HUNTSVILLE, Texas — An eighth-grade dropout who was a teenager when he was convicted of killing a man during a carjacking was executed by injection Thursday night.
With the victim's relatives looking on, T.J. Jones apologized for the 1994 slaying.
"I would like to say to the victim's family I regret the pain I put y'all through. I hope you can move on after this," said Jones, 25.
Jones was 17 when he was arrested with three companions for gunning down Willard Davis, 75, who had surrendered his car to them outside his Longview home, about 190 miles north of Houston.
"I was very thankful he apologized," the victim's wife, Geraldine, said after watching Jones die.
Jones' age at the time of the shooting renewed criticism from death penalty opponents. As a teenage offender, he "would not be facing this punishment in almost any other country in the world," Amnesty International said.
But Gregg County Dist. Atty. Bill Jennings said, "He did an adult crime and he deserves to receive an adult penalty, which in this case 12 jurors decided should be death."