Skip to comments.Kunkle is put to death (Final appeal delays execution 2 hours)
Posted on 01/26/2005 6:56:50 AM PST by Paleo Conservative
HUNTSVILLE - Troy Kunkle met his death Tuesday for the 1984 abduction and fatal shooting of Corpus Christi resident Steven Wayne Horton.
Kunkle, 38, was put to death by lethal injection after having faced the chamber on five previous occasions. He was the 338th inmate on Texas' death row to die by lethal injection, the second this year.
While strapped to the gurney, Kunkle asked for forgiveness from Horton's daughter, Shawni, then told his family and friends that he loved them. He then recited the Lord's Prayer.
"I made a mistake, and I am sorry for what I did," he said. "I love you and I will see all of you in heaven. I love you very much. Praise Jesus."
At 8:04 p.m., Kunkle nodded to the warden to begin the flow of lethal chemicals into his body. He then let out a few deep breaths, closed his eyes and slipped into unconsciousness. He was pronounced dead at 8:12 p.m.
Kunkle's wife, Christa Haber, said "Shame to Texas" as she was leaving the death house.
Horton's sister, Brenda Horton, said the family was relieved that the execution had been carried out.
"It's been a burden on my mom and dad," she said, adding that her parents spent the evening away from home.
The execution was delayed for two hours while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a final appeal from Kunkle's attorney. The court voted 5-4 to allow the execution to go forward. Prison officials received word just before 8 p.m. that the execution would be allowed to proceed.
Kunkle's 20 years in prison had been punctuated by repeated delays of his sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court twice stepped in on his scheduled execution date to issue a stay, most recently on Nov.18. The court lifted that stay last month, allowing the execution to proceed.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said Kunkle appeared calm in the hours leading up to his death.
"He already knew what to expect," Lyons said.
Kunkle's attorneys argued against carrying out the sentence because they believed jurors did not have sufficient opportunity to properly consider his history of drug and alcohol abuse as mitigating evidence during the punishment phase of his trial. That evidence, they said, could have spared his life.
Kunkle, 18 at the time of the killing, and three friends were visiting Corpus Christi from San Antonio on Aug. 12, 1984, when they decided to look for someone to rob. Horton, 31, was walking on Paul Jones Avenue when the group stopped and offered him a ride home.
Once he was in the car, one of the four put a gun to Horton's head and demanded his wallet. Horton refused, and Kunkle shot him in the back of the head with a .22-caliber pistol. Kunkle's girlfriend then pushed Horton's body out of the car and took his wallet, which contained $13.
After the killing, Kunkle reportedly recited lyrics from heavy metal band Metallica's song "No Remorse," from the album "Kill 'em All," saying, "Another day, another death, another sorrow, another breath," according to state reports. Later, he reportedly said the killing was "beautiful."
Contact Neal Falgoust at 886-4334 or firstname.lastname@example.org
KUNKLE'S LAST DAYSSunday Midnight Kunkle sleeping on bunk
3:30 a.m. Kunkle eating breakfast
8:01 a.m. Kunkle showering
12:05 p.m. Kunkle lying on bunk
4:35 p.m. Kunkle sleeping
8:32 p.m. Kunkle standing at cell door
10:30 p.m. Kunkle lying on bunk reading
11:27 p.m. Kunkle lying on bunk
12:29 a.m. Kunkle sleeping
5:29 a.m. Kunkle sitting on bunk drinking coffee
8:23 a.m. Kunkle escorted to visitation
10:32 a.m. Kunkle visiting and eating
1:18 p.m. Kunkle visiting
5 p.m. Kunkle escorted back to cell
6:45 p.m. Kunkle talking to priest
7:34 p.m. Kunkle returned to cell from shower
11:45 p.m. Kunkle sleeping
12:15 a.m. Kunkle sleeping
4:17 a.m. Kunkle sitting on bunk writing letters
5:44 a.m. Kunkle walking in cell
8:25 a.m. Kunkle escorted to visitation
8:59 a.m. Kunkle visiting and eating
Noon Visitation terminated
30 death penalty foes hold vigil
What a waste and what a slap in the face to the legal system, a system that had operated, sentenced this murderer to death only to be thwarted by the pitiful delaying tactics of Death Penalty Opponents - A MINORITY of the US population.
These unwarranted and extended efforts at delay are a travesty for all concerned, not the least of which is the convicted man. IMO Contrary to their assertions, it is these opponents who are the real parties playing God, substituting their prejudices for the law and the will of the People and acting to the detriment of all.
Young or old, black, white, red, brown, yellow, they all fool themselves into really believing that their final fate is to sit at the foot of God, with an automatic assumption that God will allow them to.
I wonder, is that the fault of the ministers of God that sit with them in their last moments?
Can it be that the ministers of God offer them a hope of everlasting salvation, if they only confess their crimes and state that they've made a mistake?
I sometimes think some of the priests and chaplains are playing upon their own vanities and reveling in the mistaken notion that they've won another soul to God.
I don't think any of these murdering scum are truly repentant.
God will see into their hearts.
May we all be ready at any time to meet our Maker
Yes He will. And He is not you, so I suggest you let Him, and stop hoping and praying people into hell.
Careful, Appellants: Pretending you're going to execute him, then pretending you're going to let him live is considered torture these days.
I suggest you keep your own counsel.
If I'm wrong, then I'll be judged by someone much above your pay grade.
I've not criticized you, so keep your lips off me.
"I made a mistake, and I am sorry for what I did," he said. "I love you and I will see all of you in heaven."
Now THAT's what I call positive thinking! :^D
Kudos to Texas.
Good riddance to bad garbage.
Redemption without any participation in atonement makes for some sick people. I don't see Jesus performing any miracles to save the Good Thief on the cross. The good thief was told he would meet Jesus in Heaven partly because he accepted his guilt and his punishment. This guy is still appealling to undermine the ryle of law.
What does it take, in your world? No murderer has a chance at salvation?
I suggest you re-read the promise Christ made to the thief on the cross for a simple "Remember me when you come into your kingdom."
I don't get the obsession around this place to sit in judgment of other men's souls.
they believed jurors did not have sufficient opportunity to properly consider his history of drug and alcohol abuse as mitigating evidence
I don't get how considering he was a dope addict and an alcoholic would give him life in prison, rather than a death sentence? Sounds like BS.
So Corpus is your hometown? Ever eat at a Sheps' Chicken Shack?
If you really meant that, you'd have kept your own mouth shut. Sink was right.
If I'm wrong, then I'll be judged by someone much above your pay grade.
And if you're right, you'll still be judged. The problem is not about your being right or wrong, but rahter this small matter of your offering judgement in God's stead.
I dunno, but I'll bet they had a hot sex life ;)
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