Texas man tied to four slayings executed
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A former farm worker from central Texas was executed Wednesday for beating a man to death with a car jack during a violent spree 17 years ago.”I wish I could do something to replace your father, your loved one,” Gary Sterling said as two daughters and three sons of his victim stood a few feet away. “But I can’t. I know this was a heinous crime.”Sterling, 38, was the 11th inmate executed by injection this year in Texas, the nation’s most active capital punishment state.He was condemned for the May 1988 death of John Carty, 72, at his home near Corsicana. Prosecutors also had evidence tying Sterling to the slaying of Delores Smith, 52, a friend of Carty’s whose purse and glasses were found at Sterling’s home.Sterling led police to their bodies after he was arrested for the slayings of brothers William Porter, 72, and Leroy Porter, 71, near Waco. He pleaded guilty to their slayings and received two life prison terms.Authorities said Sterling knew the four victims, all of whom were beaten to death.Police said Sterling, who was 20 at the time, stole Carty’s car, TV and shotgun, and sold the car to buy crack cocaine.Sterling’s execution came about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a stay. Lawyers had argued in appeals that Navarro County jurors were given flawed instructions when they decided in 1989 Sterling should be put to death.
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