HUNTSVILLE, Texas (CBS/AP/KHOU) Tonight, Peter Anthony Cantu will be executed for two of the most notorious deaths in Houston history, the 1993 rapes and murders of 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena and 14-year-old Jennifer Ertman.
Of the six people convicted for the heinous crimes, five were sentenced to death. Two who were 17 when the girls were killed were spared the death penalty when the U.S. Supreme Court barred execution of people who were under 18 when they committed their crimes. The person not sentenced to death, 14 at the time, got a 40-year sentence.
Cantu has been on death row longer than his victims were alive.
Two of Cantu's companions in the gang they dubbed the Black and White preceded him to the death chamber.
This maggot was long overdue for his execution. I agree with what Mr. Ertman said.
Cantu, the first of five to be tried, convicted and condemned, will be the last to be executed.
Jennifer's father made the drive here four years ago for the first execution. Derrick O'Brien, belted to a gurney, looked through the death chamber window at Ertman and other relatives of the girls and called his involvement "the worst mistake that I ever made in my whole life." Seven minutes later, O'Brien was dead.
In August 2008, Ertman again climbed the steps to the red-bricked Huntsville Unit prison. Mexican-born Jose Medellin, 33, with needles in his arms, also apologized. Nine minutes later, he was dead.
Ertman rejected an invitation from Cantu's lawyer to come to his office and read a letter of apology from Cantu.
"It's a little late," Ertman said. "I told him to stick it. Hell, no."
Ertman will stand a few feet away, watching again through the window. State run CBS News