Share this story...
Latest News

The Latest: Ex-accountant put to death in daughters’ deaths

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows John David Battaglia who is scheduled for execution Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Huntsville, Texas, for the May 2001 slayings of his two daughters. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas execution scheduled for Thursday evening (all times local):

9:47 p.m.

A former Dallas accountant condemned for fatally shooting his two young daughters while their mother listened helplessly on the phone has been put to death in Texas.

John David Battaglia received lethal injection Thursday night for the May 2001 killings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. Battaglia and his wife had separated and the girls were killed at his Dallas apartment during a scheduled visit.

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

Battaglia’s was the nation’s third execution this year, all in Texas.

___

9:05 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected last-day appeals from Texas death row inmate John David Battaglia, clearing the way for his execution for fatally shooting his two young daughters while their mother listened helplessly on the phone.

Battaglia’s attorneys asked the court to stop the punishment and review his case, contending the 62-year-old Battaglia was delusional and mentally incompetent for execution and that he improperly was denied money from a judge so he could hire an additional expert to look into his case.

Attorneys also filed a late appeal challenging the effectiveness of the drug Texas uses for lethal injections.

Battaglia is facing execution Thursday night for the May 2001 killings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty.

Battaglia would be the nation’s third prisoner executed this year, all in Texas.

___

5 p.m.

Hours before a Texas inmate could be put to death, attorneys trying to block his execution have filed a federal lawsuit accusing Texas prison officials of using outdated pentobarbital for two recent executions.

In their lawsuit, lawyers contend John Battaglia, facing execution Thursday evening for killing his two daughters in 2001, risks suffering unconstitutional pain if the lethal injection is carried out using the same drug. They cite the reaction of two inmates executed in January, arguing Anthony Shore reported a burning sensation to the sedative in the seconds before he died two weeks ago and William Rayford grimaced and shook his head as he was put to death Tuesday.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the lawsuit is “nothing more than legal maneuvering.” He says the two executions cited took place without incident, that the inmates lost consciousness “almost immediately” and were each pronounced dead 13 minutes later.

The identity of the drug supplier, by state law, is not disclosed, other than to say that it was obtained from a compounding pharmacy.

___

9:20 a.m.

A federal appeals court has refused to halt the scheduled execution of a former Dallas accountant condemned for fatally shooting his two young daughters while their mother listened helplessly on the phone.

John David Battaglia is due to be executed Thursday evening.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal in which he argued that a lower court improperly refused his lawyers money to hire an expert to further examine claims that he isn’t mentally competent to be executed.

Battaglia was convicted of killing his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty, in May 2001.

___

12:06 a.m.

Attorneys for a former Dallas accountant condemned for fatally shooting his two young daughters while their mother listened helplessly on the phone are hoping a federal court keeps him from the Texas death chamber.

John David Battaglia is set for execution Thursday evening for the May 2001 slayings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. Battaglia and his wife had separated and the girls were killed at his Dallas apartment during a scheduled visit.

He’d be the nation’s third prisoner executed this year, all in Texas.

His lawyers had appeals before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, contending the 62-year-old Battaglia is delusional and mentally incompetent for execution.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.