A man convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, her young son and her mother 13 years ago at a home in Corpus Christi was executed by Texas prison officials Wednesday, reports the Associated Press. The lethal injection of Jose Villegas, 39, was carried out after his attorneys unsuccessfully argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty.
Asked if he had a final statement, he expressed love for his children and added, “I am at peace.” Just as the pentobarbital began taking effect, he said, “It does kind of burn. Goodbye.” He gasped several times, then started to breathe quietly. Within less than a minute, all movement had stopped. He became the seventh prisoner executed this year in the nation’s most active death penalty state. Villegas was convicted of fatally stabbing Erida Salazar, 23, her 3-year-old son, Jacob, and Salazar’s mother, Alma Perez, 51, in January 2001. He was free on bond at the time for a sexual assault charge.