Tony Neyshea Chambers, 32, was executed by lethal injection on 15 November in Huntsville, Texas for the murder an 11-year-old girl.
Chambers was convicted in the November 1990 abduction and murder of 11-year-old Carenthia Marie Bailey in Tyler. Bailey disappeared after attending a middle school basketball game. She was last seen leaving the school with Chambers. When police found her body two days later, she had been raped and strangled. Her stomach had also been cut or etched more than 20 times with a scalpel and a protractor.
When two people who saw Chambers leave with Bailey confronted him after she failed to return home, Chambers responded with a vulgarity about her and fled. He then called police to tell him the witnesses, who he said were her cousins, were trying to harm him. Later, he confessed to police, describing how he raped the girl, tied her to a tree with her shoelaces, and choked her for about 3 mintues. Then he untied her and carved on her stomach. Authorities said his descriptions of the carvings contained details only the killer would know. He also told police, "I didn't mean to hurt her."
Chambers had no prior prison record, but had a history of arrests for public intoxication, burglary, and assault. His former girlfriend testified that after they broke up, he threw rocks at her house, ripped out the phone lines, and tossed a Molotov cocktail through a window.
Chambers later recanted his confessions and tried to blame the slaying on an acquaintance. He declined to be interviewed by reporters on death row.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Chambers' appeal in June. The U.S. Supreme Court and Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied his appeals and requests for clemency in November.
At his execution, Chambers expressed love for his parents. After the lethal dose began, he coughed six times, sputtered once, then breathed a long sigh. He was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 30 November 2000.
Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, Huntsville Item.