Monday, May 28, 2007

January 30, 2007

...He said that voices in his head and his son encouraged him to strangle the women....

Last Meal: Swift had a final meal request of a steak, medium-well with A-1 sauce, salad with ranch dressing, cheddar cheese and bacon bits, baked potato with sour cream, two slices of apple pie, three large rolls, two cokes and one cup of coffee.

The skinny: Swift was executed for the slayings of his eight-months pregnant wife and his mother-in-law.

More skinny: Police received a call from the Days Inn that a five-year-old boy was abandoned at the motel. Upon arrival, the child explained that his father left him at the motel the night before after killing the boy’s mother and grandmother. Police went to Swift's home and found the body of his pregnant wife on the floor of the trailer. The body of the grandmother was found in the kitchen of her Lake Dallas home.

A trace of Swift’s ATM card use led authorities to Swift’s hideout at a motel in Dallas. During the five-hour interrogation that followed his arrest, Swift stated that he choked both women, then drove his son, Zachary, to a motel room. His marriage had gotten off to a rocky start. Four days after their wedding, he started a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting a Texas state trooper in 1996 and a Denton County woman in 1997.

The killings were set off when Swift quit a new job at a concrete company because they asked him to take a drug test and when he came home, his decision sparked an argument with his wife that led to the slayings.

Swift waived all appeals.

Bad dad: Evidence showed Swift's 5-year-old son watched as the former laborer and parolee stabbed and strangled his pregnant wife.

Authorities determined after abandoning his son at the hotel, he got himself a room elsewhere and some beer. He was arrested there and confessed to killing both women and abandoning his son. He said that voices in his head and his son encouraged him to strangle the women. The day after his arrest, Swift told a Dallas television station in a jailhouse interview that he committed the murders because (his son) "was giving me the order to do it."

Swift's Lawyer speaks: "Receiving the death penalty is what he's wanted from Day 1, from the first day I met him," said Derek Adame, who was one of Swift's trial lawyers. "He and I had several discussions about it. It was frustrating for me. That's what makes it hard to deal with. It's the ultimate punishment."

Last words and such: Swift spurned any appeals that could stop or delay his execution.

Asked if he had a final statement, Swift responded: "no."

Seven minutes later at 6:20 p.m., he was pronounced dead as five friends watched. They offered their tears and prayers as they watched. “Look at his face. His face is completely at peace. He is going to see Jesus,” one friend said.

No relatives of survivors attended the execution.

Factoids: Swift was the...

4th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1061st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in Texas in 2007
382nd murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Swift spent about 21 months on death row. The average condemned Texas inmate is in prison about 10 years before execution. The shortest time on death row was Joe Gonzales, who in 1996 received lethal injection 252 days after he arrived.