Texas – Juan Martin Garcia, convicted 17 years ago for the murder and robbery of Hugo Solano, used his last words to apologize to the victim’s family, before being executed in the state of Texas.

Garcia used his final words to apologize to the Solano’s and his own family, for the crimes he had committed. Credit: AP

The crime

In 1998, Juan Martín Garcia —18 years old at the time— committed a robbery with three accomplices in which Hugo Solano got murdered.

“When Solano refused to hand over any money, Garcia shot him four times in the head and neck, killing him,” said the Texas Attorney General’s Office, according to Fox News.

Eleazar Mendoza, cousin of Garcia, sentenced to 55 years in prison for aggravated robbery, testified in court that Garcia pointed the gun to Solano. Mendoza said Garcia asked Solano to give him the money, then shot him when he said no —claiming after that he got “nervous”. The amount was $8.

In an interview with AP, Garcia said that the idea of the robbery came from Mendoza.

“He [Solano] punches me,” Garcia said to AP. “First thing that came through my mind is that the dude is going to try to kill me. He grabbed the gun with both of his hands and it discharged.”

The decision

Along the past 15 years, Garcia attempted to avoid death sentence several times but failed. The capital sentence was given not only for the murder but for the robbery charge too, a fact that Garcia tried to deny.

Garcia was linked to at least 8 felonies involving murders and robberies, before and after the Solano case, according to Fox News. Garcia stated that “Jurors had unfairly penalized him because he didn’t take the witness stand in his own defense at trial”.

However, no late appeals were filed for Juan Martin Garcia, who was lethally injected.

Garcia requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, but the request was denied. Also, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a clemency request.

The final words

Juan Martín final words, according to the testimony of prisons officials, were:

“While I am still alive I bring suffering to you all. The harm that I did to your dad and husband, I hope this brings you closure to all of you. I never wanted to hurt any of you all.”

After saying that, he referred to his sister and friends and said, “No matter what, remember my promise,” Garcia said. “No matter what, I will always be with you.”

Solano’s wife and daughter said that they accepted the apology because they knew “it came from its heart,” according to The Washington Post.

The execution

Garcia was shot with a dose of pentobarbital, and as the effects began “He winced, raised his head and then shook it. He gurgled once and snored once before his movement stopped. He was pronounced dead 12 minutes later, at 6:26 p.m,” according to Fox News.

This is the eleventh execution made in the state of Texas this year, more than in any other state. Three more Texas inmates are scheduled for executions in upcoming weeks.

Solano’s Family

Hugo Solano was a Christian missionary that came all the way from Guadalajara, Mexico, so their children could get a fine education. He was murdered just a few weeks after that. Solano had a wife and two kids.

“In the beginning, they didn’t want to go out. They just wanted to be around me,” Solano’s wife said of her children, according to the Washington Post. “We were an extremely loving family. They loved their father very much.”

Ana Solano, Hugo’s wife, told the court that she went through an episode of intense depression, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I did not want to speak to my family or talk on the phone. I knew if I continued, in the same way, my children would suffer more so.”

Although Garcia didn’t got the court’s indulgence that he sought for, at least his last words were openly received by Solano’s family, and that it is a kind of relieve that we assume made Garcia die in a calmer way.

Source: Fox News