Texas execution delayed for man who murdered his daughters

  • Texas execution delayed for man who murdered his daughters

Texas execution delayed for man who murdered his daughters

The use of old and poorly regulated sedatives, also used in this most recent execution, amounted to nearly unsuccessful procedures in the case of Anthony Shore on January 18 and William Rayford on January 30.

His lethal injection was the nation's third this year, all in Texas. No other state in the country has held an execution this year.

In 2001, Battaglia and his daughters - ages 6 and 9 - were in his Dallas apartment when he shot them, officials said. Their mother, Mary Jean Pearle, listened on the phone.

John Battaglia was on death row for almost two decades ever since he murdered his two young daughters while their mother begged for their lives over the phone.

Battaglia who once served as a marine was an accountant at the time he shot and killed his two daughters as retaliation against their mother who was trying to revoke his parole.

John David Battaglia poses with his daughter Faith, 9, (l.), and Liberty, 6, (r.), on February 14, 2001.

The murders happened after Pearle returned a call from her daughter, during which time Battaglia put the call on speakerphone and Pearle could hear her daughters begging for their lives, Faith begging "No, daddy, please don't, don't do it!"

John David Battaglia received a lethal injection Thursday night for the May 2001 killings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. The officer told Battaglia to surrender himself to authorities for violating probation, asking him to turn himself in so that police would not have to make a scene in front of his daughters.

The girls' mother testified in court that she found a message from Battaglia the next day on their answering machine.

"I can understand that the media gets to only have their say", he responded. "You were very fearless girls".

It took a jury about 20 minutes to convict him.

The Supreme Court denied the appeals without providing a reason.

According to prosecutors, Battaglia had become enraged that his estranged wife had notified police about his harassment and he used the visit with their daughters to act on his anger. He also claimed he was drugged and didn't remember the murders. His lawyers argued that he suffered from delusions that kept him from understanding why he was facing execution.

The judge ruled that Battaglia had enough understanding of his situation to be executed even though three of the four psychologists who examined Battaglia said he was unfit for execution. The court upheld the trial court's belief that he was faking or exaggerating his mental illness to avoid execution, citing a recorded phone call Battaglia had with his father calling the death penalty "a damn chess game". Battaglia's execution was delayed twice before so his mental competency could be evaluated, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The punishment was carried out after the US Supreme Court rejected appeals from his lawyers to review his case, contending the 62-year-old was delusional and mentally incompetent for execution.

"I don't feel like I killed them". A Houston Chronicle reporter at the execution cited a similar quote. Convicted killer William Rayford was executed Tuesday.