By MICHAEL GRACZYK
the Associated Press
HUNTSVILLE Convicted cop killer Javier Suarez Medina was executed Wednesday
evening amid Mexican government protests he was not provided proper legal
assistance guaranteed to foreigners under an international treaty.
Speaking both English and Spanish, Suarez apologized for killing Officer
Lawrence Cadena, asked forgiveness from the relatives of the slain police
officer and thanked the people of Mexico for their support in his case.
Id like to apologize to the Cadena family for whatever hurt and suffering
Ive caused them, he said in a final statement that lasted several minutes.
I sincerely ask in your heart to forgive me.
The mother and son of the officer were among the people watching him die.
I dont hold anything against anybody, Suarez added. He turned to his family
and told them he was going to a better place. This is just a stepping stone.
Im going home. Im at peace. Im at rest.
Switching to Spanish, he asked that God bless all the people of Mexico.
Thanks for your support and for never leaving me alone, he said.
At one point, he said Viva Mexico. His father, watching through a window,
raised a clinched fist at that moment.
Suarez asked that everyone on death row stay strong. Ill see you soon, he
said. He turned again to the Cadena family. Forgive me for the pain Ive
caused you all. Im truly sorry. May God bless you and keep you always. Peace
and love. Im ready to go home. Jesus Im coming.
As the drugs began flowing into his arms, he began singing the hymn Amazing
Grace, reaching the line: ...who saved a wretch like me, I once was lost...
Then he coughed several times and stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead at
6:23 p.m., nine minutes after the drugs were started.
Suarez, 33, was condemned for the 1988 slaying of Cadena, 43, gunned down
during an undercover drug buy. Suarez, 19 at the time, and a partner were
wounded and another companion killed in an ensuing shootout with Dallas
Cadenas son, Lawrence Jr., wearing a black-shrouded badge of a federal air
marshal, afterward thanked federal, Texas and Dallas County authorities who
helped push this through the system.
Dallas authorities said Suarez gave conflicting information when asked about
his birthplace, identifying both Mexico and Texas. Birth in Mexico would allow
him to seek legal help from the Mexican consulate when he was arrested Dec.
Suarezs attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the lethal injection,
the 21st in Texas this year and the third this month. The high court, without
comment, turned him down about 90 minutes before execution.
Gov. Rick Perry, who traditionally withholds a decision in execution cases
until legal challenges are resolved, then denied Suarez a 30-day reprieve, the
only action Perry could take without approval of the parole board.