HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A person convicted of fatally capturing a Dallas police officer almost 16 years in the past after a high-speed chase was executed on Wednesday.
Wesley Ruiz, 43, obtained a deadly injection on the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, for the March 2007 killing of Dallas Police Senior Corporal Mark Nix.
Ruiz led officers on a high-speed chase after being noticed driving a automotive that matched the outline of 1 utilized by a homicide suspect. Authorities mentioned Ruiz fired one shot at Nix when the officer tried to interrupt the car’s passenger window after the chase. The bullet hit Nix’s badge, splintered it and despatched fragments into his neck, severing an artery. He later died at a hospital.
Nix, 33, a U.S. Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm, had been on the Dallas power for almost seven years and was engaged to be married when he was killed.
The U.S. Supreme Courtroom earlier Wednesday declined an enchantment from Ruiz’s attorneys to halt the execution. The protection had argued that jurors relied on “overtly racist” and “blatant anti-Hispanic stereotypes” in appraising whether or not Ruiz posed a future hazard, a component wanted to safe a dying sentence in Texas. Ruiz was Hispanic.
In court docket paperwork filed late Tuesday with the Supreme Courtroom, the Texas Legal professional Common’s Workplace mentioned Ruiz’s declare of juror bias had no benefit as a result of a evaluate of the allegations carried out final week by Dallas County District Legal professional John Creuzot discovered no such bias. One of many jurors accused of bias by Ruiz’s attorneys instructed Creuzot that, “I used to be not nor am not bias(ed) to anybody or any race,” based on the court docket submitting.
Final week, U.S. District Choose David Godbey in Dallas denied a request to remain Ruiz’s execution, saying his attorneys failed to indicate that jurors had made statements throughout his trial displaying “overt racial bias.” On Monday, the Texas Courtroom of Prison Appeals additionally denied an analogous keep request on claims of racial bias. The appeals court docket didn’t contemplate the deserves of the declare, however rejected it on procedural grounds.
Ruiz’s attorneys beforehand argued unsuccessfully that an professional witness for the prosecution falsely testified on the 2008 trial about Ruiz being an ongoing menace. His attorneys alleged prosecutors knew concerning the false testimony however remained silent about it. In his ruling, Godbey mentioned the professional’s testimony “was fairly probably innocent” and even when it had been corrected, it will not have modified the jury’s choice to condemn Ruiz to dying.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday unanimously declined to commute Ruiz’s dying sentence to a lesser penalty.
Ruiz was one in every of 5 Texas dying row inmates who sued to cease the state’s jail system from utilizing what they allege are expired and unsafe execution medicine. Regardless of a civil court docket decide in Austin preliminarily agreeing with the claims, the state’s prime two courts allowed one of many inmates who had been a part of the litigation to be executed on Jan. 10.
Jail officers deny the lawsuit’s claims and say the state’s provide of execution medicine is protected.
At his trial, Ruiz testified he was afraid for his life when he fired in self-defense on Nix after the officer allegedly threatened to kill him. He additionally mentioned he believed police fired their weapons first.
“I didn’t attempt to kill the officer. I simply tried to cease him,” Ruiz testified.
Ruiz additionally mentioned he fled from police that day as a result of he had unlawful medicine in his automotive and had taken medicine.
Gabriel Luchiano, who knew Nix when he labored as a safety guard, mentioned the officer at all times responded shortly when folks wanted assist on the comfort retailer in northwest Dallas the place Luchiano labored.
He was a “guardian angel,” mentioned Luchiano. “It’s nonetheless painful it doesn’t matter what. Nothing is going to shut it.”