HUNTSVILLE, Texas, June 29 -- A convicted killer who confessed to gunning down four people during a 1991 Taco Bell robbery was executed Thursday in Texas.
Jessy Carlos San Miguel, 28, was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. CDT, shortly after receiving a lethal injection for the murder of Michael Phelan, 28, one of four people he told police he killed during the holdup in Irving, a Dallas suburb.
In his final statement, San Miguel told four relatives, who were witnesses, to "be strong" and that he loved them all.
"You all take care of each other," he said. "I'll be watching over you."
A group of about 20 anti-death penalty protesters stood outside the Walls prison where the execution took place, beating drums and chanting, "Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame."
The group was much smaller than the hundreds who demonstrated against the death penalty a week ago outside the prison when convicted killer Gary Graham was put to death in a controversial case.
San Miguel's execution came shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeal for a new sentencing hearing.
Mary Gomez, the mother of victim Teresa Fraga and aunt of victim Frank Fraga, spoke briefly to reporters.
"He didn't even look at us," she said. "He showed no remorse, but justice was done. "
San Miguel was arrested with an accomplice in a routine traffic stop after the Jan. 26, 1991 robbery. Police found $1,390 stuffed in Taco Bell bags, a 9 mm pistol, ski masks and gloves in his car. The bullets found in the victims matched the gun found in his possession.
After his arrest, San Miguel gave two confessions to police saying he had also killed Teresa Fraga, 16, who was pregnant with her second child; Frank Fraga, 23, Teresa's cousin; and Son Truong Nguyen, 35, who was picking up Teresa Fraga from work.
Phelan was an assistant manager atthe Taco Bell where the Fragas were also employed.
San Miguel's accomplice, Jerome Green, then 17, was convicted of murder and aggravated robbery and sentenced to 50 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2004.
The execution was the 24th this year in Texas and the 223rd since the state restored the death penalty in 1982.