Image: James Lee Clark
AP file
James Lee Clark
updated 4/12/2007 12:43:36 AM ET 2007-04-12T04:43:36

Convicted killer James Lee Clark was executed Wednesday for the 1993 rape and slaying of a high school honors student just days after he was paroled from prison.

When asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Clark said he didn’t know what to say. Several seconds passed and he noticed witnesses watching him through a nearby window.
He blurted out, “Oh I didn’t know anybody was there. Howdy.”

The drugs were taking effect and he was unable to say anything more. He was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m., seven minutes after the lethal chemicals began to flow into his veins.

Clark, 38, was on parole after serving less than a year of a 10-year term for burglary in Dallas County when he was arrested for the slaying of Catherine Crews, 17, and 16-year-old classmate Jesus Garza.

Both were shot in the head with a shotgun the night of June 7, 1993. Their bodies were dumped in a creek north of Denton, just north of Dallas. Clark was tried only for the girl’s murder. DNA evidence tied Clark to the rape.

An accomplice, James Brown, received a 20-year term for robbery. Each blamed the other for the slayings.

Clark was the 12th condemned prisoner executed this year in Texas, which has accounted for all but one of all the nation’s executions in 2007.

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