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A Texas inmate claiming mental retardation is executed for rape and kills his family



A Texas inmate claiming to be mentally handicapped to prevent execution received a lethal injection on Wednesday, 12 years after he admitted he had fatally stabbed his wife and two step-sons and raped his two stepdaughters.

Robert Sparks The 45-year-old told investigators that he had killed his wife and 9- and 10-year-old stepsons and raped his 12- and 14-year-old stepdaughters because his family had poisoned him, and one voice told him he should kill his family. He asked to be examined for poison and the two girls for polygraph tests.

  This undated photo of the Texas Department of Justice shows Robert Sparks. (Criminal Justice Department of Texas via AP)

This undated photo of the Criminal Justice Department of Texas shows Robert Sparks. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

Sparks received a lethal injection in the state prison in Huntsville, Texas. He was the 16th inmate to be killed this year in the US and the seventh in Texas. Seven more are to be executed in Texas this year.

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"I am sorry for the hard times. And what hurts me is hurting you all … including you all, "Sparks said to family members peering through the death window.

" I love you all … I feel it, "he said Minutes later, he was pronounced dead.

The prosecution said Sparks stabbed his wife, the then-30-year-old Chare Agnew, 18 times when she was in bed, then went to his step-sons Harold Sublet Jr's bedroom Raekwon was stabbed at least 45 times

Then he raped his stepdaughters.

COSTCO SHOOTING: OFF-DUTY LA OFFICER IS NOT PAYING ANY FEES FROM THE An Intellectual Disability Death Penal A psychologist hired by Sparks & # 39; 's lawyers said in an affidavit last month that he "met the full criteria for diagnosing a" mental disability. " The Supreme Court banned execution of mentally disabled people in 2002, but states have their own discretion as to how mental retardation is to be determined.

His lawyers said that Sparks was not considered mentally handicapped at the time of the trial, but updates to the Handbook used by medical professionals to diagnose mental disorders would have changed that.

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The US Supreme Court also rejected a request from Sparks lawyers to stop the execution, allegedly because the jury was inappropriately biased because an officer wore a tie with one Syringe, suggesting that he advocated the death penalty. [19659008] The Prosecutor General's Office said the jury's foreman said she had never seen the tie and did not believe it influenced the jury.

The Associated Press c. Attributed to this report.


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