Saturday, October 20, 2007

August 15, 2007

...two men had "broken into the house and shot Mommy"...

Last Meal: Parr had no final meal request.

The skinny: Parr, 27, was executed for the rape and fatal shooting of a woman during a break-in at her home nearly 10 years ago.

More skinny: The eight-year old daughter of the victim testified at trial that she was awakened in the night at her home by her mother screaming, “Oh my God. Help me.”

She saw two men who had broken into the home, with bandanas over their face, one with a gun, telling she and her mother to get on the floor. As the girl, her six-year old brother, and her mother lay on the floor crying, they demanded to know the location of any jewelry.

The girl described how her mother was then raped, then shot twice in the head. The men threatened the girl then stole their car. After 30 minutes or so, the girl called her grandparents and told them that two men had "broken into the house and shot Mommy."

Much of the property that was stolen from the home was later recovered from the apartment of Monica Silva, Parr’s girlfriend. Silva recounted how Parr had confessed the burglary and murder to her.

Michael Jiminez, Parr’s half-brother and accomplice, also confessed and was later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jiminez said, “We were going to kill the kids, but the gun messed up.”

Parr was on parole from the Texas Youth Commission ("TYC") at the time of the murder. At his trial, evidence showed that he wrote a rap song about killing the woman and how he was planning to murder again.

The Jan. 21, 1998, slaying was the only homicide that year in Matagorda County, about 100 miles southwest of Houston. The timing — just days after Parr's 18th birthday — is significant because the U.S. Supreme Court has barred execution for those convicted of crimes committed when under 18. Parr's lawyers raised the age issue in earlier appeals but lost.

Not a model prisoner: After convicted of her murder and sent to death row, prison records show Parr continued to pile up disciplinary infractions.

Parr first threatened to harm female prison staff members and then broadened his threats to include others working at the facility, said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Because of the threats Parr had made to prison staff, Texas took the rare step of banning him from conducting death-row media interviews. "He flipped out when he found out we weren't going to do media stuff." But Parr went to the death chamber without incident, she said.

Steven Reis, the Matagorda County district attorney who prosecuted Parr, said the prisoner's history since being locked up was no surprise and shows jurors were correct to give him a death sentence. "He is the clearest example of how even death row inmates are dangerous," Reis said. "Many people suggest that once a defendant is incarcerated for life, they pose no danger to society. This misleading statement presumes that the people who work within the prisons are not members of society, which is preposterous. Those people are at risk from the likes of Parr."

Last words and such: Parr had only a brief final statement Wednesday evening as he received a lethal dose of drugs, responding "Yeah" when asked by the warden if he had anything to say. "I just want to tell my family I love y'all, man," he said. "Keep your head up, y'all."

Several distraught relatives, including his mother, were overcome with grief as they watched him die and sobbed uncontrollably.

Factoids: Parr was the....

33rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1090th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
20th murderer executed in Texas in 2007
399th murderer executed in Texas since 1976