murdered a man in Texas on WednesdayA real estate agent in the suburbs of Dallas more than 16 years ago, the second execution took place this year in America’s busiest execution state.
Kosoul Chanthakoummane, 41, was given a lethal injection at State Penitentiary in Huntsville and pronounced dead at 6:33 p.m., a model home in McKinney, about 30 miles north of Dallas.
In a brief statement after being strapped to a stretcher in the death chamber, Chanthakumane said to Jesus Christ, the pastor of the Texas Prison System, and “to all the people in my life who have helped me on this journey.” Thank you.
Walker’s relatives did not attend the execution, but he told them, “I pray that my death will bring them peace.
When five grams of pentobarbital, a potent sedative, began flowing through the IV lines and into the veins of each arm, he looked out the window and silently saw his mother a few feet away and said, “Mom. I love you,” he said.
He then took four breaths, gasped slightly, made no further movements, and was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.
Just before the execution took place, at Chanthakmane’s request, a Buddhist monk placed his right hand on the prisoner’s chest and read a passage from Ecclesiastes referring to “all times.” He replied, “Amen.”
Prosecutors say Chanthakumane entered the model home, beat and stabbed Walker with a wooden flowerpot, then stole her Rolex watch and silver ring, but they were never found. Evidence indicated that Chanthakman’s blood was found in various locations within the model house, including under Walker’s claws.
Walker was a top seller for home builder DR Horton. She had two children;
Chanthakoummane admitted to being in the model home, but said he only went inside to get water. He had been released on parole in Texas after serving time in North Carolina on aggravated kidnapping and robbery charges.
In a letter filed in federal court in March, Chanthakoummane said, “I am innocent.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to stay Chanthakman’s execution after his lawyer challenged the DNA evidence used in his conviction. The evidence was described by the Court of Appeals as “the cornerstone of the state case.” Eric Allen, one of his attorneys, said early Wednesday that he would not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
His lawyers argued that new science could have transferred Chantakman’s DNA to Walker’s claws without direct contact.
But officials said previous DNA tests in his case failed to clear Chanthakumane.
Attorneys from the Texas Attorney General’s Office said in court documents last month that Chanthakumane’s belief that further DNA research would yield useful results in his case is illusory.
On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles refused to give Chanthakman either a 120-day reprieve or a commutation of his death sentence.
Chanthakoummane’s attorneys said their concerns about the DNA evidence were part of a pattern of false evidence used by prosecutors in the case.
At Chanthakoummane’s trial, a forensic dentist testified that a death row inmate was responsible for the bite marks on Walker’s neck. Such bite evidence has since been discredited, and in 2016 Texas became the first state to require banning bite analysis in criminal cases.
Two witnesses who said they saw Chanthakoummane near the murder scene were hypnotized to identify him by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers.
According to a 2020 report by the Dallas Morning News, despite criticism that hypnosis distorts memory and can lead to wrongful convictions, most Texas judges still refuse to use evidence derived from hypnosis. I admit In January 2021, DPS stopped using hypnosis. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a bill banning hypnotized people from testifying in criminal trials.
In October 2020, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that although the bite testimony is no longer admissible in court, Chanthakman’s attorneys failed to discredit testimony related to hypnosis.
The appeals court also ruled that the DNA evidence remained strong.
At his trial, Chanthakumane’s attorney, Keith Gore, told the jury that his client was guilty, saying, “He wanted to rob (Walker) but it didn’t work and he killed her.” ” he said.
Walker’s father, Joseph Walker, who died last year, opposed Chanthakman’s execution and told the Times-Union in New York in 2013 that he had forgiven his daughter’s killer.
Chanthakoummane became the ninth person on death row in the United States this year.
Although Texas has the highest number of executions in the nation, executions in the state are at historically low levels. The number of death sentences handed down by juries continues to decline, and most executions have been delayed in recent years due to the pandemic and legal issues around what spiritual advisors can do in the death chamber.