Chris Young dies by lethal injection despite last minute appeals

Young convicted in 2004 killing of convenience store owner

AUSTIN, TexasUPDATE 7/17/18: Chris Young was declared dead at 6:38 p.m. Tuesday. Young was executed for the 2004 killing of a San Antonio convenience store owner during an attempted robbery.

Young's final words were to the family of the victim.

"I want to make sure the Patel family knows I love them like they love me. Make sure the kids in the world know I'm being executed and those kids I've been mentoring keep this fight going. I'm good warden."

ORIGINAL STORY:

Attorneys for a San Antonio man who faces execution Tuesday appealed to Gov. Greg Abbott to grant the death row inmate a 30-day reprieve.

Abbott is being asked to commute Chris Young's sentence despite a unanimous vote of rejection of clemency Friday by the the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

While Abbott can only commute a sentence based on a favorable recommendation from the board, he does have the power to issue a 30-day reprieve for whatever reason he deems necessary.

Young, 34, was convicted of shooting and killing a San Antonio convenience store owner during an attempted robbery in 2004. The store owner's son doesn't want Young to be executed.

David Dow and Jeff Newberry, attorneys for Young, filed a complaint in federal court following the board's decision, saying the rejection was made because their client is black.

A federal judge in Houston denied the complaint Monday.

The attorneys want the sentence commuted so they can have more time to find out whether race played a role in the board's decision.

Following is part of the attorneys' appeal to Abbott:

"We believe it is quite likely you do not believe the members of the Board allow racial bias to affect the decisions they make regarding requests for clemency. It is entirely possible that the result of the suit we have filed, should it be allowed to reach its conclusion, would be a finding supporting such a belief. However, you should not allow Mr. Young's execution to proceed unless and until it is determined race was not a factor the Board considered in determining Young is not deserving of clemency. You have a duty to ensure the law applies equally to all of Texas' citizens regardless of their race. In Mr. Young's case, fulfilling that duty requires that you now grant him a thirty-day reprieve."

KSAT 12 News reporter Deven Clarke is on the witness list for the scheduled execution. Clarke interviewed Young about the crime and scheduled execution last week at a prison in Livingston.

"There are times when I can actually be sitting there typing a letter and feel the needle in my veins," Young said, contemplating the moment he'll be executed.

Clarke will be reporting live Tuesday from Huntsville beginning on KSAT 12 News at 5.

Following is a partial timeline of Young's day Tuesday:

  • 1:14 a.m.: Reading in bed
  • 5:45 a.m.: Escorted to shower 
  • 6:15 a.m.: Sleeping 
  • 7:30 a.m.: Laying in bunk
  • 7:55 a.m.: Arrived at visitation 
  • 8:25 a.m.: Met with a minister 
  • 9:15 a.m.: Talked with a visitor 
  • 11:25 a.m.: Took pictures with the visitor 

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