Edgar Tamayo, a Mexican national, was executed last night in Texas for killing a Houston police officer, despite pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department to halt the death, reports the Associated Press. Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection for the 1994 fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24. The execution, the first this year in the nation’s most active death penalty state, was delayed more than three hours while the U.S. Supreme Court considered last-ditch appeals. Tamayo did not look toward Gaddis’ mother, two brothers and two other relatives who watched through a window. “He’s a coward just like when he shot my brother in the back of the head and he died a coward,” Glen Gaddis said.
Texas officials rejected arguments that Tamayo’s case was tainted because he wasn’t informed, under an international agreement, that he could get legal help from the Mexican consulate after his arrest. Attorneys argued unsuccessfully that Tamayo was mentally impaired, making him ineligible for execution, and that the state’s clemency procedures were unfair. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from,” said Lucy Nashed, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry. “If you commit a despicable crime like this in Texas, you are subject to our state laws, including a fair trial by jury and the ultimate penalty.”