Sunday, February 17, 2008

September 5, 2007

...She was 37. Her friends called her Kitten....

Last Meal: Roach had a final meal request of two bacon cheeseburgers with onions, two chili-cheese hot dogs with onions, French fries, two fudge nut brownies and sweet tea.

The skinny: Roach, a South Carolina drifter, was executed for strangling, robbing and raping a woman a few months after he had been paroled from prison.

More skinny: According to a confession given by Roach 10 days after the murder, Roach broke into the Amarillo apartment of the victim through a window and hid in the bathroom. When she walked past the bathroom door, he came out, put his hand over her mouth and told her he would not harm her. She said, “Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me,” and told him that she had a husband and a daughter.

Roach then pushed her into the living room, where she started kicking and scratching. He strangled her using his arm and a belt. After she was dead, Roach said, he raped her. From the residence, he took some rings, a knife, beer, and money, then started a fire with hair spray and a cigarette lighter and left.

She was 37. Her friends called her Kitten.

Roach was picked up by police about 120 miles to the north in Guymon, Okla., for stealing some cigarettes and reselling them. During questioning, he volunteered to officers they should ask him about the murder of a woman in Amarillo.

He also made a statement to police that he wanted to be executed.

Also: Authorities determined that three days before the woman's death, Roach robbed and beat a 71-year-old one-legged man in Amarillo. The man died of a heart attack after the beating.

Roach had an extensive record for burglary and theft as a teenager and had five stints in juvenile lockups, records showed. He pleaded guilty to the theft and robbery charges that got him the six-year prison term in South Carolina.

Last words and such: Roach spoke for several minutes, his voice cracking at times and a tear at the corner of his eye. He repeatedly sought forgiveness from the finance and the daughter of his victim, who stood a few feet away looking through a window. "So much hurt I've caused you all. I can only imagine how you feel. I pray the Lord Jesus Christ touches your heart the way he's touched mine." Saying that he was to blame for the killing, Roach said he knew the victim was "in a good place." ""I cannot agree with this injustice. The Bible says that you shall not kill, but it also says to obey the government. I am sorry, forgive me. I have no ill will toward anyone carrying out this so-called justice. I leave y'all in God's care."

Factoids: Roach was the...

39th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1096th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
24th murderer executed in Texas in 2007
403rd murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Roach was the 24th condemned inmate put to death this year in the nation's most active capital punishment state. The total equals the number of executions carried out in Texas all of last year.