Man executed in Texas for prison guard's death

Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Robert Pruett who is facing lethal injection Thursday Oct. 12 2017 for the death of a corrections officer at a South Texas prison in December 1999. Pruett was

Man executed in Texas for prison guard's death

Pruett had said he was framed and that Nagle could have been killed by other inmates or corrupt officers at the McConnell Unit.Pruett's 99-year murder sentence was for participating with his father and a brother in the 1995 stabbing death of a 29-year-old neighbor, Raymond Yarbrough, at the man's trailer home in Channelview, just east of Houston.

Attorneys for an inmate convicted in a prison guard's death asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his Thursday evening execution.

Lance Lowry, president of the Texas prison guard union's Huntsville chapter, told the Texas Tribune Nagle's death underscored the issue of understaffing in prisons. Prosecutors have said the stabbing stemmed from a dispute over a peanut butter sandwich that Pruett wanted to take into a recreation yard against prison rules.

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In his last words, Pruett expressed his love for the friends who witnessed his execution.

In a statement released by the criminal justice department, and reported by Reuters, the Nagle family said: "Though it has been over 18 years since he was taken from us, we still miss Daniel every day and the execution will in no way minimize our loss". "One day, there won't be a need to hurt people", the 38-year-old Pruett said in his final statement, strapped to a gurney in Texas' death chamber. "We have chosen to spend this time together and away from the coverage so that we can celebrate Daniel's life and not the tragedy of his death". At his 2002 trial, inmates testified that they saw Pruett attack Nagle or heard him talk about wanting to kill the guard. In April, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said the results would not have affected his conviction, setting the path for a new execution date. They also questioned whether a prisoner like Pruett, who claimed actual innocence in federal court because of newly discovered evidence after exhausting all other appeals, could be put to death. "I'm ready to go", Pruett said.

But Pruett's lawyers fought his execution until the last hour.

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The Supreme Court recently refused to consider another appeal from Pruett asking for additional DNA testing. Pruett's attorneys then unsuccessfully sought more DNA testing and filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in August, arguing Pruett had been denied due process. State attorneys called Pruett's legal efforts "repetitive" and maintained that his defense team contributed to the contamination of the murder weapon. They asked the court to halt the execution and allow for further DNA testing, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit. Nagle was the Beeville president of Texas' prison guard union, and he uttered his last public words when he went to Austin the same month of his murder to speak of risky understaffing in prisons, saying somebody was going to have to die before the state realized it had a problem, according to Lance Lowry, president of the union's Huntsville chapter.

"He died alone. he was killed in a room full of inmates", he said.

"Pruett. was removed from society after being convicted of murder only to kill again within the confines of TDCJ". "Unfortunately, I expect to see more Daniel Nagles in the future here, and that scares me". "We hope tonight's execution provides some closure for [Nagle's] family".

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