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Texas death-row inmate admits to more killings

A Texas death row inmate admitted more than a dozen killings Wednesday night, right  before he was executed for killing a grocery store owner in 1993.
Death-row inmate Billy Vickers, executed Wednesday night.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A death row inmate confessed to more than a dozen killings just before he was executed Wednesday night for the slaying of a grocery store owner in 1993.

After he was strapped to the death chamber gurney, Billy Frank Vickers, 58, admitted for the first time that he shot Phillip Kinslow during a botched robbery in 1993. He was being executed for that crime.

“It was nothing personal, I was just trying to make a living,” Vickers said.

Vickers also took responsibility for more than a dozen other killings. He said there were “several more that I had done or that I had been a part of, and I’m sorry but I am not sure how many. There must be a dozen or 14, I believe, all total.”

He mentioned no names, except in the case of a former Texas oil millionaire who was accused and later acquitted of killing his stepdaughter in 1976.

“One I would like to clear up is Cullen Davis — where he was charged with shooting his wife,” Vickers said, without elaborating or taking clear responsibility for the slaying.

Prosecutor dismisses claim
Cullen Davis was accused of killing his second wife’s 12-year-old daughter at his Fort Worth mansion. Priscilla Davis, his second wife, was wounded and her boyfriend was killed. Cullen Davis was later acquitted of murder-for-hire charges in a separate case.

Jack Strickland, a former prosecutor who worked on the Davis case, said Wednesday night that he had never heard of Vickers and doubted that he was involved in the shooting.

“For some perverse reason known only to him [Vickers], he once again screwed with the system. I certainly don’t put any stock in it, not the slightest bit,” Strickland said.

Vickers also referred to an inmate serving a life term for a murder, but said the inmate’s father was responsible for the crime. “I did not do it, but I was with his daddy when it was done,” he said.

Vickers also expressed remorse. “I wish to say to my family, I’m sorry for all the grief I’ve put you through,” he said.

He died at 6:21 p.m., six minutes after the lethal dose began. It was his second visit to the death house in about seven weeks.

Vickers’ execution was postponed last month while courts considered an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the lethal drug combination used in executions.

A final appeal failed Wednesday, with the Supreme Court ruling about 30 minutes before Vickers was taken to the death house.