SAN ANTONIO – The son of a convenience store owner who was killed more than a decade ago is asking for his father’s killer to be spared.
Chris Young was 21 when he took part in the 2004 armed robbery that led to Hasmukh Patel’s death.
Young was convicted and sentenced to death, but now Hasmukh Patel’s son, Mitesh Patel, is fighting to have Young’s life spared.
“His execution means that another family will lose a son, and another child will lose a father,” Mitesh Patel said.
The pain of losing a father is something Mitesh Patel knows all too well. His father was robbed and killed at his own East Side convenience store. He was 55 years old at the time of his death.
“I didn't have any appreciation for life,” Young said.
Throughout Young’s 12 years on death row, the now 34-year-old former gang member has become a mentor and a model father to his daughters and even took up painting as a hobby. He said death row is the reason for his lifestyle changes.
“I don't think I would have gotten over my anger. I would probably be in prison anyway. I would probably be dead,” Young said.
More than 23,000 people have signed a petition, hoping to persuade Gov. Greg Abbott to grant Young clemency.
“He understands his actions from 14 years ago weren't right or appropriate, but (if) he's willing to mentor others and break that chain, then I think he deserves to live,” Mitesh Patel said.
Young’s lawyers are hoping for a new trial, stating that a juror was unfairly removed from the case because her church mentored prison inmates.
Young hopes to use his past experiences as a way to prevent others from going down the same path.