The state of Texas executed a Dallas man for the murder of a newlywed man more than 25 years ago.
Alvin Braziel Jr., 43, died via lethal injection at the state prison in Huntsville for the 1993 killing of 27-year-old Douglas White, who was attacked by Braziel while walking on a jogging trail. The motive in the killing was robbery and rape, according to reports.
When asked by the warden about a final statement, he thanked his supporters and apologized to Lora White, the victim’s wife, whom he also raped in the 1993 incident, the Texas Tribune reported.
“I would like to apologize … for her husband dying at my hands,” Braziel said, reported The Associated Press on Dec. 11.
Before the slaying, the Whites had only been married 10 days. AP reported that Braziel, who was brandishing a firearm, became angry when they told him they didn’t have any money but could go back to their truck and get some for him. He then ordered them to the ground.
“Doug … was praying, asked God to forgive him and Lora their sins because they both knew that this was it,” said Michael Bradshaw, the head detective in the case. “The last thing Doug said before Braziel fired the first round, he said, ‘Please God, don’t let him hurt Lora.'”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Braziel also mocked their faith. Braziel shot Doug White twice.
Braziel escaped into the night after the rape and murder. The crime was unsolved until 2001. Braziel was serving a 5-year prison term for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old, and in February 2001, blood samples from Braziel were matched against Lora White’s rape kit from the night her husband died.
“I really didn’t know that I would ever be able to solve it. But I really did not give up hope,” said Bradshaw, 63.
Braziel’s blood sample was a match, and Lora was also able to positively identify him, the Tribune noted.
The White case was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” in the 1990s along with a $20,000 reward.
He was later convicted in July 2001 in the Dallas district court.
Braziel’s attorneys attempted to stay his execution on the night of Dec. 11, but they were ultimately unsuccessful. The Chronicle reported his lawyers asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to consider whether the inmate is too intellectually disabled to put to death. The legal team then withdrew their motion.
The Supreme Court held in 2002 that people convicted of murder who are intellectually disabled cannot be executed.
The inmate was pronounced dead 7:19 p.m., nine minutes after the drug began, AP reported.
Braziel became the 24th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the 13th executed in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. He will be the last Texas inmate executed this year.
Bradshaw said he still keeps in contact with Lora White and that she started a new life and is doing well. “Lora wants it known that she’s prayed for Alvin Braziel and his family,” Bradshaw said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.