Tuesday, October 31, 2006

September 12, 2006

..A moment later he went on to thank his supporters, who included French actress Brigitte Bardot....

Last Meal: Matchett had a final meal request of four olives and a bottle of wild-berry flavored water.

The skinny: Matchett, a former crack addict, was executed for the murder of a Houston house painter committed will on a three-day crime spree to support his $600-a-day crack cocaine habit.

More skinny: Matchett was a crack addict in desperate need of a fix. A day earlier in Huntsville, he killed a 74-year-old woman with a meat hammer after she refused to give him money. The day before that, he severely beat a 91-year-old woman for the same reason. Today, he randomly knocked on doors in a northeast Houston neighborhood before he appeared at the male victim's doorstep to ask for money. The man, who was related to Matchett by marriage, lectured him about his drug habit. The victim, who was home alone, was attacked by Matchett. His body was found two days later.The 52-year-old father of four had been stabbed twice in the back and his head badly beaten with a hammer.

Matchett was arrested when he tried to cash one of the man's personal checks. Matchett confessed to Houston police about the three-day crime spree and later pleaded guilty to the man's murder. Matchett later accepted plea deals in the Huntsville murders. He received a life prison sentence for the murder, and 99 years in prison for attacking the woman.

His story: At 13, Matchett began to hang out on the streets and run errands for drug dealers and prostitutes. The bottom really fell out of his life when his 11-year-old sister was raped. Matchett said he blamed himself for not being around to protect her.

He dropped out of school and joined the U.S. Army, but soon learned that the life of solitude he had sought would not be found in the military. Matchett "lost interest" and was discharged in 1981 for being absent without leave, fighting with a private and possession of marijuana. After the Army, Matchett worked as a truck driver, school bus driver and landscaper. He could make it through the week, but come Friday his addiction took hold and he "binge smoked." "You couldn't get me to do nothing on the weekend," he said with a smile.

Leading up to: During a recent interview from death row, the 43-year-old spoke about his life before and after drugs, his court case and what he considers an unfair shake at the legal system with his state-appointed counsel. "I live every day with what happened, and I regret what happened," he said. "How much remorse does society want me to show?"

Last words and such: He began his final statement by telling his family: "I love you all. Stay strong, and know that I am in a better place." He then addressed members of victim Uries Anderson's family, who witnessed the execution. Matchett, who is related to the Anderson family by marriage, asked for their forgiveness. He said he hoped they "found peace" in their hearts through his death. He then said, "Into thy hands I command my spirit." A moment later he went on to thank his supporters, who included French actress Brigitte Bardot. "Don't let this be the end," he said. "Keep going." His voice trailed off as the lethal injection took effect.

Factoids: Matchett was the...

42nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1046th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
21st murderer executed in Texas in 2006
376th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Texas has six more executions scheduled this year.

More Bardot: The actress has sent an open letter to Texas governor Rick Perry asking him to pardon Matchett before he was executed. Bardot states she's convinced that Matchett, 43, was acting in self-defence when he stabbed his victim in 1991. Matchett has been incarcerated for 13 years. In her letter, Bardot writes, "This man has unintentionally committed a serious fault, since he acted in self-defence. "He is not a gangster, not a child's rapist, not a serial killer either... I beg you to please pardon Farley Matchett. "Dear Mr Governor, by according your pardon, your mercy to Farley Matchett to live, you would make me a wonderful favour (sic) and I will always be thankful to you."