Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Kevin Watts

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A jury convicted Watts of capital murder in February 2003 and sentenced him to death. Mrs. Kim was permitted to address Watts after his punishment was announced, but she sobbed uncontrollably. An employee with the district attorney's office read her note.

As Watts was being led away, he made a brief statement expressing love to his family. He also apologized to the victims' families, but tempered his apology with the statement, "If they hate me, they hate me."

Tussay-Cooper responded to the jury's decision by saying, "What a waste of four lives."

Terrance Bolden was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He remains in custody as of this writing.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Watts' conviction and sentence in December 2004. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.

Even though Watts admitted his guilt, he still claimed he had been treated unfairly. In a courtroom appearance earlier this year, he exploded with an obscenity-filled tirade. "I never had a chance to speak for myself, how I was railroaded, how I had an inadequate attorney, how this is not about justice," he said.

"My intent was to put food on the table, get some money, go home and live happily ever after," Watts said in an interview from death row the week before his execution. "The situation gets out of control, and one thing leads to another."

In the interview, Watts said that when he was about 14 years old, his mother moved him away from San Jose, California because he was involved in street gangs there. She moved him to San Antonio to live with an aunt. "I came to Texas and I guess you could say I picked up where I left off with the gangs," he said.

Watts dropped out of school in the ninth grade. "School was boring," he said. "The teacher wasn't into it. I'm not into it. I got money on my mind. I want to get high, smoke some weed, make some money, be with the homies. So I became a full-time participant in the street life."

As the time for his execution drew close, Watts made an appeal, without his lawyer's knowledge, to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming he was mentally retarded and therefore ineligible for execution. The court returned the motion without considering it. Watts' lawyer, John Economidy, said there was no evidence to support his claim he was retarded.

In his last statement, Watts expressed love and thanks to his friends. He also spoke words of encouragement to others in prison. "For everybody incarcerated, y'all keep your heads up," he said. "Stay strong and keep fighting, it's not over yet." Watts also asked the Lord to forgive him. He finished his last statement by saying, "I am out of here. I am gone. Keep me in your hearts." The lethal injection was then started. Watts then said, "Can I say something? I'm dying but..." He then lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m.


By David Carson. Posted on 20 October 2008.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, San Antonio Express-News, court documents, public records.

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