TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – A man who killed a religious couple visiting Texas from Iowa was executed Thursday, the first Black inmate put to death as part of the Trump administration’s resumption of federal executions after a nearly 20-year pause.
Christopher Vialva, 40, was pronounced dead shortly before 7 p.m. EDT after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
In a last statement, Vialva asked God to comfort the families of the couple he had killed in 1999, saying, “Father … heal their hearts with grace and love.”
After robbing and locking Todd and Stacie Bagley in the trunk of their car, the then-19-year-old Vialva shot them in the head and burned their bodies in the car.
Vialva's final words were: “I’m ready, Father."
Vialva turned toward his mother behind a glass window in a witness room as the lethal injections began.
“He was looking at me when he died,” his mother, Lisa Brown, told The Associated Press in a text message, confirming she attended the execution.
The execution comes during demonstrations, disappointment, violence and sadness in Louisville, Kentucky, after a grand jury did not charge the officers who shot Breonna Taylor with her death, rather filing lower level felonies for shooting into neighboring homes.