Taichin Preyor, 46, was executed by lethal injection on 27 July 2017 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a woman during a burglary of her apartment.
On Wednesday evening, 25 February 2004, Preyor, then 33, called his drug supplier, Jami Tackett, 24*, to tell her he was coming over later. Tackett held a party in her San Antonio apartment that night. The last guest left at about 4:00 a.m., at which point Tackett and Jason Garza locked the door, turned out the lights, and went to bed.
Soon afterward, Tackett and Garza were startled by two or three loud bangs at the door. Preyor then entered Tackett's bedroom. Referring to him by his nickname, she asked him, "Box, what the hell are you doing here?" Preyor said "F*** this" and jumped on the bed and began attacking Garza with a knife. Garza was stabbed, but managed to run away and ask neighbors to call for help. Preyor then stabbed Tackett numerous times and slashed her throat, severing her trachea, jugular vein, and carotid artery.
Several of Tackett's neighbors heard her screaming and saw Preyor leave her apartment. They saw Tackett on the floor, covered in blood and making gurgling sounds. Jaclyn Villanueva asked Tackett if the man who came out of the apartment wearing black clothing hurt her. Tackett was unable to speak, but she nodded her head affirmatively.
Preyor then tried to flee from the scene, but when he reached his car, which was parked downstairs, he realized he did not have his keys. He went back inside Tackett's apartment and searched for them while Tackett struggled to breathe on her living room floor. When Preyor went back downstairs, he was confronted by police, who ordered him to stop and get on the ground. He did not comply. Officers used pepper spray to subdue him and then handcuffed him. Police found a loaded shotgun on the bumper of his car and a knife and gloves in the grass nearby.
Preyor was covered in blood. DNA analysis indicated the blood was Tackett's. Her DNA was also found on the knife and gloves and on Preyor's car door handle. Blood containing Garza's DNA was found on Preyor's watch and knit cap. The pattern on Preyor's boots matched the pattern of bloody footprints inside Tackett's apartment. The door to the apartment was broken.
Tackett died before paramedics arrived.
Afterward, David Pointer, her former boyfriend, found some car keys and turned them over to the police, who determined that they were the keys to Preyor's vehicle.
Preyor made a statement to police after he was taken into custody. He said he bought drugs from Tackett to sell to others and that he called her on Wednesday at around 11:30 p.m. She told him he needed to come over and that she had a friend with her. He assumed the friend was a mutual friend of theirs named Keith and told her he would come over later. He arrived at the apartment around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. and knocked on the door. Tackett let him in. Preyor stated that he immediately became uncomfortable because he did not recognize the other man in the apartment, which was totally dark except for the light from the television. When Tackett locked the door behind him and the man stood up, he bolted down the hallway toward the back of the apartment. He stated he was trying to see how many people were inside and was trying to find switches to turn on the lights. When he came back to the front of the apartment, the man tried to grab him, and they started fighting. When Tackett joined in and started scratching his face, he pulled his knife and "poked the dude with it." He did not remember how many times he stabbed the man, but the man opened the door and ran outside. Tackett was still scratching and grabbing at him, so he kept slashing and poking her. "She fell down and I ran out of there," he said.
Preyor further stated that he ran across the apartment courtyard, yelling for help. He knew he had blood on him because he had cut his own finger while trying to defend himself from Garza. He stated he knew he hurt Tackett, but didn't think she was hurt "that bad." "I didn't run when the police got there," he said, "because I felt like I was a victim. I was the one being robbed, and I defended myself." Preyor said that when the police ordered him to stop, he raised his hands in the air, but told them he would not stop walking, and they would have to shoot him if they wanted him to stop walking. "Ten seconds later," he said, officers tackled him, handcuffed him, and pepper sprayed him, in that order.
Preyor had a prior conviction in the state of New York for possession of nearly four ounces of crack cocaine. He pleaded guilty in exchange for a one-year sentence. A charge of resisting arrest was dismissed as part of the plea bargain.
According to the state, Preyor knew that Tackett kept a safe in her apartment containing cocaine and cash. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice's data sheet on Preyor calls Tackett "his girlfriend," but that status is not reflected in court documents or news articles.
*Court documents and news articles report Tackett's age variously as 20, 24, and 26.
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