John Ballantine, 54, whose attorneys argued that his trial was marred by racial bias. In January 1998 gave a lethal injection to Edward Mark Keillor, 17. And Kai Brooke Geyer, 15, in Huntsville, Texas, a state penitentiary. and Steven Watson, 15.
John Ballantine, 54, whose attorneys argued that his trial was marred by racial bias. In January 1998 gave a lethal injection to Edward Mark Keillor, 17. And Kai Brooke Geyer, 15, in Huntsville, Texas, a state penitentiary. and Steven Watson, 15, at a home in Amarillo. All three were shot once in the head while they slept, prosecutors said.
Ballantine cheered as witnesses entered the death chamber, asking if someone standing by. The gurney could remove the sheet covering the lower two-thirds of her body “and massage my legs.” Then laughed. After a brief prayer from a spiritual advisor who held Ballantine’s left leg with his right hand. The inmate gave a brief statement thanking friends for supporting him. He then turns his head and looks out the window. At the seven relatives of his three murder victims and apologizes.
“I hope you find your heart to forgive me,” he said.
The mother of each of the three victims was among the witnesses a few feet away.
As a lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital flowed through a needle in his arm. He took two breaths, snorted twice, sneezed and started snoring again. The snoring – 11 of them – gradually calmed down, then stopped.
At 6:36 a.m., 15 minutes after the drug started, a doctor pronounced him dead. Witnesses to the victims shared high-fives before leaving the death chamber. Later they refused to talk to reporters.
Keillor’s sister, who was among the witnesses. Who saw him die, was Ballentine’s ex-girlfriend. And prosecutors said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between Keillor and Ballentine. Ballantine, but, argued that Keillor. And others threatened his life because of his interracial relationship. Valentine is black. All three victims were white.
Ballantine confessed to the murder. One of his trial attorneys said Ballantine rejected a plea deal. That would have sentenced him to life in prison. Because racist threats made him afraid of being attacked or killed while in custody.
Before his execution, lawyers were pursuing two legal strategies to save their client. The first was the argument that his trial and sentence were tainted by racism. But Ballantine was among five Texas death row inmates. Who sued to stop the state’s prison system from using expired and unsafe execution drugs. Despite an Austin civil court judge initially agreeing to the claims.
Prison officials say the state’s supply of execution drugs is safe.
Separately, Ballentine’s attorneys accused the jury foreman. In his case, Dorrie England, of having racist views. On his life and using racial slurs, and wanted to change. The minds of other jurors who wanted to sentence Ballentine to life. Lola Perkins, who was married to England’s brother. Told Ballentine’s attorneys that England was “racist against black people because. That’s how she grew up.” But, England also said he threatened to report another juror to the judge. for making prejudicial comments when the person “started talking. about this black guy killing these white teenagers.“
Ballentine’s attorneys also alleged that prosecutors prevented. All potential black jurors from serving on the trial. and Ballentine’s trial lawyers referred. To the sentencing process in a note as “justified lynching.”(Texas)
Randall Sherrod, one of Ballentine’s trial attorneys, said Wednesday. That he could not remember the note but denied that he or another attorney. James Durham Jr., harbored a racist attitude toward Ballentine. Durham died in 2006.