Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Michael Lynn Riley Executed

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS -- HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - An East Texas man apologized repeatedly Tuesday as he was executed for fatally stabbing a convenience store clerk during a robbery more than two decades ago.

"I know I hurt you very bad," Michael Lynn Riley said to his victim's relatives, including her two daughters and husband. "I want you to know I'm sorry. I hope one day you can move on and, if not, I understand." The daughters of Wynona Harris were young children when their mother was killed.

Riley, 51, also apologized to his mother, who was not present, for being "not the big son that you wanted me to be." Then he reminded friends who were watching that for years he has said he was ready to die. To the fellows on the row: stay strong. Fleetwood is out of here," he said, referring to his death row nickname.

Eight minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow, he was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m., Riley, 51, was the 15th convicted murderer executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state.

"They're freeing me from this place," Riley told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I'm in Heaven. I can already feel it. Come May 19th, I'll be free." While he didn't volunteer for execution, he'd asked friends to not pray that he receive a reprieve. His appeals were exhausted and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles last week turned down a clemency request.

Riley was condemned for the 1986 slaying of Harris, a 23-year-old clerk at the Shop-A-Minit convenience store in his hometown of Quitman, about 75 miles east of Dallas. He was a frequent customer and Harris told him to help himself to the ice cream he wanted that Saturday morning while she counted some money.  SOURCE

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