Coy Wesbrook executed

Coy Wesbrook: Texas Executes Man For 1997 Shooting Rampage That Killed 5

Texas has executed Coy Wesbrook, a man who spent 17-years on death row, for a 1997 shooting rampage that left five people dead, including his ex-wife wife.

According to the National Post, Coy Wesbrook married Gloria Jean Coons in 1995 after living together for several years. The marriage soon degenerated into a rocky relationship, which eventually led them to separate. Despite their separation and their differences, Wesbrook continued to bail out his ex-wife, securing accommodation, providing food, and doing anything else that she requested.

“I was bewitched. I wasn’t rational. I wasn’t being guided by my head,” Coy said, adding that he still had hopes of reconciling even after their divorce was finalized in 1997.

It was in a bid to salvage his marriage that Coy Wesbrook drove his truck to a Channelview apartment where Coons was partying with some friends on that tragic night. According to court documents, Coy said he entered the apartment to find all the occupants Antonio Cruz, 35; Diana Ruth Money, 43; Kelly Hazlip, 32; Ray Rogers, 41; and Coons, 32 consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Wesbrook said the party made him feel uncomfortable, and to ease the awkwardness, he started drinking — consuming four beers in less than 30 minutes.

A Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said the subject of conversation later spiraled towards a sexual nature with Coons entering her bedroom and Hazlip joining her. Coy Wesbrook said he protested, but one of the men threatened him to kill him. The occupants also refused to allow him to leave the apartment, seizing his car keys. Wesbrook said he went to his unlocked car to retrieve his hunting rifle and went back to the apartment. It was then that Money allegedly threw a beer in Wesbrook’s face, and as he tried to dodge it, the rifle in his hands accidentally went off.

Wesbrook said Cruz and Rogers rushed towards him and he had no other option but to shoot them in self-defense. Afterwards, Wesbrook kicked open the door and shot Hazlip and Coons who were having sex.

“As I saw her collapse and die, the spell was broken. I could see her for what she was. I no longer found her attractive,” Coy said.

When the deputies arrived at the apartment, they found Coy Wesbrook still at the scene. Witnesses recall hearing him say ‘I did it. Let’s get it over with. My ex-wife. That’s who I came here to get.’ Wesbrook claims loving a woman too much wrecked his life, but chief of the Harris County District’s Attorney’s Post Conviction Writs Division, Lynn Hardaway said “Coy Wesbrook committed a cold calculated capital murder.”

Early appeals to write off the murders as a crime of passion had been rejected. It was a killing that shocked the city and took a bizarre twist when a county inmate told authorities that Wesbrook was looking to hire a hit man to kill his ex-wife. In a prison interview, Wesbrook expressed remorse for his actions saying if he could bring back those he murdered in cold blood, he would.

Coy Wesbrook’s defense attorneys tried to play the insanity card, saying Wesbrook had low IQ and had trouble securing menial employment. His attorney said Wesbrook’s behavior before and after the offense were “consistent with an individual losing complete control in the face of a humiliating situation.”

“Had trial counsel done a proper investigation and followed up on the recommendation for neurological testing, he would have been able to provide the jury with an explanation of Mr. Wesbrook’s bizarre behavior in committing the offense,” Coy Wesbrook’s attorney said.

On Wednesday, March 9, Coy Wesbrook was executed for the murders, marking the eight lethal injection this year nationally, and the fourth in Texas, according to the Associated Press. Before his execution took place, Coy apologized one last time to the victim’s family members who were present.

“I want to say that I’m sorry for the pain that I have caused you people,” he said. “I’m sorry I can’t bring everybody back. I wish things could have been a lot different.”

[Photo by Michael Graczyk/Associated Press]