A Texas inmate who taunted a jury that they should sentence him to death was executed Wednesday evening for torturing and drowning an East Texas woman in his bathtub and then stuffing her body into a barrel. Troy Clark was convicted in the May 1998 slaying of a former roommate, Christina Muse of Tyler. Authorities said that Clark, a drug dealer, had worried that Muse would snitch on him. Clark chuckled as he addressed several friends watching through a window a few feet from him, telling them a number of times that he loved them and "it's all good," the AP reports. "I'm not the one who killed Christina," he said. "But, hey, whatever makes you happy."
As the lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital was administered, Clark was laughing and remarked that the drug "burned going in." "I feel it," he said. Then he grunted, gasped, and began to snore. Seconds later, all movement stopped. He was pronounced dead 21 minutes later at 6:36pm. The 51-year-old Clark became the 17th inmate put to death this year in the US and the ninth given a lethal injection in Texas, the nation's busiest capital punishment state. Clark is the first of two executions this week in Texas. Daniel Acker is scheduled to be executed Thursday for fatally running over his girlfriend. At least eight other Texas inmates have planned execution dates in the coming months.
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