Brent Ray Brewer, 53, was executed by lethal injection on 9 November 2023 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of a man he asked for a ride.
On Monday, 26 April 1990, Brewer, then 19, and his girlfriend, Kristie Nystrom, 21, approached Robert Laminack, 66, outside his business in Amarillo and asked him for a ride to the local Salvation Army office. He agreed. Nystrom took the passenger seat of his truck, and Brewer sat in the rear. After traveling about a block, Brewer produced a butterfly knife and stabbed Laminack several times in the neck while Nystrom held his arm to keep him from fighting back. Laminack begged for his life while obeying Brewer's demand to hand over his wallet. Brewer and Nystrom took his wallet containing $140 in cash and fled to the apartment of a friend, where they changed their bloody clothing. Laminack bled to death.
Brewer received treatment at a hospital for a deep cut to his palm that was inflicted during the attack. He and Nystrom then fled to Red Oak, south of Dallas. They were arrested on 8 May 1990.
A jury found Brewer guilty of capital murder in 1991 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in 1994.
Kristie Lynn Nystrom pleaded guilty to capital murder and received a life sentence. According to public records, she is still in prison as of this writing.
In 2004, Brewer wrote a letter to the trial judge requesting an execution date because of "the inactions of the counsel I've had thus far."
In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Brewer's death sentence because the jury was not sufficiently instructed to consider potentially mitigating evidence of Brewer's history of depression and mental illness.
Brewer was given a new punishment hearing. Unlike in 1991, Kristie Nystrom testified at this one. She gave details of the killing that the first jury did not hear, such as that Brewer began stabbing Laminack before asking for his wallet or truck keys. Brewer took the stand to testify about his remorse for the killing.
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