Texas executes “Lovers’ Lane Killer,” who has maintained innocence since 2003 slaying (News)

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas inmate who insisted he wasn’t concerned in a San Antonio “lovers’ lane” killing greater than 14 years in the past has been executed for the slaying. Juan Edward Castillo acquired deadly injection Wednesday night for the deadly taking pictures and theft of a 19-year-old man that testimony confirmed was carried out by Castillo and several other buddies on a secluded street the place the sufferer was enticed by the promise of medication and intercourse.

Castillo turned be the 11th convicted killer executed this 12 months within the U.S. and the sixth in Texas.

He gave a short remaining assertion earlier than receiving the deadly dose of pentobarbital, thanking “everybody.”

” who you’re. I like you all,” Castillo stated. “That is it.”

Because the highly effective sedative took impact, he lifted his head off the gurney and used an expletive to say he may style the drug and that it burned. He took a number of fast breaths that turned snores after which stopped all motion.

Castillo was pronounced lifeless 23 minutes later at 6:44 p.m. CDT.

The sufferer’s mom and stepmother had been among the many individuals watching by a window. After a physician pronounced Castillo lifeless, one of many different kinfolk exclaimed: “We have justice. Thanks.”

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Castillo misplaced appeals earlier this week on the U.S. Supreme Court docket and the Texas Court docket of Felony Appeals, the state’s highest courtroom. No last-day appeals had been filed within the courts to attempt to block his punishment and Gov. Greg Abbott declined a request from his legal professionals for a 30-day reprieve.

Castillo, 36, denied any involvement within the slaying.

“I did not do it,” Castillo instructed the AP final week in an interview outdoors dying row. “I used to be so constructive I might get the case dismissed I refused to plead responsible. So I’m going to trial.”

He stated he rejected a number of plea provides that will have eliminated the dying penalty as punishment, knew the lady, Debra Espinosa, who testified in opposition to him and who was within the automobile with Garcia, however denied her assertion that she was Castillo’s girlfriend.

Castillo’s appeals legal professionals contended no bodily proof tied him to the slaying of Tommy Garcia Jr. and argued in appeals that trial testimony from witnesses who stated he both instructed them concerning the slaying or they heard Castillo speak about committing the crime was false or deceptive.

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At his trial, two eyewitnesses testified they noticed Castillo shoot Garcia, three individuals stated they heard him discuss concerning the killing and one other witness testified he was carrying jewellery that belonged to the sufferer, prosecutors stated.

Castillo in an interview final week from outdoors dying row denied any involvement in Garcia’s Dec. 3, 2003, killing and stated he had “no concept” who fatally shot the San Antonio rapper with a popularity for carrying numerous money and carrying flashy jewellery.

“I used to be supplied a plea cut price thrice,” Castillo instructed The Related Press. “I refused to plead responsible. … I do not need to die however on the identical time I’d hate myself each day if I did that.”

Testimony at Castillo’s 2005 trial confirmed Castillo’s girlfriend, Debra Espinosa, supplied Garcia medication and intercourse if he’d take her in his automobile to a San Antonio lovers’ lane. Garcia did not know he was being arrange.

As soon as they had been parked, testimony confirmed Castillo smashed a automobile window with the butt of his pistol, opened the door and demanded Garcia’s cash. However Garcia, often known as rapper J.R., refused and was shot.

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Espinosa and Francisco Gonzales, who authorities stated accompanied Castillo to the ambush, accepted 40-year jail phrases in plea agreements. A fourth particular person, Teresa Quintero, pleaded no contest to a theft cost and acquired 20 years. Testimony confirmed she was the motive force who took Castillo and Gonzales to the darkish San Antonio street for what was alleged to be a easy theft.

Relations stated Castillo talked concerning the killing and a witness stated she noticed him a day later carrying a particular medallion on a thick gold chain that had belonged to Garcia. Castillo stated final week from jail the jewellery was his, not Garcia’s, and stated Espinosa was not his girlfriend.

Castillo was 22 and already had been in jail on a two-year sentence for lethal conduct with a firearm when he was arrested for Garcia’s killing. At his trial, the mom of Castillo’s son instructed of repeated home violence incidents. Different witnesses linked him to shootings, robberies, assaults and drug dealing.

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