Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: John Wheat

John Wheat
John Wheat
Executed on 14 June 2001

John L. Wheat, 57, was executed by lethal injection on 13 June in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of three children during a shooting rampage.

In July 1995, Angela Anderson asked John Wheat, then 51, who lived in the same apartment complex, to babysit her children while she was at work. She left her 7-year-old son, Edwardo Ochoa, and her 6-year-old daughter, Ashley Ochoa, with Wheat, and her 19-month-old daughter, Lacey Anderson, with another neighbor.

The next morning, Ashley told her mother that Wheat had kissed her on the lips and put his hand down her shorts. Anderson wrote a message to Wheat and gave it to Edwardo to deliver to him. In the note, Anderson wrote what Ashley had told her and that she was going to report him to the police.

Immediately after reading the note, Wheat left his apartment with a loaded .22-caliber pistol, a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol, and extra clips for the .45, and went to Anderson's apartment. As Anderson fled upstairs to call the police, Wheat shot at her multiple times with the .45, hitting her at least twice. He also shot security guard Jesse Cranfield, 33, wounding him in the back and leg. Wheat chased Anderson into an apartment and shot again at least twice with the .22, as she tried to hide in a bedroom closet.

He then went into Anderson's apartment, reloading the .45 on the way, and shot each of her children -- Edwardo, Ashley, and Lacey -- in a rear bedroom. After shooting the children, Wheat retrieved a .30-caliber rifle and started firing at random into the apartment complex, wounding tenant Juan Ramirez, 19.

Fort Worth police officer Angela Jay was shot several times in the chest and stomach as she entered the complex. As other officers converged on Wheat, he put down his weapons and surrendered.

Edwardo and Ashley were found dead. Lacey died at the scene. Angela Anderson sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the head, chest, and thigh. She also sustained permanent brain damage.

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