Tuesday, August 13, 2002

TEXAS LAST MEAL, Thursday, August 8, 2002

Teen killer does a little beef, chicken and pork....

LAST MEAL: Triple meat cheeseburger with fried bun and everything, French fries, ketchup, four pieces of chicken (two legs and two thighs), and one fried pork chop sandwich

The Crime: Jones, an eighth-grade dropout who was a teenager when he was convicted of killing a man during a carjacking was executed by injection. Jones was 17 when he was arrested with three companions for gunning down 75-year-old Willard Davis, who had surrendered his car to them outside his home in Longview, about 190 miles north of Houston.

WORDS OF REMORSE: T.J. Jones, looking at relatives of his victim, apologized for the 1994 slaying.

"I would like to say to the victim's family I regret the pain I put y'all through. I hope you can move on after this," said Jones, 25, before the Thursday night execution.

"I was very thankful he apologized," the victim's wife, Geraldine Davis, said after watching Jones die. "It's the first time he's ever showed any type of remorse."

PARTNERS IN CRIME LIVE ON: The three teenagers with Jones during the carjacking were convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity and received long prison terms.

AMNESTY SPEAKS: Jones' sentence and his age at the time of the shooting renewed criticism from traditional death penalty opponents. As a teenage offender, Jones "would not be facing this punishment in almost any other country in the world," Amnesty International said in a statement.

Gregg County District Attorney Bill Jennings responded: "He did an adult crime and he deserves to receive an adult penalty, which in this case 12 jurors decided should be death."