HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- A repentant South Carolina drifter was executed Wednesday in the Texas death chamber for strangling and raping an Amarillo woman months after being paroled.
Tony Roach spoke for several minutes, his voice cracking and a tear at the corner of his eye. The 30-year-old repeatedly sought forgiveness from the fiance and the daughter of his victim, Ronnie Dawn Hewitt.
He said, "I can't agree with this justice the state is carrying out but I accept it and I'm sorry."
He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m., nine minutes after the lethal flow of drugs began.
Roach confessed to Hewitt's June 1998 slaying in Amarillo. Evidence showed he snuck into her apartment, strangled her and then raped her. He then set her place on fire.
He'd been released from a South Carolina prison months earlier after serving five years for armed robbery and assault.
Roach is the 24th condemned inmate put to death this year in the nation's most active capital punishment state.