A South Texas man was executed in the US on Wednesday for the 1998 murder of a 12-year-old boy whose blood the convicted killer said he drank after beating him and slitting his throat.
Pablo Lucio Vasquez told police he was drunk and high when voices convinced him to kill David Cardenas in Donna, a Texas border town about 225 miles south of San Antonio. He also told detectives in a videotaped statement that he drank some of the boy's blood.
Asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Vasquez, 38, turned to look through a window where four of his victim's relatives watched and told them he was sorry.
"This is the only way that I can be forgiven," he said. "You got your justice right here."
Then as the lethal dose of pentobarbital began taking effect, he said he was a little dizzy. "See you on the other side," he said, raising his head off the gurney pillow and looking toward a window where two of his sisters, a brother-in-law and a cousin watched.
He was pronounced dead 24 minutes later at 6:35 p.m., making him the 11th condemned prisoner executed this year in the U.S., six of them in Texas.
Court records showed Vasquez, his 15-year-old cousin, Andres Rafael Chapa, and Cardenas, Chapa's friend, all attended a party in Donna, a Texas border town where Vasquez and Chapa lived. Cardenas was from nearby Alamo, also in the Rio Grande Valley, and was spending the weekend with Chapa.
The killing occurred April 18, 1998, after the three left the party. Vasquez told authorities as they reached a wooden shed, he started hearing voices telling him to kill Cardenas.
(With agencies input)