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A jury convicted Roach of capital murder in May 1999 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in November 2001. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Roach declined to speak to reporters in the weeks preceding his execution. Amarillo attorney C.J. McElroy, who defended him at his trial, said that Roach was very remorseful about what happened.
Roach was emotional at his execution. During his last statement, he repeatedly asked the victim's fiancee and daughter, who watched from a viewing room, for forgiveness. "So much hurt I've caused you all," he said, his voice cracking, and his eyes full of tears. "I can only imagine how you feel. I pray the Lord Jesus Christ touches your heart the way He's touched mine."
"I can't agree with this justice the state is carrying out, but I accept it and I'm sorry," Roach continued. "I have no ill will toward anyone carrying out this so-called justice. I leave y'all in God's care." When his last statement was finished, the lethal injection was started. He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 6 September 2007.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Attorney General's office, Amarillo Globe-News, Associated Press, court documents.