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Man executed for Prosper murder

Appeal failed to prove that injection is cruel, unusual punishment

07:29 AM CST on Thursday, January 15, 2004

By TIM WYATT / The Dallas Morning News

HUNTSVILLE – A former pizza delivery man was executed Wednesday for the 1990 shooting death of a Prosper woman during a robbery at her home.

Kenneth Eugene Bruce, 32, of Celina became the second death-row inmate in Texas to die this year. He is also the fourth inmate in the last two months to try to stop his execution by arguing that the intravenous cocktail used to kill inmates is cruel and unusual punishment.

In an appeal rejected by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Mr. Bruce's attorneys argued that one of the three drugs in the mixture leaves inmates paralyzed but conscious as the final, lethal poison begins to take effect.

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The argument delayed the recently scheduled executions of two other Texas inmates, but new dates have been set for both to die later this month.

Mr. Bruce was one of four men charged and convicted in the Dec. 10, 1990, killing of Helen Ayers, 54. The attack also left Mrs. Ayers' husband, Richard, paralyzed from a gunshot wound to his lower back.

The couple let the men into their Prosper home on a cold night after two men told the Ayerses that their car needed a jump start. Moments later, two more men came in with guns and forced the Ayerses to lie face down on a mattress in their bedroom, then shot them both at close range.

According to trial records, the robbery netted the men about $10 in cash, plus some jewelry.

Mr. Ayers, now 71, did not want to attend the execution, said his son, David Ayers.

"He feels somewhat uncomfortable watching somebody die – given that the last person he saw die was his wife," David Ayers said.

Two men who also played a role in the robbery – Sam Andrews Jr. and Anthony Quinn Bruce – were given life prison sentences and, by state law at the time, were required to serve at least 15 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

Another participant, Eric Lynn Moore, was also sentenced to die but won a reprieve based on arguments that he shouldn't be executed because he is mentally retarded. His case is currently being reviewed by an appeals court, and he has not been given a new execution date.

During police interviews and trial testimony, none of the men admitted to firing the shot that killed Mrs. Ayers.

Under state law, winning a capital murder conviction did not require prosecutors to prove that Mr. Bruce fired the fatal shot. Instead, jurors had to find only that he participated in the crime while knowing that someone could be killed.

E-mail twyatt@dallasnews.com


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/tsw/stories/011504dntexexecution.c6688.html

46 posted on 01/15/2004 8:30:01 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (Freeper formerly known as MeeknMing)
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To: Sparta; luckodeirish; archy; Houmatt; BJClinton; SpookBrat; bonehead4freedom; ...
The court did not stop this one AND they put the two stays last month BACK IN the queue for this month.

Full article above ...

Man executed for Prosper murder
Appeal failed to prove that injection is cruel, unusual punishment

Excerpt:

HUNTSVILLE – A former pizza delivery man was executed Wednesday for the 1990 shooting death of a Prosper woman during a robbery at her home.

Kenneth Eugene Bruce, 32, of Celina became the second death-row inmate in Texas to die this year. He is also the fourth inmate in the last two months to try to stop his execution by arguing that the intravenous cocktail used to kill inmates is cruel and unusual punishment.

In an appeal rejected by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Mr. Bruce's attorneys argued that one of the three drugs in the mixture leaves inmates paralyzed but conscious as the final, lethal poison begins to take effect.

The argument delayed the recently scheduled executions of two other Texas inmates, but new dates have been set for both to die later this month.





Please let me know if you want ON or OFF my Texas Executions ping list!. . .don't be shy.


47 posted on 01/15/2004 8:39:03 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (Freeper formerly known as MeeknMing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies ]

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