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They say it's the number of people I killed, I say it's the principle.

Aileen Wuornos
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Michael Rosales - Texas Death Row - Scheduled Execution
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Start : Wednesday 15 April 2009, 22:00
End : Wednesday 15 April 2009, 22:00

Michael Rosales - Texas Death Row - Execution set for April 15, 2009

Victims: Mary Felder

The Crime: On June 4, 1997, Rosales was in the process of committing burglary of a habitation when he entered the home of a 60-year-old female. Rosales claims he did not know she was home, and he was subsequently discovered while committing burglary. Rosales grabbed a kitchen knife from the victim's kitchen, stabbed her 137 times, and struck her with a hard object resulting in her death.

News: A Texas parole violator was executed Wednesday night for beating and using kitchen tools to kill a 67-year-old woman in her Lubbock apartment.

“I love you all. May the Lord be with you. Peace. I’m done,” Michael Rosales said in his brief, final statement.

Three brothers were among his witnesses. No friends or relatives of his victim witnesses the execution.

Rosales was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m., eight minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow.

Rosales, 35, who was living nearby with friends in the same complex, confessed to the 1997 slaying of Mary Felder a day after Felder’s body was found by her grandson, who routinely checked on her. Rosales told police he was high on cocaine and looking for money when he broke into her home as she slept. She was attacked when she woke up.

Rosales was the 13th Texas prisoner executed this year in the nation’s most active capital punishment state.

About 90 minutes before Rosales was scheduled to be taken to the Texas death chamber, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals to delay the lethal injection so Rosales could have more time to assemble a state clemency petition and further investigate claims he may be mentally retarded and therefore ineligible for execution.

Prosecutors argued time deadlines for clemency petitions had passed and that the mental retardation issue already had been reviewed and rejected by the appeals courts, including a federal appeals court which in 2004 had stopped Rosales’ then-scheduled execution.

Rosales was born in Kit Carson County, Colo., and had a record in that state. Testimony at his trial indicated he escaped from a Colorado jail in 1994 after he was arrested on charges that included resisting arrest and battery. He was on probation for nearly four years for a drug conviction in Lubbock but had a history of violating probation. When he was arrested for Felder’s slaying, evidence showed he had removed an electronic monitor he was supposed to be wearing.

Ken Hawk, a former Lubbock assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said he remembered the murder scene for its incredible violence.

“There were more than 100 wounds to her face and head, with terrible blunt force trauma,” he said.

Felder, a grandmotherly presence in the neighborhood where she was known lovingly as “Miss Mary,” was pummeled and stabbed with a two-pronged fork and a steak knife. Records showed she had 113 wounds, including some from needle-nose pliers.

Rosales became a suspect after he kept asking detectives at the scene if they’d caught the killer. When he was brought in for questioning, he told police he was the killer, then led officers to a trash bin where he tossed the weapons. Authorities also had bloody clothes he had tried to wash and used DNA evidence to tie them to the slaying. Prints from his shoes matched bloody footprints in Felder’s bedroom.

“He was kind of in a panic and stabbed her and when he realized she wasn’t going to survive, he stabbed her a bunch more times in his twisted logic of trying to put her out of her misery,” recalled one of his trial lawyers, David Hazlewood. “And that’s what made the whole thing so horrible.

“He signed a confession to the whole thing and pretty much fessed up to it. ... This is another one of those cases where the facts are never in your favor, and we just didn’t have a whole lot to work with except trying to convince people not to kill him.”

A Lubbock jury that convicted him of capital murder deliberated about two hours before deciding he should die.

Last Meal: Six beef enchiladas, a bowl of rice, four pieces of fried chicken, a bowl of mashed potatoes, two glasses of cold milk, a pint of sherbet, Mountain Dew, a double bacon cheeseburger, and a vanilla cake with vanilla icing.

Final Statement: I love you all. May the Lord be with you. Peace. I’m done,” Michael Rosales said in his brief, final statement.

Three brothers were among his witnesses. No friends or relatives of his victim witnesses the execution.

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