Texas executes man for 1996 strangling, beating death

2015-01-30 08:50
File: AP

File: AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Huntsville - A Texas man convicted of killing a 38-year-old woman about two decades ago while he was on parole for a triple slaying years earlier was executed on Thursday evening.

Robert Ladd, 57, received a lethal injection after the US Supreme Court rejected arguments he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty. The court also rejected an appeal in which Ladd's attorney challenged whether the pentobarbital Texas uses in executions is potent enough to not cause unconstitutional pain and suffering.

Ladd was executed for the 1996 slaying of 38-year-old Vicki Ann Garner, who was strangled and beaten with a hammer. Her arms and legs were bound, bedding was placed between her legs, and she was set on fire in her apartment.

In his final statement, Ladd addressed the sister of his victim by name, telling her he was "really, really sorry".

"I really, really hope and pray you don't have hatred in your heart," he said, adding that he didn't think she could have closure but hoped she could find peace. "A revenge death won't get you anything," he said.

'We hate the sin he committed'

Then Ladd told the warden: "Let's ride."

As the drug took effect, he said: "Stings my arm, man!" He began taking deep breaths, then started snoring. His snores became breaths, each one becoming less pronounced, before he stopped all movement.

He was pronounced dead at 19:02, 27 minutes after the drug was administered.

Teresa Wooten, Garner's sister, said afterward that she accepted Ladd's apology and held no anger toward him.

"We hate the sin he committed. We hate the deed he committed," Wooten said. "But at the end of his life we no longer hated the man and have sympathy for his family."

Ladd came within hours of lethal injection in 2003 before a federal court agreed to hear evidence about juvenile records that suggested he was mentally impaired. That appeal was denied and the Supreme Court last year turned down a review of Ladd's case. His attorneys renewed similar arguments as his new execution date approached.

"Ladd's deficits are well documented, debilitating and significant," Brian Stull, a senior staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project, told the high court.

Kelli Weaver, a Texas attorney general, reminded the justices in a filing that "each court that has reviewed Ladd's claim has determined that Ladd is not intellectually disabled."

Ladd's lawyers cited a psychiatrist's determination in 1970 that Ladd, then a 13-year-old in custody of the Texas Youth Commission, had an IQ of 67. Courts have embraced scientific studies that consider an IQ of 70 a threshold for impairment. The inmate's attorneys also contended he long has had difficulties with social skills and functioning on his own.

Read more on:    us  |  executions

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.