He Charged $2K for the Murder. It Cost Him His Life

Rolando Ruiz was executed Tuesday in Texas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2017 12:18 AM CST
Texas Executes Hit Man for 1992 Murder
This photo released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows death row inmate Rolando Ruiz.   (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

A paid hit man was executed Tuesday night in Texas for gunning down a San Antonio woman in a life insurance scheme 25 years ago. Rolando Ruiz was given a lethal injection for fatally shooting Theresa Rodriguez, 29, outside her home in 1992 as she was getting out of a car with her husband and brother-in-law, who both orchestrated her murder, the AP reports. Ruiz was paid $2,000 to carry out the killing. Ruiz, strapped to the Texas death chamber gurney, looked directly at two sisters of his victim and their husbands and apologized profusely. "Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am and the hurt I have caused you and your family," he told them. "May this bring you peace and forgiveness."

His execution was delayed for nearly five hours until the US Supreme Court rejected three appeals. "It's not going to bring her back, so it really doesn't mean very much," Susie Sanchez, whose daughter was killed in the contract murder, said Monday. After the murder, the victim's husband and brother-in-law accepted life terms in plea deals. Brother-in-law Mark Rodriguez was paroled in 2011 but husband Michael Rodriguez later joined Ruiz on death row as one of the notorious "Texas Seven," a group of seven inmates who escaped from a South Texas prison in 2000 and killed a Dallas-area police officer. Michael Rodriguez was executed in 2008. He blamed his infatuation with a younger woman for the murder plot. (Read more Texas stories.)

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