a rifle, wound up getting arrested and was free on bond.

Two days after she was last seen, the woman's battered body was found stuffed under clothing in the hatchback area of her stolen car some 450 miles to the south in Presidio, along the Rio Grande across from Mexico. Her pants and underwear were pulled down to her knees. She had multiple head wounds and a laceration on her hand. Officials recovered a knife and a claw hammer from the car. Authorities found bloodstains in and on the car. An autopsy determined that she had been struck in the head six times by a claw hammer.

Blood evidence found outside the restaurant where she worked led police to believe she was attacked there. Before dawn the next morning, border police questioned Reyes as he was walking across border but had no reason to detain him. Acting on a tip, police arrested him three months later in New Mexico. At his trial, witnesses told of Reyes and the woman having a stormy relationship. A police officer testified the victim had complained about Reyes stalking her two weeks before she disappeared. DNA evidence from Reyes was found on the victim's clothing.

Last words and such: With a big grin on his face, Reyes, 33, had a brief final statement, "I love y'all and I'm going to miss y'all," he said, smiling, but never looking at the parents and other relatives of his victim watching through a window.

Factoids: Reyes was the...

25th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1082nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
17th murderer executed in Texas in 2007
396th murderer executed in Texas since 1976