Texas executes man who killed ex-wife, four other people

Reuters News
|
Posted: Mar 09, 2016 7:07 AM

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas executed a man on Wednesday who fatally shot his ex-wife and four others in 1997 with a hunting rifle in a killing spree launched when he found her having sex with another man.

Coy Wesbrook, 58, was pronounced dead at 8:04 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the state's death chamber in Huntsville. His execution had been delayed by about two hours because of a last-minute appeal.

The execution was the 535th in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state.

Wesbrook told a court he went to the Houston-area home of his former wife, Gloria Coons, seeking to reconcile. When he arrived, he found other people in the residence and began drinking with them, court documents showed.

Two men slipped into his wife's bedroom and when he went in, he found her having sex with one of them. He then went to his truck to fetch his gun.

He went back and fatally shot anyone still on the premises, killing his ex-wife, Antonio Cruz, Ruth Money, Anthony Rogers and Kelly Hazlip.

He then walked to his truck and waited.

Wesbrook, a former security guard, could be overheard saying: "I did it. I did it. I did what I had to do," neighbors testified.

One man he shot to death was in the yard and the other victims were found inside. All had been shot at close range and his ex-wife was shot last, court documents showed.

It took a jury about 90 minutes to sentence him to death.

Lawyers for Wesbrook tried to have the execution halted, arguing his rights had been denied and he was mentally impaired.

"I am sorry that I cannot bring everybody back. I wish it could be different," Wesbrook was quoted as saying in his final statement by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"I have no bad sentiment towards anyone. I can understand your outrage and why you are mad at me. God be with all of us," he was quoted as saying.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernard Orr, Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)