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Texas carries out 1st execution of 2013

Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:48 AM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Texas carried out its first execution of 2013 Thursday, putting a man to death for setting his girlfriend on fire almost 20 years ago.

Carl Henry Blue in his last statement told those witnessing his execution to get their own lives "right," The Eagle of Bryan-College Station reported. He died by lethal injection just before 7 p.m. at Huntsville State Prison.

Blue was convicted of killing Carmen Richards-Sanders in 1994 by dousing her with gasoline he had purchased minutes earlier at a gas station next door and setting her on fire. She died 19 days later.

Larene Williams, who was with Richards-Sanders in her College Station apartment, survived with severe burns.

"I'm talking to each and every soul in this building, in this room," Blue said as he lay on a gurney in the execution chamber. "Get your life right. I don't hate nobody, you're doing what you think is your job. God's law is above this law."

Terrella Richards, 41, watched her mother's killer die. She told reporters later she can now move on.

Blue addressed her directly.

"Hi Teri," he said. "I love you, I never meant to hurt your momma. I hope you can forgive me."

His parents also witnessed the execution. He told them he loved them.

Texas has executed almost 500 people since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1976 the death penalty is constitutional, far more than any other state.

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