HUNTSVILLE, Tx. – A Texas man has been executed 12 years after he was convicted of murdering three members of his family, including two children, and raping his underage step-daughters, ABC 13 reported.
Robert Sparks became the seventh Texas inmate to be put to death within the corrections system in 2019. On Wednesday night, the 45-year-old man paid for his crimes from that fateful night in 2007.
Prosecutors say that Sparks began the attack against his wife and family on a night in September, stabbing 30-year-old Chare Agnew, his wife, 18 times while she lay in bed. While she lay bleeding out, Sparks walked down the hall to his step-sons’ room, where 9-year-old Harold Sublet and 10-year-old Raekwon Agnew slept.
Reports say that one at a time, Sparks brought the boys from the bedroom into the kitchen, where he stabbed them to death.
Investigators say that Raekwon was stabbed at least 45 times.
Covered in blood after fatally stabbing three people in the house, Sparks then went to another bedroom, where prosecutors say he raped his step-daughters, aged 12 and 14.
After he was arrested, Sparks told authorities that he believed his wife and kids were trying to poison him, so he attacked them. Sparks additionally said a voice told him “to kill them because they were trying to kill me.”
NOTE: A previous person on this list was executed earlier tonight in Texas. #RobertSparks was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m local time, 23 minutes after his execution began with pentobarbital. He was the seventh person executed in Texas this year, and the 16th execution this year. pic.twitter.com/5Y0gzec8am
— TPFExecuteDesk (@TPFExecuteDesk) September 26, 2019
While during the trial, Sparks’ “own trial expert testified that he was not intellectually disabled,” the Texas Attorney General’s office said, but in the months leading up to the execution, Sparks’ defense team tried to argue that he didn’t know what he was doing.
The defense attempted to have Sparks’ conviction thrown out, claiming that his IQ was near that of someone with a disability. They additionally asked that the U.S. Supreme Court intervene with the death sentence, claiming that a bailiff who wore a tie with a syringe on it in support of the death penalty supposedly influenced the outcome.
They say Sparks exhibited signs of severe mental illness and had been diagnosed as a delusion psychotic and with schizoaffective disorder.
Texas executed a 45-year-old man Wednesday night, 12 years after he killed his wife and two stepsons — and raped his two stepdaughters. https://t.co/SR0Y42Xwon
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 26, 2019
But regardless of their arguments, it was too little too late.
12 years later, Sparks finally paid for his horrific crimes.
He spoke his final words on Wednesday evening before the sentence was carried out.
“Umm, Pamela, can you hear me? Stephanie, Hardy, Marcus, tell all the family I love them. I am sorry for the hard times and what hurts me is that I hurt y’all, and um, even for y’all too, and Patricia, she wrote me, tell Patricia I wrote her back and to tell y’all what I said. I love y’all. I am ready.”
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Lower courts and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles reportedly denied requests to help stop the execution.
ABC also noted that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stop the execution on Tuesday despite claims that Sparks was intellectually disabled and should not be executed.
His lawyers responded to the denied attempts to prolong Sparks’ life.
“Without a stay of execution, it is likely that Texas will execute an intellectually disabled man,” said attorneys Seth Kretzer and Jonathan Landers.
The attorney general’s office said that Sparks is paying for the result of his horrific acts – ones that no jury could see past.
“Sparks committed a heinous crime which resulted in the murders of two young children. He is unable to overcome the overwhelming testimony,” their statement said.
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