Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Kevin Watts

Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts
Executed on 16 October 2008

Kevin Michael Watts, 27, was executed by lethal injection on 16 October 2008 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of three people in a restaurant.

On 1 March 2002, four employees of the Sam Won Garden restaurant in San Antonio were inside the restaurant, preparing to open for business for the day. Watts, then 21, entered, brandishing a Tec-22 pistol. Demanding money, he fired one shot into the ceiling, then rounded up the four workers into the kitchen. He then shot the manager, Hak Po Kim, 30, cook Yuan Tzu Banks, 52, and cook Chae Sun Shook, 59, in the back of the head. He then ordered the manager's wife, Hye Kyong Kim, to retrieve her dying husband's wallet and car keys from his pants pocket and ordered her to empty the cash register. He then ordered her into her vehicle and fled with her.

Watts sexually assaulted Mrs. Kim in her car, then took her to his mother-in-law's apartment, where he again raped and sodomized her and allowed his roommate, Terrance Bolden, to rape her. Watts also forced Mrs. Kim to ingest narcotics and attempted to insert his pistol into her vagina. Mrs. Kim survived the ordeal and testified against Watts at his trial.

Watts was captured about three hours after the shootings, after he attempted to flee by ramming two police cars with the victim's sports utility vehicle. He confessed to the robbery and murders. The Tec-22 pistol he was carrying at the time of his arrest was matched to slugs removed from the victims' heads. A medical examiner testified that the angle of entry into the three victims' heads was consistent with them having been shot while kneeling. Also, police found Mr. Kim's wallet in the apartment Watts visited between the killings and his arrest.

Watts' attorney, Tina Tussay-Cooper, told the jury that Watts had gone on an alcohol and narcotics binge prior to the killings and that he "suffered a drug-induced psychosis" that led to his actions. Witnesses testified that Watts had been drinking "thug passion," an alcoholic drink made famous by rapper Tupac Shakur.

Watts' prior convictions included assault causing bodily injury, driving while intoxicated, and criminal mischief. He received probation for each of these convictions. At one point, his probation was revoked, and Watts was later arrested and convicted of failure to identify himself to a police officer while being a fugitive. Prosecutors also presented evidence that Watts was a member of a street gang and introduced a letter Watts wrote while in jail, describing how he wanted to become a member of the Black Gorilla Family prison gang.

Tussay-Cooper argued that Watts' string of misdemeanor convictions did not make him a continuing threat to society. "Two wrongs don't make a right," she told the jury. "Don't go back and retaliate because of the anger you feel."

Continued on Page 2

Privacy PolicyContactAdvertising