HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Convicted killer Gary Johnson was executed Tuesday for fatally shooting a ranch foreman and another man who interrupted his burglary of a southeast Texas ranch nearly 24 years ago.
Johnson, 59, was the second inmate to receive lethal injection this year in the state that executes the most prisoners. At least six others have execution dates scheduled for the coming months.
He was condemned for the April 1986 slayings of James Hazelton, 28, and Hazelton's brother-in-law, Peter Sparagana, 23. The two were gunned down while investigating a call from a neighbor who reported intruders had driven through a chained gate at the Triple Creek Ranch about 10 miles west of Huntsville.
Hazelton's brother, George, was among who watched Johnson die. He stood just a few feet away and watched through a glass window. He declined to meet with reporters following the execution.
One of Johnson's brothers, Dell, and a daughter were among witnesses in an adjacent room.
Johnson declined the warden's offer to make a final statement.
"Just tell my family good bye," he said. But then, his voice choking with emotion, he urged relatives to tell other family members "what they did was wrong for letting me take the fall for what they did."
"I never done anything in my life to anybody," he said.
Eleven minutes later, at 6:26 p.m. CST, he was pronounced dead.
It took about two years for investigators to assemble their case against Johnson, who once worked at the ranch, and his brother, Terry. The brothers became suspects after the neighbor who saw men drive into the ranch described distinctive brake lights on their truck.
Terry Johnson, 62, took a plea deal with a 99-year prison term. Gary Johnson went to trial on capital murder charges, was convicted and sentenced to death. chron
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Gary Johnson Executed
Texas continues to serve justice.
Where are the Photo credits?
I find most the images uncredited on random sites, but I will add credits if someone lets me know who the has the rights to the image.