Derrick Frazier, 29, was executed by lethal injection on 31 August 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a woman and her son.
On 25 June 1997, Frazier, then 20, and Jermaine Herron, 18, visited a ranch owned by Ron Lucich, ten miles north of Refugio. Herron and his father had lived on the ranch many years earlier, when Herron's father was Lucich's foreman.* Mr. and Mrs. Lucich were away, but their three children were home. Herron introduced Derrick Frazier as his cousin, Kevin, and stated that they came to see whether the Lucichs had any work for them. They decided to "hang out" until the Lucichs came home. Mrs. Lucich then came home and became concerned about the two men loitering in her home. She called her husband, who told her to "get them out of there." Mrs. Lucich took the men and her children out for lunch, then dropped the men off at the house of one of Herron's friends. Later that day, Ron Lucich called Herron and told him to never come back to his ranch.
That afternoon, Frazier and Herron made plans to burglarize the ranch. They had observed several guns in the home, and they learned that the Lucichs were planning to be out of town the following day. They drove with another man, Michael Brown, to a roadside park from which the ranch could be viewed, and discussed their plan further. A second trailer home, occupied by Betsy Nutt and her 15-year-old son, Cody, was also on the property.
At about 9:00 p.m., Crystal Mascorro drove Frazier, Herron, and Brown to the entrance of the Lucich ranch. All three men wore bandanas over their faces, and Herron carried a .22-caliber rifle. As they approached the Lucichs' trailer, the porch light came on. Brown turned back and ran. Frazier and Herron subsequently joined him, and they all left the ranch.
A few hours later, in the early morning hours of 26 June, the thee men drove back to the ranch. This time, Brown dropped Frazier and Herron off. They hid and waited for the Lucichs to leave. At about 7:30 a.m., the Lucichs left. Frazier and Herron then entered their trailer and gathered up some guns and other items. They then called Brown and told him to come pick them up. They were still waiting at 2:00 p.m., when Betsy and Cody Nutt came home. They approached Mrs. Nutt, told her that their car had broken down, and asked to use her restroom. Once inside Nutt's trailer, they forced the Nutts to their knees, then shot each of them twice in the head with a 9mm pistol. They then drove away in Nutt's truck.
Police spotted Nutt's pickup later that night and arrested Frazier. Fingerprints taken from the inside of the pickup matched his. Police also recovered property taken in the burglary from Frazier's girlfriend and from the apartment where he was hiding. Frazier confessed on videotape to burglarizing the Lucich's home, murdering Betsy Nutt, and stealing her pickup.
In his confession, Frazier said that Betsy Nutt offered to give Herron and him a ride into town, and the three of them got into her pickup. After Nutt started the engine, she realized she had forgotten her mobile phone, so she turned off the engine and went back inside. Herron then told Frazier, "I'm going to do 'em now." Frazier responded, "It's your business." When Nutt came back out, Herron said that he needed to use the bathroom, so Nutt gave him permission to go inside the trailer. Herron then came back out and told Nutt that she had a telephone call. Nutt exited the truck and walked inside her home, with Frazier following her. Once inside, Herron pointed a pistol at Nutt and told her not to move. Hearing the commotion, Cody Nutt then came into the room. Herron shot Cody with the pistol, then handed the gun to Frazier and told him to shoot Betsy. Frazier then fired two shots, killing her.
Herron also confessed to the crime, stating that he killed Cody Nutt and Frazier killed Betsy Nutt.
Frazier had prior convictions for unlawfully carrying a weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
* Reports vary as to which man's father used to work for Lucich. Most reports of Frazier's case state that his father was the former employee, while reports of Herron's case state that it was his father. In this writer's opinion, the reports that Herron's father was the former employee are more authoritative.
Continued on Page 2