An apologetic former farm worker was executed in Texas Wednesday for using a car bumper jack to fatally beat and rob a man during a violent spree 17 years ago that authorities said left three other people dead, reports the Associated Press. “I wish I could do something to replace your father, your loved one,” Gary Sterling said as two daughters and three sons of his victim stood a few feet away watching through a window. “But I can’t. I know this was a heinous crime. I just wish I could get him back.” Asked if he had a final statement, Sterling said he wanted the chaplain to say a prayer. “I can only say I’m sorry,” Sterling said.
As a prison chaplain finished his brief prayer, Sterling smiled broadly and said as the drugs began flowing, “I’ll put in a good word for everybody.” He gasped several times and slipped into unconsciousness and was pronounced dead. Sterling, 38, was the 11th condemned prisoner executed this year in Texas. He was condemned for the beating death of John Carty, 72, killed in May 1988 at his home in Navarro County. Prosecutors also had evidence tying him to the slaying of Delores Smith, 52, a friend of Carty’s whose purse and glasses were found at Sterling’s home, although he was not tried for the woman’s death.