A Texas death row inmate who brutally killed his wife and two young stepsons was executed on Wednesday night despite his claim he was intellectually disabled.
Robert Sparks became the seventh inmate put to death in Texas this year, with seven more executions scheduled in the state in the next few months.
Sparks, 45, repeatedly stabbed his wife Chare Agnew in their Dallas home while she was in bed on Sept. 15, 2007. He was condemned for the murders of Harold Sublet, who was 9, and 10-year-old Raekwon Agnew, who were also stabbed to death.
He then raped his two stepdaughters, who were 12 and 14 at the time. At least one of them was present at the execution in Huntsville.
“The day when the situation was going on, he said that we wouldn’t make it,” stepdaughter Lakenya Agnew told The Associated Press after the lethal injection was given. “Twelve years later, we’re both standing here. ... I want him to know we’re not suffering. We’re hurt emotionally but physically we’re fine.”
Sparks told police he killed his wife and stepsons because he believed they were trying to poison him. He would tell a psychologist that a voice told him “to kill them because they were trying to kill me.”
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that lawyers had not presented enough evidence that Sparks was intellectually disabled. The court also found that lawyers did not raise the claim in a timely enough manner.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday also declined to stop the execution.
Sparks became the 16th inmate to be executed in the U.S. this year. He was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m.
With News Wire Services