Thursday, February 12, 2004

FEBRUARY 11, 2004

..."this is one of the uglier ones"....

Last Meal: Five pieces of fried chicken, two Cokes or Dr. Peppers.

The skinny: Lagrone,46, was executed for a triple slaying in where one of the victims was a 10-year-old girl pregnant with his child.

More skinny: Evidence showed the girl was 17 weeks pregnant when Lagrone, who was released in 1984 after serving seven years of a 20-year prison term for murder, barged into her family's home about 4 a.m. on May 30, 1991, and began shooting with a double-barreled pistol-grip shotgun he had a girlfriend buy for him one day earlier. Two of the girl's great-aunts, ages 83 and 74, the 74 year-old deaf, blind and bedridden with cancer, also were killed. An uncle was wounded. He identified Lagrone as the shooter.

"This is one of the uglier ones," said Steve Conder, a Tarrant County assistant prosecutor handling responses to Lagrone's appeals. "Just a cold-blooded murderer," said David Montague, the district attorney who prosecuted the case. "DNA evidence immediately linked him to the fetus of the girl who was killed." Authorities believed Lagrone was enraged because the girl's mother wouldn't drop a sexual assault complaint she filed against him for impregnating her daughter even though he offered to pay her and pay for an abortion.

Lagrone denied impregnating the girl, who completed the fourth grade the day before she was killed. DNA evidence, however, excluded 99.99 percent of other men as the father.

According to police records and news accounts, LaGrone had as many as three companions during the crime. No other suspects were arrested.

Final words and such: Lagrone maintained his innocence to the end. "I just want to say I am not sad or bitter with anybody. Like I've said from day one, I didn't kill them. But I'm no better than the people that did." He concluded by saying: "Jesus is Lord. That's all I have to say."

Factoids: The girl's mother is now imprisoned for the slaying of the girl's father. She requested permission to witness the execution of Lagrone. However, that was denied as Texas Department of Criminal Justice policy forbids inmates form witnessing executions.

LaGrone was the....
11 murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
896th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
5th murderer executed in Texas in 2004
318th murderer executed in Texas since 1976