HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Condemned killer Mikel James Derrick, a former male prostitute who confessed to a 1980 robbery-murder out of fear his brother would be accused of the crime, was executed early Wednesday by injection.
Derrick, 33, was taken into the death chamber in the state prison at Huntsville shortly after midnight, injected with a lethal dose of drugs and pronounced dead by corrections officials at 12:17 a.m. CDT.
'I just ask that everyone I ever hurt or done anything wrong to them to forgive me ...,' Derrick said in his final statement. He then looked up to the ceiling of the death chamber, closed his eyes and appeared to say a prayer.
Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox said Derrick 'was resloved to his fate. He made a decision to make amends with his fellow human beings.
Derrick spent most of Tuesday watching television and talking to fellow death row inmates and a prison chaplain. He refused his last two meals and spent several hours on the telephone speaking with relatives.
The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to stay the execution. Attorneys for the condemned man turned to the high court Monday after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans refused to intervene in the case.
The lawyers had argued that the original defense attorney was ineffective by not raising objections to certain testimony. The high court last October refused to review an earlier appeal from Derrick.
Derrick was the 134th person put to death in the United States since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on capital punishment in 1976 and the 37th in Texas since the state resumed executions in 1982.
Derrick was condemned to die for the Oct. 10, 1980, slaying of Edward Sonnier, 32, who was stabbed to death in his Houston apartment during a robbery attempt.
Derrick, an admitted male prostitute, was in prison serving time for a robbery conviction when he confessed to Sonnier's slaying after learning his brother, Marshall, had been linked to the victim's stolen car.
Derrick wrote in a letter to the Harris County district attorney, saying, 'I killed a man to get a car.' He said he stabbed Sonnier 15 times after the man made homosexual advances toward him. Derrick claimed he then stole Sonnier's car, which he later stripped with the help of friends.
Derrick, a former laborer with an eighth-grade education, also served a prison term for larceny and burglary in the mid-1970s.
He also was the victim of a 1985 slashing attack by two other death row inmates, suffering cuts on his arms and chest from a 9 -inch sharpened piece of metal wielded by his fellow prisoners.