Friday, January 31, 2003


Hat trick in Huntsville....

January 28, 2003

Last Meal: Chicken fried steak, country gravy, hot buttered corn, mashed potatoes, hot buttered rolls, hot apple pie, vanilla ice cream, tea

The skinny: Curry was executed for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery in Austin. The holdup netted $220 for Curry and an accomplice but was captured on videotape. In the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 16, 1991, Curry and Mark Davis entered the store armed with guns. Curry jumped over the counter and shot the clerk in the head. The pair grabbed the cash drawer and fired four more bullets into Vela as they fled.

Evidence: Curry was arrested Nov. 8 on information provided by a informant. A search of his home produced clothing that the two robbers wore during the holdup, one of the murder weapons, and the store's missing cash drawer. Curry confessed to police.

Last Words and such: "I pray with the help of God that you will forgive me for the pain that I have caused your family," he said, looking at relatives of his victims who watched through a window. "I'm truly sorry. I wish I could take it back. I just pray and ask you forgive me."

Factoids: Curry's execution was delayed about two hours until the U.S. Supreme Court rejected final appeals in the case.

Curry was the fourth Texas inmate executed this year, the 293rd since the state restored the death penalty in 1982 and the first of three scheduled on consecutive nights this week. Curry was fourth convicted killer executed this year in Texas

Curry, who became a Christian in prison, told the Austin American-Statesman in an interview this week that he was ready to accept the death sentence.

"I believe I deserve to die," he said. "They say you reap what you sow. When you live a life -- especially out on the streets -- you have a certain mentality that if someone wrongs you, then that person pays with their life."

Curry was also serving a life sentence for the murder of Brendon Proske, 23, in another convenience store robbery in Austin seven days later.

January 29, 2003

Last Meal: Liver and onions, two double meat hamburgers with bacon and mayonnaise, two orders of French fries, vanilla ice cream, two Dr. Peppers, salad with ranch dressing, and M&M's

The skinny: Dinkins, who wrote bad checks to pay for massage treatment at a Beaumont clinic was executed for gunning down the clinic owner and another woman there. Dinkins lived in nearby Sour Lake and worked as a machinist for a company that made fire hydrants and water valves. He confessed to authorities.

Final words and such: Richard Dinkins declined to make a final statement, responding to the warden, "No sir" when asked if he wanted to say anything.

In a written statement, however, he asked for forgiveness and expressed regrets. "I am sorry for what happened and that it was because of me that they are gone," he said. "If there were any way I could change things and bring them back I would. But I can't."

Dinkins accepted responsibility for the damage his actions caused but said he had made peace with God and hoped that "soon everyone will be able to have closure in their hearts and lives."

Factoids: Dinkins was the fifth Texas inmate to receive lethal injection this year and the second of three on consecutive evenings this week.

January 30, 2003

Last Meal: Steak, baked potato, cherry cheesecake, salad, blue cheese dressing, rolls, Coke, coffee, strawberries, and oranges

The skinny: Riddle was put to death for the 1988 beating murder with a tire iron of a close friend whose house he was burglarizing. The jury rejected Riddle's claims that he killed Bennett while fending off an assault by the man who was described as being almost a stepfather to Riddle, who was 19 at the time.

First appearance of Homosexual panic this year!: Riddle testified that Bennett made a sexual advance that angered him, so he responded by hitting the man some 15 times with the tire iron. But evidence showed that Bennett at the time of the attack had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29, enough to render him unconscious.

Final words and such: Riddle made part of his final statement in French. In English he professed his love for family and friends witnessing the execution. He then talked about himself. "I have no grudges against anyone, or any of the things that have gone wrong," Riddle said. "I would like to say to the world I have always been a nice person. I have never been mean-hearted or cruel. I wish everybody well." With his Swiss prison bride, who does not speak English, sobbing as she watched through a window nearby, Riddle said, "Je t'aime" -- I love you and "au revoir."

Factoid: He was the 295th person executed in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. Riddle was the third convicted killer executed this week in Texas and the sixth this year. Two more executions are scheduled next week.