Before His Execution, Texas Inmate Speaks for 4 Minutes

Billy Crutsinger didn't mention victims in final statement
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2019 2:55 AM CDT
Texas Executes Inmate for Killing 2 Women in 2003
This photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Billy Jack Crutsinger.   (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

A Texas death row inmate was executed Wednesday for fatally stabbing an 89-year-old woman and her daughter more than 16 years ago after entering their Fort Worth home under the pretense of doing some work for them. Billy Jack Crutsinger, 64, received a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the 2003 killings of Pearl Magouirk and her 71-year-old daughter Patricia Syren. Authorities say Crutsinger killed the two women in an alcoholic rage and stole Syren's car and credit card. Crutsinger was arrested three days later at a bar in Galveston, more than 300 miles away. In a final statement that lasted four minutes, Crutsinger thanked three friends who witnessed the execution, the AP reports. "I'm at peace now and ready to go and be with Jesus and my family," Crutsinger said.

As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, he said he could feel it "in my left arm. It's kind of burning." Crutsinger then began coughing and breathing heavily and then made snoring noises at least 29 times before he stopped moving. At 6:40pm—13 minutes after the lethal dose started—Crutsinger was pronounced dead. No family members of Magouirk and Syren witnessed the execution. Crutsinger did not mention the two women during his final statement. "The defendant stabbed two elderly women to death in their own home. They had offered him a chance at honest work. The loss ... is still felt deeply by their family and the Fort Worth community," Michele Hartmann, one of the prosecutors who convicted Crutsinger, said in a statement. Crutsinger was the 14th inmate put to death this year in the US and the fifth in Texas. (The AP has more on the murders here.)

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