A Texas inmate was executed Tuesday evening for fatally stabbing an illegal immigrant during an attempted robbery a dozen years ago.
Samuel Bustamante, 40, said nothing, shaking his head when asked by the warden if he wanted to make a final statement. He took several nearly inaudible breaths as the lethal drugs took effect, then slipped into unconsciousness as four female friends he invited to the death chamber watched.
Eight minutes later, at 6:22 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead, making him the seventh prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state.No friends or relatives of his victim were present.
Bustamante was convicted of the 1998 slaying of Rafael Alvarado, 27, a Mexican national in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston, who became a target of what Bustamante and some of his friends called "shopping trips" where they would hunt illegal immigrants, then beat and rob them.
The punishment came about 90 minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch appeal from Bustamante's attorneys. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest criminal court, had refused a similar appeal Monday. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also declined a clemency request.