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A Texas death row inmate who once bragged about killing an “old lady” was deeply apologetic to his victims’ families Tuesday in the final moments before he was put to death.
“I wanted to apologize for the grief and the pain that I caused y’all,” 37-year-old Mark Soliz said, according to The Texas Tribune. “I’ve been considering changing my life. It took me 27 years to do so. Man, I want to apologize, I don’t know if me passing will bring y’all comfort for the pain and suffering I caused y’all. I am at peace.”
Soliz was convicted in 2012 of killing 61-year-old grandma Nancy Weatherly as part of an eight-day crime spree in Fort Worth with Jose Ramos.
During the spree that terrified the local community, the pair robbed random people at gunpoint. Soliz also took the life of Ruben Martinez, a delivery man who had been unloading beer outside a convenience store when he was shot and killed, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Weatherly was shot in the back of the head for what prosecutors described as a “pittance of property” during a break-in at her Godley home on June, 29, 2010, according to The Associated Press.
A friend of Soliz’s would later tell investigators that he had bragged about killing an “old lady.”
In court, his former girlfriend said Soliz claimed Weatherly had been begging for her life before she was killed.
Soliz’s attorneys had long argued that he should not be eligible for the death penalty because he suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which they had argued was the “functional equivalent of an intellectual disability."
Under the U.S. Supreme Court rules, people with intellectual disabilities are not qualified for execution.
“It’s simply not right to execute the mentally disabled,” his attorney Seth Kretzer told The Daily Beast.
His mother was reportedly a prostitute who drank heavily and huffed glue throughout her pregnancy. His attorneys had argued during the trial that he grew up around drugs and crime.
Since his conviction, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, state and federal appeals courts, all repeatedly turned down requests to stop the execution. The final denial was received Monday, according to the Star-Telegram.
Soliz died by a lethal dose of pentobarbital Tuesday evening. He was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m., after addressing Weatherly’s family and being strapped down to a gurney to await his fate.
Ramos received life in prison without the possibility for parole for his involvement with the crimes.
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