Killer who shot daughters taunts ex-wife at execution

03 February, 2018, 03:46 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Mary Jean Pearle ex-wife of John Battaglia testifies during Battaglia's murder trial

He said, "Hi Mary Jean, see ya'll later".

After that, he told the warden: "Go ahead, please".

He closed his eyes after a minute or two he opened them again and said, "Am I still alive?"

When the powerful sedative pentobarbital began to take effect, he said: "Oh, I feel it". According to Fox News, he gasped twice and then snored before he died.

Pearle turned away from an execution-viewing window after Battaglia stopped breathing and walked to the back of the witness area.

Battaglia was scheduled to receive a lethal injection just after 6 p.m. Thursday for the May 2001 slayings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. He shot them while on the phone with Mary Jean Pearl. He and his wife, their mother, were separated at the time.

Court documents indicate that on that day, minutes before a scheduled visit with his daughters, Battaglia received a phone call from a police officer.

"No, daddy, please don't do it", they pleaded. Battaglia initially opted to forgo a final statement, but he changed his mind when he spotted Pearle in the gallery to witness his execution.

Pearle hung up and immediately called 911.

Threatened with jail for violating his probation in the Christmas attack, Battaglia was supposed to be taking his girls to dinner on the evening of May 2, 2001. It is believed that the Christmas comment was a reference to that incident.

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Police later arrested him outside a tattoo parlour where he had got two large red roses inked on his left arm to commemorate his daughters.

Later, a fully loaded revolver was found in his truck.

They argued that Battaglia was mentally ill and also accused the state of using expired drugs for the lethal injection, the Dallas Morning News reported.

In 2014, he said the girls had been his "best little friends", and added: "I don't feel like I killed them". "And it's all because those little girls lost their lives", says Flink.

Battaglia's execution was the third one in Texas this year, officials said.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the execution can be carried out if the prisoner has a rational understanding of why the execution is taking place.

The accountant was executed on Thursday night after the US Supreme Court rejected appeals from his lawyers to review his case, contending the 62-year-old was delusional and mentally incompetent for execution.

He was then given an execution date of December 7, 2016, but five days before the Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals issued another stay of execution over concerns about his mental health. Attorneys contended the state's supply was outdated and Battaglia was at risk for unconstitutionally cruel punishment.

According to a testimony at a hearing, it was claimed that Battaglia used the public library at the prison to research capital case rulings and mental competence.

State Judge Robert Burns, who found him competent, said Battaglia's intelligence and education - he has a master's degree - shows he's not a "typical inmate" and has the 'motive and intellectual capability to maintain a deliberate ploy or ruse to avoid his execution'.

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