Thursday, January 29, 2004

January 28, 2004

A caged bird sings an odd song...

Last Meal Request: a four egg extra onion and cheese omelet with a bowl of chili, four thick slices of fried bologna, four pieces of toast with jelly, one chopped-up onion stir-fried, four slices of cheese, pan fried potatoes with a bowl of gravy, sliced tomato, hot coffee, black walnut or vanilla ice cream and a cigar.

The skinny: Vickers. 56, was executed for the killing of a supermarket owner during a botched holdup.

More skinny: The victim ran a small combination gas station/grocery store. He would bring home the day's receipts in a satchel-type bag after he closed for the evening and openly carried a loaded revolver for protection. One evening, his wife heard gunfire and saw her husband drove his truck toward the house, veered off the road, and crashed into a tree. He was found slumped in the seat with what proved to be a fatal gunshot wound to his chest. Inside the truck, the family found his money bag and his handgun, which had recently been fired and contained six spent .38 caliber shells. 22 hours later, police found Vickers walking two miles from the the victim's residence on makeshift crutches due to being shot twice in his left leg. A bullet recovered from Vickers' knee was confirmed to have been fired from the victim's .38 caliber handgun. Accomplice Jason Martin, who testified pursuant to a plea agreement, recounted how he, Vickers, and Tommy Perkins had followed the victim from his business and attempted to rob him. Accomplice Perkins was sentenced to Life in prison for capital murder and accomplice Martin received a 25 year sentence for robbery.

Take two: In December, Vickers was on the brink of execution - awaiting death in a cell next to the lethal injection chamber while a federal court considered his last ditch appeal - when the death warrant for him expired. It marked the first time since Texas resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982 that a condemned inmate's death warrant expired without a reprieve or without his death.

Last words and such: Saying he would "like to clear some things up," Vickers tried to exonerate two accomplices to his crime, an inmate imprisoned for a separate killing and even Texas millionaire Cullen Davis, who was tried for the murder of his wife and acquitted in a notorious 1970s case. Vickers said he or someone else committed the crimes for which they were accused or convicted. "Down through the years there were several more that I had done or that I had been a part of, and I'm sorry but I am not sure how many. There must be a dozen or 14, I believe, all total. All of these it was never nothing personal. It was just something I did to make a living. I wish to say to my family, I'm sorry for all the grief I've put you through."

Response to last words and such: Jack Strickland, a former prosecutor who worked on the Davis case, said Wednesday night that he had never heard of Vickers and doubted that he was involved in the 1976 shooting. "For some perverse reason known only to him (Vickers), he once again screwed with the system. I certainly don't put any stock in it, not the slightest bit,"


Vickers was the....
8th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
893rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
4th murderer executed in Texas in 2004
317th murderer executed in Texas since 1976