HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Texas executed its 11th inmate of the year, Juan Garcia, who was convicted of killing a man from whom he stole $8.
Garcia, 35, died Tuesday night after spending his entire adult life on death row.
He was convicted of killing Mexican missionary and immigrant Hugo Solano on Sept. 17, 1998, when Garcia was 18 years old. Solano, 36, was shot four times in the head and neck after he was harassed by Garcia and three other men.
Lynn Hardaway, chief of the Harris County district attorney's post-conviction writ division, said Solano's death was part of a series of crimes that also included nine other aggravated robberies and two additional deaths.
Prosecutors say Solano's death was part of a botched robbery attempt in which Garcia and his accomplices got $8.
Garcia insisted that Solano died during a fight between the two men for the gun Garcia was carrying. In a recent interview, Garcia said he did not intend to kill Solano but did so because Solano allegedly punched him. Garcia argued that he had been conditioned to respond violently in such situations because of the beatings he endured by his stepfather.
Despite Garcia's crime and other offenses, his wife asked the judge to halt the execution. His wife and daughter were present at the execution, during which Garcia said he hoped his death would bring closure and that he "never wanted to hurt" any of them.
Garcia's lawyers attempted to save him by saying that he was mentally impaired and therefore ineligible for death row. They further argued a psychologist's racially biased testimony had hurt Garcia's case. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 5-2 against issuing clemency.
Three more Texas inmates are scheduled to be executed by the end of the year.