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A jury convicted Wyatt of capital murder in February 1998 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in May 2000. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
In an interview from death row, Wyatt again called Damien's death an accidental drowning, and said that all he was guilty of was leaving him alone in the bathtub. "If I was responsible for this kid's death, then it was negligence, so charge me with that," Wyatt said. "But not murder, because I didn't kill this kid." Wyatt said that Porter "knew I took very good care of her son."
Of his confession, Wyatt said that the police coerced the statement from him. "I felt threatened," he said. "When they told me I was charged with killing a kid, it was like a bad nightmare. I felt helpless."
Michael Shepherd, the Bowie County district attorney who prosecuted Wyatt, said he believed that Wyatt killed Damien because the last sexual attack was so brutal it couldn't be hidden, so Wyatt "concocted the idea of smothering the child and set up the fake drowning."
The victim's father and grandmother attended Wyatt's execution. "I did not murder your son," Wyatt told them in his last statement. "I did not do it. I just want you to know that. I did not murder Damien, and I would ask for all of your forgiveness, and I will see all of you soon." Wyatt also thanked his relatives for their support. The lethal injection was started, and he was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 4 August 2006.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, Texarkana Gazette, court documents.