Gerald Mitchell, 33, was executed by lethal injection on 22 October in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a man who tried to buy marijuana from him.
In June 1985, Charles Marino, 20, and his brother-in-law, Kenneth Fleming, 15, went to a Houston park to buy marijuana. They met Mitchell, then 17, who offered to sell to them. Mitchell and an unidentified accomplice got in Marino's car. Mitchell then pulled a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun on the men and forced them to drive to a vacant house. After Mitchell took $25 and Marino's car keys, the accomplice told Mitchell to leave them there. When Mitchell asked the accomplice to get some rope, the accomplice left and did not return. Mitchell then forced Marino and Fleming to sit on the floor. He shot Marino in the chest from a distance of ten feet. Fleming rolled into a ball and then Mitchell shot him. Marino was killed, but Fleming survived.
Donald Newsome was walking in the vicinity of the vacant house, heard shots, and saw Mitchell coming out of the back of the house with a shotgun over his shoulders. Mitchell told him he was "just shooting some birds," and drove off in Marino's 1980 Pontiac TransAm.
The same day he killed Marino, Mitchell shot and killed another man, Hector Manguia, 18, when he refused to give Mitchell a necklace he demanded.
Mitchell was arrested in Corpus Christi seven days later, driving Marino's car. He gave police a written confession where he admitted shooting Marino and Fleming, but he claimed it was an accident.
In April 1986, a jury convicted Mitchell of the capital murder of Charles Marino and sentenced him to death. All of his appeals in state and federal courts were denied. Mitchell was also convicted of attempted capital murder in the Fleming shooting and given a 60-year sentence. He was also given a 60-year sentence for the murder of Hector Manguia.
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