By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas executed Wednesday a man who fatally stabbed a real estate agent in a Dallas suburb more than 16 years ago.
Kosoul Chanthakoummane, 41, was given a lethal injection at State Penitentiary in Huntsville and pronounced dead at 6:33 p.m. Model home in McKinney, about 30 miles (48 km) 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 provided them with a message: “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 opened his mouth.
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 out 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 flower pot, then stole her Rolex watch and silver ring, but they were never found.
DNA 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 confirmed he was in the model home but said he only went inside to drink water. He had been released on parole in Texas after serving time in North Carolina on aggravated kidnapping and robbery charges.
“I am innocent,” Chanthakoummane said in a letter filed in federal court in March. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to stay Chanthakman’s execution after Chanthakman’s attorney challenged his DNA evidence used in his conviction. The evidence was described by the Court of Appeals as “the cornerstone of the state case.”
One of his attorneys, Eric Allen, 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, “Chantakman’s belief that further DNA research will yield useful results in his case is illusory.
This image provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Texas death row inmate Kosoul Chanthakman, who was scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Wednesday, August 16, 2022, in Huntsville, Texas. Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP