Texas on Wednesday placed to dying a person who fatally stabbed a suburban Dallas actual property agent extra than sixteen years ago, the second one execution this yr in what has been the nation’s busiest dying penalty country.
Kosoul Chanthakoummane, 41, obtained a deadly injection on the country penal complex in Huntsville and turned into stated useless at 6:33 p.m. He turned into condemned for fatally stabbing 40-yr-antique Sarah Walker in July 2006. She turned into discovered stabbed extra than 30 instances in a version domestic in McKinney, approximately 30 miles north of Dallas.
In a short declaration after he turned into strapped to the dying chamber gurney, Chanthakoummane thanked Jesus Christ, ministers with the Texas jail device and “a majority of these human beings in my lifestyles that aided me on this journey.”
Although no loved ones of Walker attended the execution, he provided a message to them: “I pray my dying will carry them peace.”
As the five grams of the effective sedative pentobarbital started out flowing via IV traces into veins in every of his arms, he seemed closer to a window via which his mom quietly watched some toes away and mouthed, “Mom, I love you.”
He then took 4 breaths, gasped barely and there has been no similarly movement. He turned into stated useless 15 mins later.
Just earlier than the execution happened and at Chanthakoummane’s request, a Buddhist monk located his proper hand at the inmate’s chest and examine a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes that refers to “a time for everything.” He responded: “Amen.”
Prosecutors say Chanthakoummane entered the version domestic after which beat Walker with a timber plant stand and stabbed her earlier than stealing her Rolex watch and a silver ring, which had been by no means discovered. DNA proof confirmed Chanthakoummane’s blood turned into discovered in numerous locations in the version domestic, such as below Walker’s fingernails.
Walker were a top-supplier for domestic builder D.R. Horton. She had children.
Chanthakoummane had recounted he turned into withinside the version domestic, however stated he handiest went inner to get a drink of water. He were on parole in Texas after serving time in North Carolina for annoyed kidnapping and robbery.
“I am innocent,” Chanthakoummane had stated in a letter filed in federal courtroom docket in March.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declined to put off Chanthakoummane’s execution after his legal professionals had challenged the DNA proof used to convict him. The proof were defined through the appeals courtroom docket as the “linchpin of the country’s case.” Eric Allen, certainly considered one among his legal professionals, stated in advance Wednesday he would not report a very last attraction with the U.S. Supreme Court.
His legal professionals had argued new technological know-how raised the opportunity Chanthakoummane’s DNA might have been transferred to Walker’s fingernails with none direct touch among the .
But government stated previous DNA checking out in his case had didn’t clean Chanthakoummane.
“Any perception through Chanthakoummane that similarly DNA research might yield consequences with the intention to be beneficial to his case is a fantasy,” legal professionals with the Texas Attorney General’s Office wrote in courtroom docket files ultimate month.
On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had declined to supply Chanthakoummane both a 120-day reprieve or a commutation of his dying sentence to a lesser penalty.
Chanthakoummane’s legal professionals stated their worries approximately the DNA proof turned into a part of a sample through prosecutors in the usage of defective proof withinside the case.
At Chanthakoummane’s trial, a forensic dentist testified the dying row inmate turned into the supply of a chunk mark on Walker’s neck. Such bitemark proof has for the reason that been discredited and in 2016, Texas have become the primary country to name for banning chunk mark evaluation in crook cases.
The witnesses who stated they noticed Chanthakoummane close to the homicide scene had been hypnotized through officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety, or DPS, to assist perceive him.
A 2020 record through the Dallas Morning News discovered maximum Texas judges nonetheless permit proof derived from hypnosis in spite of complaint it may distort reminiscences and result in wrongful convictions. In January 2021, DPS stopped the usage of hypnosis. Last yr, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a invoice that could have banned human beings who’ve been hypnotized from attesting in a crook trial.
In October 2020, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals discovered that even as the bitemark testimony might now not be admissible in courtroom docket, Chanthakoummane’s legal professionals had didn’t discredit the hypnosis-associated testimony.
The appeals courtroom docket additionally discovered the DNA proof turned into nonetheless strong.
At his trial, Chanthakoummane’s attorney, Keith Gore, informed jurors his patron turned into guilty “and he desired to rob (Walker), and it did not move the proper way, and he killed her.”
Walker’s father, Joseph Walker, who died ultimate yr, had antagonistic Chanthakoummane’s execution and had informed the Times Union in New York in 2013 he had forgiven his daughter’s killer.
Chanthakoummane turned into the 9th inmate placed to dying this yr withinside the U.S.
While Texas has been the nation’s busiest capital punishment country, the usage of the dying penalty withinside the country has reached close to anciental lows. Juries have persevered to difficulty fewer dying sentences and withinside the ultimate couple of years maximum executions had been not on time through the pandemic or through prison questions over what non secular advisers can do withinside the dying chamber.