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Killer of 14-Year-Old Executed

December 10, 1999

A former hospital worker was executed by injection in Texas on Thursday for his part in a 1984 shooting rampage that left three members of a family dead in their home.

And in Virginia, Andre Graham, 29, was put to death for a 1993 robbery and murder outside a Richmond restaurant.

In Texas, James Beathard, 42, expressed love for his family, criticized the death penalty and the government and repeated his long-held assertion that his co-defendant lied at Beathard’s trial.

``The United States has gotten to the point now where there is zero respect for human life,″ he said in his final statement. ``My death is just a symptom of a bigger illness.″

Beathard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Marcus Hathorn in a shooting rampage outside the town of Groveton that also killed the boy’s parents, Gene and Linda Hathorn.

An older son, Gene Hathorn Jr., also was convicted in the killings and sentenced to death. His case remains on appeal.

In the Virginia case, Graham was convicted of killing Sheryl Stack. Ms. Stack’s boyfriend, Edward Martin, also was shot but survived and identified Graham as the gunman who approached the couple and ordered them out of the car.

Graham made no final statement. He had claimed that the gunman was an accomplice who was executed this year for an unrelated double murder.

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