AUSTIN, Texas -- A Texas death row inmate who converted to Christianity and waived hs right to appeal was executed early Wednesday for the abduction and slaying of a University of Texas student in 1988.
Anthony Quinn Cook, who was convicted of capital murder for the slaying of David VanTassel, had asked that his execution be carried out as scheduled.
'I just want to tell my family I love them and to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me another chance and for saving me,' Cook said before the execution.
Cook was convicted of capital murder for the June 1988 slaying of VanTassel, who was abducted from an Austin motel, robbed and shot to death at a roadside park near Cameron, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Austin.
Milam County District Attorney Hollis Lewis said Cook, who converted to Christianity while in prison, withdrew his appeal because it was based on a 'falsehood.' Cook initially claimed that an accomplice killed VanTassel, but later admitted that he was the triggerman.
Cook's conviction and death sentence were upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, but the case was not appealed to the federal courts.
Cook's accomplice in the slaying, Robert Bryan Moore, was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 1988 and will soon be up for parole. Lewis said he and the victim's family have written letters to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles asking that Moore not be released.