Texas Department of Criminal Justice

A Houston man was executed tonight for murdering two people in 1993. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the execution drug pentobarbital was administered to Willie Trottie at 6:13 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m. 

In 1993, Trottie burst into the family home of his ex-girlfriend Barbara Canada and shot her to death. He also killed her brother execution-style and wounded Canada's mother and sister, according to the TDCJ's offender information.  

The Supreme Court on Wednesday put off the execution of Russell Bucklew, a Missouri inmate who has maintained that his rare congenital medical condition would make the lethal injection procedure excessively painful.

Update: After Tuesday night's botched execution in Oklahoma, Texas corrections officials say they have no plans to use midazolam in future executions. Midazolam was the first component of a three-drug cocktail administered to death row inmate Clayton Lockett yesterday. Read more about the execution here.

As KUT first reported in February, the state has supplies of midazolam on hand. But the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says in a statement that it "has no plans to change our procedures. Texas does not use the same drugs as Oklahoma as we use a single lethal dose of pentobarbital and we have done so since 2012.” 

Attorneys for death row inmates in Texas have unsuccessfully tried to find out who is selling compounded pentobarbital to the state. They're suing in civil court and making a case to the Open Records Division of the Office of the Attorney General that TDCJ should disclose its source. 

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

The owner of a compounding pharmacy outside Houston says he was told it was "unlikely" that his business would be revealed as the source of the state's lethal injection drug, pentobarbital.

Now that his Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy is known to be manufacturer of the drug intended for use in this week's scheduled execution and beyond, Jasper Lovoi has sent a letter to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), demanding the drug's return.

Lovoi's letter says he finds himself "in the middle of a firestorm" that he "was not advised of and did not bargain for." The identities of Lovoi and his pharmacy were originally revealed by the Associated Press, which obtained the information through an Open Records Request for its story on the new source of pentobarbital.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The State of Texas executed 48 year-old Carl Blue Thursday night. He was put to death for killing his former girlfriend in 1994.

Blue was convicted of setting 38 year-old Carmen Richards-Sanders on fire at her Bryan apartment.

According to information on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's death row website, Blue threw gasoline on Richards-Sanders when she opened the door to her apartment. He then ignited her clothes with a lighter. Blue also threw gasoline on a man in the apartment—who caught on fire when he tried to help Richards-Sanders.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Update: Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:04 a.m.:

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-minute appeal to spare Green from execution. Green received a lethal injection Wednesday night before 11 p.m. The warrant for his execution was set to expire at midnight.

Jonathan Green was the 10th inmate executed in Texas so far this year.

Original Story: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 4:13 p.m.:

A Texas death row inmate is once again facing execution this evening.

Jonathan Green’s execution was blocked on Monday when a federal judge ruled on Monday that due process was violated in Green’s competency hearing.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Texas Inmate Put to Death Using Single-Drug Concoction

The State of Texas executed Yokamon Hearn yesterday evening. He was put to death for the 1998 carjacking and murder of 23-year-old Frank Meziere in Dallas.

Hearn was the sixth prisoner executed in the state so far this year.

He was the first put to death using a single drug lethal injection procedure. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice switched to the single drug because of a shortage of the two other drugs normally used in lethal injections.

Photo by KUT News.

Texas Executes Man who Murdered Child

The State of Texas executed a man last night for killing a child in June 1999. Guadalupe Esparza was put to death for raping and strangling seven year-old Alyssa Maria Vasquez after kidnapping her in San Antonio. Esparza was the 13th Texas inmate put to death this year. No more executions are scheduled until January.

Arraignment Today in Killeen Bomb Plot

Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a request to stay the execution of death row inmate Henry 'Hank' Skinner. The decision comes after two letters were filed on Skinner's behalf.

Skinner's defense attorneys sent a letter to Governor Rick Perry, requesting he hold off Skinner's execution long enough to conduct DNA testing. The Innocence Project sent a similar letter to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Photo by Nicole Hernandez/http://www.flickr.com/photos/txnicole/

World Series

The Texas Rangers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-9 in 11 inning last night. The two are now tied in the World Series, 3-3. That forces a Game 7 of the World Series tonight in St. Louis. This is the first time in nine years that a World Series has gone gone to a seventh and deciding game.

Execution of San Antonio Man

Last week the state of Texas said it would no longer let condemned prisoners order practically anything they want for their last meals before execution.

Photo courtesy of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Brewer Executed for Jasper Dragging Death

Documented white supremacist gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in Texas yesterday. Brewer was put to death for the high-profile dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American man, in Jasper, Texas.

Logo courtesy of Travis County

Travis Justice of the Peace Recalling Misdemeanor Warrants

Travis County Justice of the Peace Precinct Two Judge Glenn Bass is recalling about 13,500 outstanding arrest warrants for class C misdemeanors. Judge Bass said he is recalling the warrants because he learned that the constable for Precinct Two was offering payment plans to some defendants, but not all of them. Bass also said the constable's office has slowed down working on the warrants because it has already met its budget for this year.

Image courtesy flickr.com/BizarreRecords

The US Supreme Court has blocked tonight's scheduled execution of Texas inmate Cleve Foster. 

The high court agreed this morning to consider a review the grounds for Foster's appeal of his death sentence.

Foster's execution would have been the first in Texas to use pentobarbital as part of its lethal three-drug mix. 

"This stay does not have to do with the litigation surrounding the lethal injection and the new protocol adopted by the TDCJ [Texas Department of Criminal Justice]," said Maurie Levin, one of Foster's attorney in the appeals process.

Andres Rueda/via Flickr

A lawsuit has been filed in Travis County District Court on behalf of two Texas inmates who want the state's new execution procedure to be declared void.  Prison officials recently switched one of the three drugs they use for lethal injections.  Maurie Levin, who represents death row inmates Cleve Foster and Humberto Leal, says the Texas Department of Criminal Justice rushed its decision and made it behind closed doors.

Graphic by Jacob Villanueva, courtesy of the Texas Tribune

Poll Shows Growing Support for Casinos in Texas

A majority of Texas voters are ready for full blown casinos in the state.  That's according to a new poll by UT and our political reporting partner The Texas Tribune.