Texas killer David Renteria has been executed, 22 years after he kidnapped, killed a 5-year-old boy.
Huntsville, Texas – David Santiago Renteria He spoke his last words Thursday night, strapped to a gurney in the Huntsville unit, minutes before he was executed in the 2001 kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Alexandra Flores.
Renteria, 53, was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital on Thursday, November 16, a dark, cold, rainy evening at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison. Prison officials said his time of death was 7:11 p.m. CST.
In the presence of his and Alexandra’s family, Renteria made his final statements.
Renteria sang a religious song. He told the victim’s family that not a day goes by without him thinking about what he did. “There are no words that can describe what you are going through,” he said.
“I am sorry for all the mistakes I have made. To those who called for my death, and to those who are about to kill me, I forgive you,” he said in his closing statement.
Renteria’s family watched the execution from a different room than Alexandra’s family. Glass windows separated the witnesses from Renteria.
Alexandra’s sister, Sandra Frausto, and her brother, Ignacio Frausto, attended the execution.
Renteria’s sister Cecilia Esparza and a friend were also present.
Esparza broke down when she entered the viewing room, prison officials brought her a chair, and she cried. “I love you,” Renteria told his sister through the glass.
Renteria’s victim from a different criminal incident and her mother also attended the execution. Renteria had previously been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for indecency with a child in El Paso.
Fourteen law enforcement and state government officials also attended the execution.
Previously from the USA TODAY Network: The state of Texas is preparing to execute a child killer convicted of killing children in El Paso by lethal injection
A legal battle that lasted 22 years
Renteria grew up in Texas and was a tribal member of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, according to the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
While in prison, he rededicated himself to his Roman Catholic faith, the coalition reported.
Renteria’s execution ends a nearly 22-year legal battle in what has been described as one of the most heinous crimes committed in El Paso.
“I’ve always been a supporter of the death penalty, and from a law enforcement standpoint, I think some people are too dangerous in our community, and that’s certainly one individual I think the death penalty is entirely appropriate,” El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wells said. “It’s been a long time coming.” . I think it was what? Twenty-one years. I was actually the assistant chief (of El Paso Police), and (Carlos) Leon was the chief when that horrific crime happened. It’s been really hard for everyone. I can’t even imagine what that family went through and what they are still going through today.
“I hope this gives them a little bit of comfort to help them with their recovery that will take the rest of their lives,” Wells said. “I can’t even imagine losing my 5-year-old daughter to such a terrible disease.”
The final days on Texas death row for one of El Paso’s most notorious killers
Renteria spent his final days meeting visitors, lying on a bed, watching television through the cell door and sleeping, according to the Death Watch report. The times listed below are in the Central Time Zone.
On the day of his execution, starting at 12:15 a.m., he sat on his bed and began writing.
He began packing up his belongings around 2:30 a.m., before sitting on the floor and reading a book around 4 a.m., the report said. He then continued to pack up his belongings and clean the floor between 5 and 7:30 a.m
Renteria was allowed to speak with fellow inmates at 7:30 a.m., before meeting visitors from 8 to 11:30 a.m., the death watch memo said.
He was then transferred from the Polonsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Livingston, Texas, to the Huntsville Unit to await his execution.
Justice was served for Alexandra Flores in 2001 some 22 years after her kidnapping
Renteria’s execution came two days before the 22nd anniversary of the day he kidnapped 5-year-old Alexandra Flores from an El Paso Walmart, strangled her to death and then burned her body.
Renteria kidnapped Alexandra on November 18, 2001 while she was Christmas shopping with her parents at an El Paso Lower Valley Walmart.
Her parents realized she was missing and searched the store but were unable to find her. Alexandra was seen on store surveillance video exiting the store around 5:15 p.m. with Renteria.
Alexandra’s body was found around 7:10 a.m. the next day. She was naked and partially burned in a garage near downtown El Paso.
An autopsy revealed that Alexandra had been strangled to death and then set on fire, court documents state. Investigators later revealed that there were no signs of sexual assault.
Court documents state that a palm print on a plastic bag found over Alexandra’s head was from Renteria.
El Paso Police Department investigators discovered that a vehicle registered to Renteria was at the El Paso Walmart at 9441 Alameda Ave. The time and date of Alexandra’s disappearance. Renteria also told police he was at the location at the time and date of her disappearance, court documents state.
Renteria was put on trial for Alexandra’s death in September 2003. He claimed at his trial that members of the Barrio Azteca gang forced him to kidnap the girl and that someone else was the person who killed her, court records show.
The jury convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to death.
Court of Appeal judges heard the case in 2006 and upheld the conviction. However, the judges ordered a new sentencing phase in the trial.
The reinstatement was ordered because of “the exclusion of evidence showing that defendant’s remorse violated due process by preventing defendant from rebutting the state’s case when the state left the jury with and emphasized a false impression,” the justices wrote in their opinion.
A new sentencing trial was held in 2008. A new jury was selected for the trial and the jury reached the same verdict as the 2003 jury, which was death.
Failed appeal efforts end with pentobarbital injection
Dozens of appeals have been filed by Renteria and his attorneys since the ruling in 2008.
Less than three hours before Renteria was to receive a lethal injection in state prison, his lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution over allegations that the state’s supply of pentobarbital, the execution drug he would be injected with, had run low.
They claimed it now contained contaminated materials that would cause him “horror” and “extreme pain,” a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Claim made by another Texas prisoners Facing execution, she was rejected.
Attorney Tyvon Shardel, who is currently representing Renteria, declined to comment.
The appeals ranged from Renteria’s claim that he was wrongly convicted to allegations that his constitutional rights were violated.
All attempts at appeal, including those made in the days and hours before his execution, to stop or even postpone the execution of the death sentence have failed.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 7-0 on Tuesday, November 14, against commuting Renteria’s death sentence to a lesser sentence.
Aaron Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AMartinezEPT.Times correspondent Daniel Borunda and The Associated Press contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared in the El Paso Times: Execution of David Renteria: El Paso, Texas killer dies by injection