A man who was convicted of shooting his two young daughters to death while his wife listened helplessly to their killings on speakerphone was executed on Thursday night in Texas. Before 62-year-old John David Battaglia died of lethal injection, he taunted his former wife one last time.
Before his execution, Battaglia was given an opportunity to make a last statement. He refused but instead made a bold informal statement directly to the children's mother, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
"No, Well, Hi Mary Jean. I'll see y'all later. Bye," he said, according to the Associated Press. "Go ahead please."
According to Fox News, Battaglia smiled as the mother of his victims walked into the viewing area. After his comments, directed to his ex, Battaglia closed his eyes. After a few seconds, he opened them and asked: "Am I still alive?"
By this point, he was given his injection.
"Oh, I feel it," he said not long after. According to Fox News, he gasped twice and then snored before he died. He was pronounced dead 22 minutes after he was given his dose.
In 2001, Battaglia killed 9-year-old Faith, and her 6-year-old sister Liberty while they were visiting his apartment in Dallas during a scheduled visit. He and his wife, their mother, were separated at the time. Their mother, Mary Jean Pearle, listened to gunshots as her daughters were murdered. Before they were shot, Pearle yelled through the phone at her daughters, instructing them to run.
"She heard [Faith] screaming ‘no daddy no,’ and then she heard several gun shots," an investigator said at the time, according to CNN. According to Fox News, the girls were shot 8 times: Faith 3 and Liberty 5.
Then, Battaglia told Pearle, “Merry [explative] Christmas.”
At the time of the murders, Battaglia was on probation for an attack on Pearle, which happened on Christmas 1999. It is believed that the Christmas comment was a reference to that incident.
[Photo: Dallas County Court]