Elizabeth Peña and Jennifer Ertman, Houston high school students, were killed in 1993 by six teenage gang members who had just finished an initiation ritual. The Ertman-Peña case captivated a generation of Houstonians, says the Houston Chronicle. Tomorrow, the first of Ertman and Peña’s killers is set to be executed. “I’ve waited 13 years to view an execution,” said Ertman’s father, Randy Ertman, who will witness the act thanks to a policy change prompted by the case. “In the grand scheme, it may not mean a whole hell of a lot. But Derrick Sean O’Brien will never kill again.” Jennifer was Ertman’s only child.
Barring court intervention or a last-minute reprieve, O’Brien, a ninth-grade dropout who last month turned 31, will be the ninth killer to die in Texas’ death chamber this year. The five other gang members involved, most of whom are in their early 30s.