Convicted killer of prison guard from Central Texas executed

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2017

Robert Pruett was given a lethal injection Thursday evening for the December 1999 death of corrections officer Daniel Nagle at a prison southeast of San Antonio. Nagle was repeatedly stabbed with a tape-wrapped metal rod, though an autopsy showed he died from a heart attack that the assault caused. "One day there won't be a need to hurt people", Pruett was quoted as saying in his last statement by the criminal justice department. Four years into his sentence, Officer Nagle was murdered, and Pruett was convicted without any physical evidence.

The 38-year-old Pruett was already serving a 99-year sentence for a neighbor's killing near Houston when he was convicted in Nagle's death.

Social media erupted Thursday night, with critics slamming Gov. Abbott and the state of Texas for refusing to stop Pruett's execution. He was the 544th person executed in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state.

About an hour before the scheduled execution, the Supreme Court said it rejected Pruett's petition.

Lawyers for Pruett had argued he was innocent and called on the USA high court to spare his life.

Parole board spokesman Raymond Estrada says the six-member panel unanimously voted Wednesday not to recommend clemency.

The Supreme Court recently refused to consider another appeal from Pruett asking for additional DNA testing.

The execution is set for Thursday.

Texas' "law of parties" first put Pruett behind bars as a 16-year-old boy because he was present when his drug-addicted father stabbed a neighbor to death, and thus, he was considered an accomplice to the crime, according to a New York Times report in Pruett's defense.

They said Pruett, who has maintained his innocence, was convicted on the unreliable testimony of prison informants and neither Pruett's fingerprints nor DNA material were found on the torn report.

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