Texas Executes Man Who Killed for $8

Garcia was 18 when he shot missionary to death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 7, 2015 1:43 AM CDT
Texas Executes Man Who Killed for $8
Death row inmate Juan Garcia is photographed in a visiting cage on Sept. 2, 2015, at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas.   (Mike Graczyk)

A convicted killer in Texas was executed Tuesday for fatally shooting another man in a robbery that yielded just $8. No late appeals were filed for Juan Martin Garcia, who was lethally injected for the September 1998 killing and robbery of Hugo Solano in Houston. Solano, a Christian missionary from Guadalajara, Mexico, had moved his family to the city just weeks earlier so his children could be educated in the US. Garcia, who was 18 at the time of the killing and a street gang member, was identified as the ringleader of four men involved in the robbery. The 35-year-old apologized to Solano's relatives in Spanish in the moments before the execution. Solano's wife and daughter sobbed and told the inmate they loved him.

"The harm that I did to your dad and husband—I hope this brings you closure," Garcia said from the death chamber gurney, his voice breaking. "I never wanted to hurt any of you all." He told his sister and several friends in English that he loved them. "No matter what, remember my promise," he said. "No matter what, I will always be with you." As the dose of pentobarbital began, he winced, raised his head, and then shook it. He gurgled once and snored once before his movement stopped. He was pronounced dead 12 minutes later. The execution was the 11th this year in Texas. (A Colorado man who stabbed five people in a $170 robbery was spared the death penalty by a holdout juror.)

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