Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Willie Shannon

Willie Shannon
Willie Shannon
Executed on 8 November 2006

Willie Marcel Shannon, 33, was executed by lethal injection on 8 November 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a man during a carjacking.

On 19 July 1992, Benjamin Garza took his wife, Solia, and three teenage children to a shopping center in southwest Houston. While his family went inside to shop for shoes, Garza waited outside in their station wagon. He leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes. Shannon, then 19, entered the car from the passenger side. He ordered Garza out of the car, but Garza fought back. Shannon then pulled out a gun, shot Garza in the head, and kicked him out of the vehicle. Shannon then drove off, running over Garza's hand and shooting him two more times. A woman then ran into the store, shouting about what happened. Solia Garza and her children rushed outside to find their husband and father dying on the pavement.

A few hours later, Shannon wrecked the car in Chambers County, about 50 miles east of Houston. When a sheriff's deputy approached him to ask about the accident, Shannon escaped into the woods on foot. Later - about five hours after the shooting - a security guard at a truck stop in Beaumont notified police that he spotted a man with a pistol in his pants, looking for rides. Shannon was captured after a brief chase.

During the punishment hearing at Shannon's trial, the state introduced evidence that he raped a hotel maid ten minutes before killing Garza. The prosecution claimed that Shannon committed the carjacking because he needed a vehicle to flee in. Shannon was never charged in the rape case, and he denied any involvement in it.

At the age of 19, Shannon had not served time in prison, but he did have a prior conviction for aggravated assault and a record of juvenile delinquency. He was also an admitted drug dealer.

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