Saturday, March 18, 2006

March 15, 2006

Last meal: For his final meal, Hughes requested six pieces of fried chicken with hot sauce, six jalapeno peppers, extra large frence fries with ketchup and salt, for buttered rolls or biscuits, two large sprites and two cigarettes (menthol preferred).

The skinny: Tommie Hughes, 32, a former Marine, was condemned for killing the 25-year-old woman, after he and a cousin robbed and shot the woman and her friend..

Hughes was charged with both killings but only tried for the first woman's death.

The victim, 25, grew up in Chicago but her family was originally from Nigeria. She was a student at the University of Illinois and had been in the Dallas-area on a summer internship with GTE Corp. The second victim, 29, was from San Francisco, and was finishing up a yearlong assignment for GTE in Dallas.

More skinny: Tommie Hughes, 32, was condemned for killing the 25-year-old woman, after he and a cousin robbed the woman and her friend.

The women were attacked after watching the movie "Picture Perfect."

Hughes waved an automatic pistol at the women during the robbery and shot them each in the head while his cousin was walking to a car where Hughes' girlfriend waited.

Hughes' cousin, Derric English, helped rob the women while the girlfriend, Henry, was the getaway driver. Hughes was 22 at the time, while English and Henry were 19. All three were caught after a short chase by officers who were in the parking lot on an undercover operation.

Hughes, who was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years got a bad conduct discharge after a court-martial.

The wheels of justice: Hughes maintained his innocence and claimed his girlfriend shot the two women in a jealous rage while he and his cousin were talking to them.

During his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Hughes had robbed three other people at gunpoint at a restaurant parking lot near the theater four days before. He was also indicted for the January 1996 slaying of the owner of a Dallas convenience store, during a robbery.

His defense attorneys presented no witnesses at his trial.

During the trial, the cousin testified Hughes snickered when asked why he killed the women and said they could have identified him.

At a separate trial, English was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Henry pleaded to a lesser charge of aggravated robbery in exchange for her testimony against both men. She was sentenced to 11 years.

Last words and such: In a final statement on Wednesday night while strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, Hughes spoke to his mother, grandmother and some friends as they watched from a nearby window.

"I love my family," he said. "You all stay strong. Watch over each other. Stay strong. I love you. I love you. It's my hour. It's my hour. I love you. Stay strong."

Hughes kept repeating "I love you" and looking at his family until the drugs took effect. He said nothing about his victims, but at one point turned his head and stared at their relatives.

Factoids: Hughes was the...

9th murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1013th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
5th murderer executed in Texas in 2006
360th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

An additional 15 executions are scheduled in Texas through August.

Tommie Hughes...the poet
Inmate Homepage (Tommie Hughes)

"Who Am I”

My life has been
a riddle
wrapped in
a question
locked inside
an enigma & . . . .
as it turns out,
I don’t feel the need
to shed any light
on it
just yet . . . .
& . . . . so,
the question
remains -