Ronford Lee Styron Jr., 32, was executed by lethal injection on 16 May in Huntsville, Texas for beating his infant son to death.
In October 1993, Ronford Styron, then 24, took his 11-month-old son, Lee Hollace Styron, to the hospital in Liberty. The baby had a swollen face and several broken ribs. He was transferred to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, where he died two days later. The cause of death was subdural hemorrhaging due to trauma to the head.
Doctors later discovered that Lee had older injuries that included at least ten broken bones.
Styron told police that he suspected that the baby boy was not his biological offspring, and he took his anger out on him. He waited several days before taking him to the hospital.
At his trial, Styron testified that he did strike his son, but only once, to stop him from choking on food. He said that he never intended to kill the child. Witnesses, however, testified that Styron had a history of anger and brutality. He was expelled from the seventh grade for fighting with classmates, was discharged from the military for punching his sergeant, he physically threatened co-workers, and he broke a neighbor's jaw. Neighbors observed him kicking his own car and firing a gun at it. He was also arrested for pointing a pistol at another vehicle on the freeway and for starting a fist fight with the driver. Styron's only prior conviction was in 1991. He was sentenced to one year of probation for unlawfully carrying a weapon.
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