Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Donald Aldrich

Donald Aldrich
Donald Aldrich
Executed on 12 October 2004

Donald Loren Aldrich, 39, was executed by lethal injection on 12 October 2004 in Huntsville, Texas for the kidnapping, robbery, and murder of a 23-year-old man.

On 30 November 1993, Aldrich, then 29, Henry Dunn, 19, and David McMillan, 17, drove to a Tyler city park that was known as a meeting place for homosexuals. At the park, Aldrich spotted Nicholus West, 23. He got out of their car and approached West, who was in his pickup. Aldrich pretended to be interested in West, and West invited Aldrich to join him. The two drove together to a nearby parking lot. Dunn and McMillan followed in their car.

Once in the parking lot, the three men brandished weapons at West and forced him into their car. With Dunn holding a gun on West, McMillan drove them to a clay pit about ten miles outside of town. Aldrich drove West's pickup. When they arrived, the trio walked West away from the road, into the pit. They made him remove his pants and shoes and stole his wallet. They then shot him 9 to 15 times with .357-caliber revolvers and left his body in the pit, face down. They then left the scene, with Aldrich driving West's truck and McMillan and Dunn in their car. West's body was discovered by dirt bikers two days later.

Aldrich was arrested a few days later on unrelated robbery charges. He confessed and told police that he and his accomplices went to the park on the night of West's murder with the intention of finding homosexuals to assault. He said that he disliked homosexuals because at age 9, he was raped by a gay cousin. Aldrich confessed to firing at least three of the fatal shots. Dunn was arrested in posession of West's pickup. He gave a videotaped confession in which he also admitted shooting West several times.

At the time of the murder, Aldrich was on parole for two prior felony convictions. He was paroled in 1990 after serving 6 months of a 10-year sentence for burglary. He was paroled in 1991 after serving 1 year of a 12-year sentence for robbery. (At the time, early release was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.)

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