Man Set To Be Executed Today, For Killing San Antonio Officer

Apr 15, 2015

The 35-year-old Garza was 20 in February 2001 when he killed San Antonio Police Officer John “Rocky” Riojas.
Credit Courtesy Texas Department of Criminal Justice

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A San Antonio man convicted of killing with the officer’s own gun in a struggle 14 years ago is headed for execution.

No last-day appeals were in the courts as the lethal injection of Manuel Garza Jr. scheduled for Wednesday evening approaches.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case in November.

The 35-year-old Garza was 20 in February 2001 when he fled from San Antonio Police Officer John “Rocky” Riojas, who was part of a team targeting property crimes at apartments. The officer caught up with Garza, and witnesses said they saw Garza grab Riojas’ gun and shoot him in the head.

Defense attorneys contend the shooting was accidental and Garza’s already long criminal record was the result of an abusive and neglected childhood. (AP)