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Texas Man Who Killed His Family Apologizes, Is Executed

Abel Ochoa shot dead his wife, 2 daughters, and 2 relatives in 2002
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 7, 2020 8:03 AM CST
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This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Abel Ochoa.   (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

(Newser) – A Dallas man was executed Thursday evening for a shooting in which he killed his wife, two children and two other relatives during a drug-fueled rage nearly 18 years ago. Prosecutors say Abel Ochoa was high on crack cocaine and looking for money to buy more drugs when he started shooting inside his home in August 2002. Ochoa, 47, was pronounced dead at 6:48pm, 23 minutes after receiving a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the slayings of his wife, Cecilia, 32, and his 7-year-old daughter, Crystal. He also killed his 9-month-old daughter, Anahi; his father-in-law, 56-year-old Bartolo Alvizo; and his sister-in-law, 20-year-old Jacqueline Saleh, and seriously injured his sister-in-law Alma Alvizo, reports the AP.

"I want to apologize to my in-laws for causing all this emotional pain," Ochoa said, strapped to the death chamber gurney and looking at several of his victims' relatives who watched through a window a few feet from him. "I love y'all and consider y'all my sisters I never had. I want to thank you for forgiving me." As the lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital began, Ochoa closed his eyes and had no visible reaction. Jonathan Duran, who watched Ochoa die, said he accepted Ochoa's apology. "I accepted the fact as a child, at 12 years old, when I buried my mother, my sisters, my aunt and my grandfather," Duran said. "After 17 years, me, my family ... the whole tree. We can finally say we got closure, we got justice."

(Read more execution stories.)

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