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Convicted Killer Asks For No Appeals on Scheduled Execution

March 6, 1986

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A convicted killer scheduled to die by lethal injection next week says ″I’m going to be mad″ if the execution is blocked, and says he will provide a narration of it for the witnesses.

″I’m going to narrate this whole thing down to the point where I can’t talk anymore to show I’m an experimental animal,″ Roger DeGarmo said Wednesday.

″That’s the way I’m going to go out. They will know whether it hurts when that stuff hits my veins. They will know how long it takes and what it’s doing to me inside mentally.″

He is scheduled to die March 12 for killing a 20-year-old Houston woman after abducting her from a parking lot in 1980.

The last execution in the state was Sept. 11, 1985, when Charles Rumbaugh became the 10th Texas convict to be put to death since the state resumed executions in 1982.

Since then, numerous condemned men have won court delays of their death dates, primarily with appeals based on the argument that people who were opposed to the death penalty were excluded as jurors at their trials. That issue now is under consideration by the Supreme Court.

DeGarmo, who quit school in the 12th grade, said Wednesday he is scheduled to take a high school equivalency test Saturday. But he could be dead before the results are known.

″It’s entertainment,″ he said of his participation in the test. ″And it gives me a chance to get out of my cell.″

The 31-year-old California drifter says he has already decided how he will greet people who watch his execution.

″Good morning people, I’m Roger Leroy DeGarmo, test animal No. 653, Department of Corrections,″ he said Wednesday, rehearsing his death chamber speech. ″I’m being laid down here to test your scruples. I’m one of 225 test animals in Texas that are being used. You people are here to see it.

″Right now they’re sticking needles in my arms. Right now I feel the fluid running into them. At this point, I’m starting to get dizzy.″

Also facing a March 12 execution date is Charles Bass, 29, convicted of killing a Houston city marshal in 1980. Bass said Wednesday he is hopeful his attorneys will win a court reprieve.

″But I’m not going to take anything for granted,″ he said. ″The closer it gets, the more nervous I get.″

DeGarmo has gained notoriety for his plan to auction off three of the five witness spots a convict is allowed in the death chamber. He said seven people have offered bids - two of them at $1,500 each - but he refuses to identify the people. The money would be divided between DeGarmo’s family and the family of the woman he killed, he said.

Prison spokesman Charles Brown said corrections department rules stipulate that the witnesses come from a list submitted at least 14 days before the execution. Any people selected within 14 days must be approved by Corrections Director O.L. McCotter.

″I don’t think McCotter will approve them,″ Brown said.

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