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A 41-year-old Texas prisoner was put to death Wednesday evening for the slayings of three people during a robbery at their San Antonio home more than 21 years ago.
Arnold Prieto became the first prisoner to receive a lethal injection this year in Texas, which carried out 10 executions in 2014.
He was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. CST, 20 minutes after a lethal dose of pentobarbital began flowing into his veins.
Asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Prieto replied: "There are no endings, only beginnings. Love y'all. See you soon."
Prieto was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die for the fatal stabbings of Rodolfo Rodriguez, 72, his wife, Virginia, 62, and Paula Moran, their 90-year-old former nanny who lived with them. Each victim was stabbed or cut multiple times with an icepick, screwdriver or knife.
The attackers took jewelry and about $300.
Prieto and two brothers related to the Rodriguezes were arrested in suburban Dallas seven months after the September 1993 killings.
No late appeals were filed in the courts to try to halt his punishment.
Prieto spurned a plea deal for a sentence of less than life in prison if he would testify against one of his companions.
"There was a way out," one of Prieto's trial lawyers, Michael Bernard, recalled last week. "We just couldn't get there."
The slayings went unsolved until informant's tip sent San Antonio police to Carrollton, a north Dallas suburb, where a grandnephew of the slain couple implicated himself, his brother and Prieto.
Prieto was the only one of three to get the death penalty
At least a dozen other executions are scheduled in Texas in the coming months, including two next week. Last year, 10 condemned inmates received lethal injections of pentobarbital.