Friday, January 28, 2005

January 25, 2005

..."No Remorse" from the album "Kill 'Em All."...

Last Meal: Fried chicken, chicken fried steak, a hamburger with cheese and onions, french fries, cauliflower, cinnamon rolls, apple pie and milk.

The skinny: Kunkle was executed by lethal injection for the robbery and murder more than 20 years ago of a man carrying $13 in his wallet.

Kunkle's execution was delayed for two hours as the U.S. Supreme Court considered last minute appeals by his lawyers. Twice last year Kunkle was spared from the death chamber by court rulings on the day he was set to die. The most recent halt came Nov. 18 when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the execution about 40 minutes after Kunkle could have been strapped to the death chamber gurney for injection. Tuesday's execution date was his sixth.

Kunkle, 38, spent more than half of his life on death row.

More skinny: Kunkle and three companions drove from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. They were high on drugs and beer and looking for someone to rob when they saw the victim walking along a road, offered him a ride, and demanded his wallet. Kunkle then told one of his friends to kill the man. When he refused, Kunkle took the gun and stuck it up against the victim’s head and said, “We’re going to take you back here and blow your brains out.” After one of his friends drove the car behind a skating rink, Kunkle shot the man in the back of the head and took his wallet. They opened the car door and pushed the body out.

After the shooting, Kunkle quoted the following line from a song called "No Remorse" from an album "Kill 'Em All" by the heavy metal rock group Metallica: “Another day, another death, another sorrow, another breath,” and told the group that the murder was “beautiful.”

Kunkle wrote METALLICA lyrics, alleging the lyrics from "No Remorse" inspired him to kill. This disturbed the band's lead singer, James Hetfield, when he learned how Kunkle reacted to the verse. Hetfield, in 1984, said, "I guess this kid took it into his own ways. Of course, we're upset but I mean we had nothing directly to do with it."

Prosecutors remembered him at one point during his trial playing an air guitar in the courtroom as lawyers discussed whether the Metallica song could be admitted into evidence.

Kunkle has the METALLICA logo tattooed on his left arm.

One accomplice received a life sentence for capital murder. Two other accomplices were both sentenced to 30 years for murder.

Last words and such: "I would like to ask you to forgive me. I made a mistake and I am sorry for what I did. All I can do is ask you to forgive me. I love you and I will see all of you in Heaven. I love you very much. Praise Jesus. I love you." He then recited the Lord's Prayer.

"Shame to Texas," his wife said as she watched him die.

Factoids: Kunkle was the...

3rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
947th murderer executed in U.S. since 197
62nd murderer executed in Texas in 2005
338th murderer executed in Texas since 1976