Derrick Charles from Texas was executed on Tuesday for killing his ex-girlfriend who was 15 years old at that time, her mother and her grandfather. The execution occurred after the US Supreme Court refused to rule Charles as mentally incompetent.
32-year-old Derrick Swayne Charles was executed in Huntsville, at the Walls Unit execution chamber. At 6:36 PM local time he was declared dead after he was given one dose of pentobarbital. He was the seventh person in Texas who was put to death this year. Around this time lethal injections are on hold in some states.
Charles confessed and pleaded guilty to the triple slaying which happened in 2002. He confessed to the police how he tried to strangle Myeshia Bennett, his teenage girlfriend. Charles told Bennett “I guess you don’t want to die” after he failed to strangled her. Afterwards he knocked her with a stereo speaker in the face and let a TV fall on her head. The murderer also confessed that he sexually abused the teenager’s mother while she was dying.
When Charles was asked by the warden whether he wanted to make a final statement he did not want to say anything and replied that he was ready to go home. At the execution there were present six relatives of Charles’ victims, but he did not make any eye contact with them. While the pentobarbital took effects he had time to take two breaths and yawned, looking as if he were falling asleep.
Petitions filed by Charles’ lawyer with the US Supreme Court stated that the criminal suffered from a mental illness which dateed to childhood and that he should have been absolved of execution. They argued that Texas courts did not provide an attorney or other service for him so that he could have been helped in raising an incompetency claim. The reply was that there was nothing which proved that the criminal suffered from any severe mental illness and in addition he understood very well the reason to why he was being executed.
Charles’ lead attorney, Paul Mansur, declared that he was disappointed with the response of the court arguing that the man had a lifelong history of mental illness. Fredericka Sargent, Texas Assistant Attorney General told the Supreme Court:
“He has presented absolutely nothing to suggest his competency is presently an issue. Charles presents no special or important reason in this case, and none exists.”
Image Source: Chron