Texas executes man convicted of murdering guard with shank

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas executed a person on Thursday convicted of murdering a jail guard in 1999, after the U.S. Supreme Courtroom rejected a final-minute attraction to spare his life regardless of arguments by his legal professionals that he was harmless.

Robert Pruett, 38, was put to demise by deadly injection on the state’s demise chamber in Huntsville and pronounced lifeless at 6:forty six p.m. (2346 GMT), the Texas Division of Felony Justice stated. He was the 544th individual executed in Texas because the U.S. Supreme Courtroom reinstated the demise penalty in 1976, probably the most of any state. It was Texas’ sixth execution this yr.

About an hour earlier than the scheduled execution, the Supreme Courtroom stated it rejected Pruett’s petition. The choice issued by Justice Samuel Alito didn’t present a cause.

Pruett, despatched to jail as a young person and serving a ninety nine-yr sentence as an adjunct to a homicide dedicated by his father, was convicted of killing jail guard Daniel Nagle by stabbing him repeatedly with a shank.

Prosecutors stated he murdered the corrections officer as a result of Nagle had reprimanded him for carrying a sandwich into the recreation yard. Torn items of the disciplinary report on Pruett have been discovered close to Nagle’s physique.

“No witnesses testified they noticed the assault, and no bodily proof related Robert Pruett to the homicide,” legal professionals for the inmate wrote of their petition to the Supreme Courtroom filed on Tuesday.

They stated Pruett, who has maintained his innocence, was convicted on the unreliable testimony of jail informants and neither Pruett’s fingerprints nor DNA materials have been discovered on the torn report. Legal professionals had additionally requested the state to launch the shank and Nagle’s garments for DNA testing after inconclusive checks happened in 2000.

In a authorized submitting with the Supreme Courtroom, the state of Texas stated: “Pruett has raised nothing new that casts any doubt on his guilt.”

They added he had raised the identical considerations earlier than in earlier filings and had been rejected.

“His claims are based mostly on pure hypothesis and don’t reveal his factual innocence,” Texas Lawyer Basic Ken Paxton and others stated within the submitting submitted to the Supreme Courtroom on Wednesday.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Modifying by Peter Cooney

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