On June 18th, the State of Texas carried out its ninth execution of the year, putting Gregory Russeau to death for the robbery and murder of 75-year-old mechanic James Syvertson at his Tyler auto-repair shop in 2001.
Texas accounts for 9 of the 17 executions nationwide to date in 2015. At this time, Missouri is the only other state scheduled to carry out executions; it accounts for four excutions this year. At least five more executions are scheduled to take place in Texas in the coming months.
Earlier in the day, a Nueces County jury rejected the death penalty for Daniel Garcia, who was convicted of capital murder in the robbery and death of convenience store owner Mostafa “Ben” Bighamian Corpus Christi in 2014. Garcia has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury reportedly deliberated for about two hours.
It was the second time this year that a Nueces County jury rejected the death penalty in a capital murder case and the third jury rejection of the death penalty this year. No new death sentences have been imposed to date in Texas this year. Eric Williams was the last person sentenced to death in the state – on December 17, 2014.