HUNTSVILLE — A Texas inmate was executed Tuesday for the killings of his 15-year-old girlfriend, her mother and her grandfather nearly 13 years ago in Houston.
Derrick Dewayne Charles, 32, became the seventh prisoner put to death this year in the nation’s most active capital punishment state. He was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m. CDT, 25 minutes after being given the execution drug.
Asked by the warden if he wanted to make a final statement, Charles replied: “Nah. I’m ready to go home.” As the pentobarbital took effect, he took two breaths, yawned and then appeared to go to sleep. Six relatives of Charles’ victims witnessed the execution, but he made no eye contact with them.
The lethal injection was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments from Charles’ attorneys that he was mentally incompetent for execution and that they needed time and court-approved money for experts and investigators to pursue that claim. Another appeal argued Charles’ trial court also acted improperly by refusing to appoint psychiatric experts and investigators.