A man who went on a murderous rampage against the family of his ex-girlfriend was executed Wednesday after he apologized and asked his family to pray for him.
George Whitaker III, who killed a 16-year-old girl and seriously wounded her mother and 5-year-old sister in 1994, was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m. CST, eight minutes after lethal drugs began flowing into his body.
"I apologize for your pain and suffering," he said in the death chamber, mentioning the parents of his victim by name. None of her relatives were present.
'Pray for me'
He asked his stepfather, brother and a friend who watched through a window to take care of his two daughters.
"Continue to pray for me. I am fine. I've made peace with God. Please don't ever forget me," he said.
The 36-year-old Houston-area man had exhausted his appeals and lost a clemency bid before the state parole board, clearing the way for him to become the 16th Texas prisoner executed this year. Another lethal injection was set for Thursday evening in the nation's busiest capital punishment state.
Whitaker was convicted of gunning down 16-year-old Shakeitha Carrier in 1994 at her family's home in Crosby, in Harris County.
The slain girl's older sister, Catina, was engaged to Whitaker and had been living with him. She testified at trial that she left him because of abuse and because he often took money from her.
Showed up at parents' home
Whitaker showed up at her parents' home on a June afternoon under the guise of returning some of her items, then pulled a gun and demanded to get in. Catina Carrier wasn't there; at the time she was living in secret with a friend because she feared Whitaker.
Her mother, Mary, pleaded that he not hurt anyone. Testimony at his trial showed he shot the woman in the shoulder, then ran upstairs where Shakeitha, known as Kiki, cried out Whitaker's name and said: "Please don't hurt me!" Then she was shot.
Court records show Whitaker went outside to an SUV to reload his .45-caliber pistol. He returned to shoot Mary Carrier again at close range before leaving. She was able to call for help.
Kiki died of a gunshot wound to the head. Her 5-year-old sister, Ashley, was left with brain damage after being pistol-whipped. Mary Carrier had permanent nerve damage and lost the use of her right hand.
Shot during his arrest
Whitaker was shot and wounded later by deputies trying to arrest him at an apartment where he was drinking beer with another girlfriend. Authorities said he had jumped from a window and was shot in the hip as he appeared to be reaching for a pistol.
Whitaker, a former mechanic, declined to speak with reporters as his execution date neared.
His unsuccessful court appeals had contended his trial lawyer was ineffective in not calling a mental health expert to testify, that jurors should have been told a life sentence would have ensured him at least 40 years in prison, and that his death sentence was unconstitutional.