Wednesday, September 11, 2002

TEXAS LAST MEAL, Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Oh, that Texas Death Row Fried Chicken!

LAST MEAL: French fries, five pieces of fried chicken and three (3!) Dr. Peppers.

The skinny:
Walker was condemned for raping and murdering Virginia Simmons at her home in the northeastern Texas town of Daingerfield on May 23, 1992. He confessed to killing her husband, 82-year-old Willie "Bo" Simmons in the same attack, but was not prosecuted for the murder.

Walker, who lived nearby and knew the victims, told police he went to their home under the pretense of having a beer, when his real intent was to steal money so he could buy cocaine. He beat both of them to death with a board and a cane, sexually assaulted Mrs. Simmons before and after killing her and took cash from Mr. Simmons' wallet.

Good Seats Available: Attendance for Walker's execution was sparse, with no witnesses from the family of the victims or from Walker's family. The only media representatives were from the Associated Press and The Huntsville Item.

Fashion Trend-Setter??? Walker, clad in a light blue dress shirt and dark blue slacks, was not covered by a sheet as is customary for most executions.

Nine Minutes: Start to Finish: He struggled with his emotions during his final statement, which he began at 6:07 p.m.

After thanking friends in Switzerland and Great Britain, Walker became emotional when speaking of his family.

"And to my family..." he said before breaking into a sob. After composing himself, he said to "Walls" warden Neill Hodges, "That's all."

As the fatal dose began to flow at 6:08 p.m., Walker began to recite the Lord's Prayer. He reached the phrase, "Thy kingdom come" before being overcome by emotion.

Addressing Texas Department of Criminal Justice chaplain Richard Lopez, Walker said, "Help me, Chaplain." Lopez continued the prayer as Walker gasped and lost consciousness, shedding a tear as his eyes shut. He was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m.

Remorse: In a written statement, Walker apologized for the crime.

"I wish to tell the family how sorry I am about what I done. I know that nothing I say will bring Mr. and Mrs. Bo Simmons back."


Walker, 36, was the 24th person put to death this year in Texas, which leads the nation in capital punishment. Another four Texas inmates are scheduled to die this month.

He was the 280th person executed in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982, six years the Supreme Court lifted a four-year national ban on the death penalty.

Walker served two years (2!) for a previous murder conviction before being released in the early 1980's.

Texas' next execution is set for Sept. 17, when Jessie Patrick was scheduled to receive a lethal injection for raping and killing an 80-year-old woman in 1989.