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A jury found Martin guilty of capital murder in December 2009 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in October 2012.
Martin waived his right to further appeals in June 2013. He told the court that his decision was prompted by his father's death in February. "For the first time in my life, I felt what is was like to lose a loved one," he stated. "I think Mrs. Canfield's family deserves that closure."
John Ray Falk Jr. was charged as a party to capital murder. In January 2013, District Judge Ken Keeling declared a mistrial after a dispute over the instructions to be given to the jury went on for 55 days. Keeling then recused himself from the case. Senior District Judge John Delaney ruled against the defense's double jeopardy motion in June, clearing the way from Falk to be retried.
More than 200 corrections officers stood outside the Walls Unit in Huntsville as Martin was being executed. With them was a riderless horse and a large photograph of Canfield.
The victim's husband, Charles Canfield, and daughter watched Martin's execution from a viewing room. "I would like to tell the Canfield family I'm sorry," Martin said in his last statement. "I'm sorry for your loss. I wish I could take it back, but I can't ... I hope this gives you closure. I did not murder your loved one. It was an accident. I didn't mean for it to happen, but it happened. I take full responsibility." Martin also expressed love to his brother and friends who attended. "You know I'm at peace," he concluded. "God is the ultimate judge. He knows what happened." The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m.
"The fact is, he was escaping," Charles Canfield said to a reporter afterward. "I don't care if you intend it or not. You committed the act and, in this state, thank God we live in one where capital murder exists and where that punishment exists."
Madilene Loosier, who was carjacked and briefly abducted during the escape, also attended Martin's execution. "I needed to see it for my brain to realize he was gone and I didn't have to be afraid anymore," she said. "It helped me."
Martin's was the 16th and last execution performed in Texas in 2013.
By David Carson. Posted on 4 December 2013.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents, Associated Press, Austin Chronicle, Huntsville Item.