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Texas Executes Inmate Who Stabbed 2 Stepsons

Robert Sparks also killed wife in 2007 attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2019 12:15 AM CDT
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This photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Robert Sparks.   (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

(Newser) – A Texas inmate who claimed he was intellectually disabled was executed Wednesday for fatally stabbing his two stepsons during a 2007 attack in which his wife also died. Robert Sparks received a lethal injection for the slayings of 9-year-old Harold Sublet and 10-year-old Raekwon Agnew in their Dallas home, the AP reports. Sparks, 45, became the 16th inmate put to death this year in the US and the seventh in Texas. "I am sorry for the hard times. And what hurts me is that I hurt y'all ... even y'all, too," Sparks told his relatives and friends who watched through a death chamber window, turning his head at one point to address family members of his victims who stood behind a separate window. As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, he said, "I love you all" and then added, "I feel it."

As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, he took two deep breaths almost immediately, snored three times and then all movement ceased. He was pronounced dead 23 minutes later. Prosecutors said the attack in Sept. 2007 began when Sparks stabbed his wife, 30-year-old Chare Agnew, 18 times as she lay in her bed. Sparks then went into the boys' bedroom and separately took them into the kitchen, where he stabbed them. Raekwon was stabbed at least 45 times. Sparks then raped his 12- and 14-year-old stepdaughters, authorities said. The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to stop the execution on claims he was intellectually disabled, saying his attorneys had not presented sufficient evidence. After being arrested, Sparks told police he fatally stabbed his wife and stepsons because he believed they were trying to poison him.

(Read more execution stories.)

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