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Texas Executes Man for 1994 Double Murder

February 1, 2006

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A double killer was executed Tuesday, half an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments that he might be mentally retarded and that lethal injection caused pain.

Jaime Elizalde Jr., 34, was convicted of fatally shooting two men outside a Houston bar more than 11 years ago.

In a final statement, he thanked friends for their support and urged death row inmates to ``keep the faith and stay strong and put your faith in the Lord.″

He was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m. Central time.

The U.S. Supreme Court, within moments of announcing its ruling on Elizalde, stopped a Florida execution in which an inmate raised a similar claim about the drug use.

Texas state attorneys called Elizalde’s retardation claim meritless and said he should have raised the injection complaint years ago.

At the time of his arrest, Elizalde was on parole after serving four years for cocaine possession and auto theft. The double killing culminated an earlier argument between his father and one victim.

Elizalde has said that he was at the El Lugar bar the night in November 1994 when Juan Saenz Guajardo, 29, and Marcos Sanches, 33, were shot but that he was not involved.

Elizalde’s father, who was at the bar, was also arrested but released two years later without being tried.

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