Texas put to death a man Wednesday who killed his mother and buried her body in her backyard despite appeals from his lawyers that he had a history of mental illness.
Tracy Beatty, 61, was executed by lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m. local time.
His death came nearly two decades after he strangled his mother, Carolyn Click, to death following an argument in her East Texas home in November 2003. When asked if he had any last words, Beatty choked up and sobbed while strapped to a death chamber gurney and began speaking to his wife who was looking through a window a few feet from him.
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“I just want to thank …” he said, his voice breaking. “I don’t want to leave you, baby. See you when you get there. I love you.” He mouthed a kiss to her.
He also thanked several of his fellow death row inmates.
“I love you, brothers. See you on the other side,” he said.
On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court declined an appeal from his lawyers. They argued he had received an exam to determine if he was intellectually disabled and possibly ineligible to be put to death.
Prosecutors said Beatty buried his 62-year-old mother’s body beside her mobile home in Whitehouse, about 115 miles southeast of Dallas, and then spent her money on drugs and alcohol. The pair argued daily and he had assaulted his mother several times before, a neighbor told authorities.
“Several times (Beatty) had said he just wanted to shut her up, that he just wanted to choke her and shut her up,” the neighbor, neighbor, Lieanna Wilkerson, testified.
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Beatty was the fourth Texas inmate put to death this year.
The next Texas inmate to be scheduled for execution is Stephen Barbee on Nov. 16, the final one for 2022. Authorities said Barbee killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her 7-year-old son in 2005.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.