death penalty news—-TEXAS

Sept. 22


Killer in '95 Houston ambush executed

A late-night ambush that claimed 3 lives in 1995 added a 4th Tuesday when
the shooter, Christopher Coleman, was executed by the state of Texas.

There were no personal witnesses to Coleman's execution, either from his
family or those of the victims. In a cryptic final statement, he said
only, "Ain't no way, fo fo. I love all of y'all."

The fatal combination of drugs caused him to sigh, struggle for breath and
snort before falling silent. He was pronounced dead at 6:22.

Coleman was 1 of 3 men convicted of capital murder in connection with the
drug-related shootings on Dec. 14, 1995.

Elsy "Daisy" Prado, who was injured in the shooting, identified Coleman as
the trigger man. Her sleeping 3-year-old son, Danny Giraldo, was among
those killed.

Also killed were Prado's brother, Hurtado Heinar Prado, and her boyfriend,
Jose Garcia.

Prosecutors said he 3 were murdered because of a drug debt owed by Enrique
Andrade Mosquera. Rather than pay it, he arranged a meeting and hired
Coleman and a third man, Derrick Graham, as enforcers. The 2 groups met
about 2 a.m. on a quiet residential street in the Acres Homes neighborhood
of Houston. The shootings took place while the victims were in their car.

Coleman's attorneys contend that the state's key witness against him,
Prado, was not credible. In recent years and days they have obtained
affidavits from her and Mosquera acknowledging a previous relationship.
Both were from the same town in Colombia. At the time of the trial, Prado
insisted all the men were strangers.

Prado admitted in 2007 that she knew Mosquera, though only as an
acquaintance. Mosquera says their relationship went well beyond that and
that they had done drug deals together.

Coleman's lawyers contend that the jury in his case might have viewed her
identification of him with skepticism if they had known of her original

Mosquera and Graham are serving life sentences. Prosecutors eventually
sought death against Mosquera as well because they believed he was
responsible for Coleman's actions, but the jury could not agree on
punishment, thereby triggering a life sentence.

Former prosecutor Luci Davidson said there was other circumstantial
evidence pointing to Coleman as the shooter. She said the state would not
have sought a death sentence in his case if prosecutors and investigators
had not become convinced that he fired the shots.

Coleman, 37, becomes the 18th condemned inmate to be put to death this
year in Texas and the 441st overall since the state resumed capital
punishment on December 7, 1982. 8 others have execution dates before the
end of the year.

Coleman becomes the 39th condemned individuals to be put to death this
year in the USA, and the 1175th overall since the nation resumed
executions on January 17, 1977.

(sources: Houston Chronicle & Rick Halperin)


Hit man in Houston slayings of 3 executed

A convicted hit man has been executed in Texas for a triple slaying in
Houston nearly 14 years ago.

37-year-old Christopher Coleman received lethal injection Tuesday evening
for his part in a scheme contrived by a Colombian man who hoped to
eliminate an $80,000 cocaine debt by staging a robbery. 4 people wound up
getting shot in a car on a dead-end street in Houston. 3 of them died,
including a 3-year-old boy.

Coleman's lawyers lost last-day appeals in the courts and failed to keep
him from becoming the 18th condemned prisoner executed this year in Texas,
the nation's most active death penalty state.

(source: Associated Press)