Tommy Lynn Sells, a man convicted of stabbing a teenaged girl to death was executed by lethal injection at a state prison in Huntsville, Texas, reports the BBC. Tommy Lynn, who has also been linked to the deaths of over a dozen people, including a 9-year-old San Antonio girl was pronounced dead by officials from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice at 6:27 p.m. It took about 13 minutes for the controversial new drug pentobarbital to take effect and kill Tommy Lynn Sells who was in the death row for 14 years.
According to the Chron, it was back in 2000 that Tommy Lynn was convicted by a Val Verde County jury of killing 13-year-old Kaylene Harris in 1999. Tommy had stabbed the teenager to death in her family’s trailer near Del Rio. His crime would have gone unreported save for the testimony of one of his friends who he was sleeping over that night and tried to kill as well. Later, Tommy Lynn was also given a life sentence after he pleaded guilty to the abduction and killing of 9-year-old Mary Beatrice Perez in 1999.
Meanwhile Tommy Lynn’s attorneys, in order to stall the execution had challenged the non-disclosure about the supplier of the drugs that was to be used to execute him. They even won a stay from a Houston judge which was overturned by a federal appeals panel. The appeals court was of the opinion that since the drug was “relatively” new and not completely new or being used for the first time ever, the non-disclosure was inconsequential. The last ray of hope for Tommy Lynn ended after the US Supreme Court denied his plea for clemency just an hour before he was scheduled to be executed.
Texas State prison officials have counter argued the plea for disclosure by saying that there is chance that the drug suppliers could be subject to harassment and threats and would result in a breach of security of the supply chain.
The last hours of Tommy Lynn were spent in a tiny holding cell outside the execution chamber where he remained quiet and reserved. He was accompanied by a chaplain and had access to a phone, a jail official said.
While he was convicted of two of his crimes, various media reports have said that Tommy Lynn has actually confessed to killing as many as 70 people, starting from the age of 16. His execution was the 513th in the state of Texas since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Tommy Lynn’s execution also comes days after Ray Jasper was executed at the same prison.
[Image Via Texas Department Of Criminal Justice]