The state of Texas have executed their first execution of 2015 by putting to death a 41-year-old man for the September 1993 slaying of three people during a robbery at a San Antonio home, ABC News reports.
After more than 21 years, Arnold Prieto was finally put to death Wednesday by lethal injection for the triple murder of married couple Rodolfo Rodriguez, 72, and his wife Virginia, 62, and their 90-year-old former nanny, Paula Moran, who lived with them.
According to Fox San Antonio, Prieto made an early morning drive to San Antonio on September 12, 1993, along with brothers Guadalupe and Jesse Hernandez (the couple’s grandnephews) to rob the couple. They believed the Rodriguez couple had $10,000 received from a check-cashing business operated in their home.
It was reported that Prieto was undergoing financial issues, and the brothers suggested they rob their rich uncle, Rodolfo Rodriguez, in San Antonio.
The bodies of the three victims were found by a woman visiting the Rodriguez couple with multiple stab wounds and cuts.
The three suspects stole a purse containing $300 in cash and some jewelry, which they exchange for cash at a pawn shop.
Michael Bernard, Prieto’s lead trial attorney, spoke about the incident.
“He had a number of voluntary statements that were admitted into evidence in which he admitted to the crime. He was in physical possession of some of the property afterward.”
Prieto and Jesse were both convicted of the slaying; Prieto received the death penalty and Jesse is serving life in prison. Guadalupe was never convicted of the triple murder due to insufficient evidence.
During Prieto execution, the warden asked if he had any final words. Prieto stated, “There are no endings, only beginnings. Love y’all. See you soon.”
Once the lethal dose of pentobarbital was inserted, Prieto claimed that he could smell it and uttered, “Whoa.” He then began snoring for approximately five minutes, and then stopped.
The execution took 20 minutes, and Prieto was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. CST.
Prieto’s sister watched through a window as his life slipped away, along with the slain couple’s four sons and daughter-in-law. It was reported that Prieto “smiled and nodded” to the witnesses in the room, but made no eye contact with his sister.
“There was a way out,” Michael Bernard stated. “We just couldn’t get there.”
About 20 years ago, Prieto refused to take a plea deal that involved snitching on the third suspect in the slaying, Guadalupe Rodriguez. The information could have prevent him from getting the death penalty.
Nothing was done to halt the Wednesday execution.
[Image via Fox News]