Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Mark Soliz

Mark Soliz
Mark Soliz
Executed on 10 September 2019

Mark Anthony Soliz, 37, was executed by lethal injection on 10 September 2019 in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a woman in her home.

On Tuesday, 22 June 2010, Soliz, then 28, and Jose Ramos burglarized a home in Fort Worth, stealing five guns and other items. Later that evening, Soliz showed the stolen weapons to a potential buyer, Ramon Morales. Morales wanted to buy all of them, but Soliz decided to keep a rifle and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol. Morales bought the other three guns and pawned them the next day.

On the morning of 24 June, Soliz robbed Justin Morris of his wallet at gunpoint in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Soliz was later videotaped by a convenience store security camera as he attempted to use Morris's debit card at an automated teller machine.

Later that morning, Soliz witnessed an argument between a female friend of his and Luis Luna. Soliz confronted Luna and fired the gun toward his head, but Luna escaped the confrontation with a minor flesh wound on his ear.

That afternoon, Soliz and Ramos carjacked two men, Jorge Contreras and Sammy Abu-Lughod, in store parking lots in two different incidents.

After midnight on 28 June, Soliz and Ramos robbed money and wallets from four people who were leaving a bar. They drove away in Abu-Lughod's stolen green Dodge Stratus.

At around 3:30 a.m. on 29 June, Soliz and Ramos committed a drive-by shooting on a house where they thought a rival gang member might be staying. Ramos drove while Soliz fired shots into the house.

At about 5:00 a.m., Soliz and Ramos approached Enrique Samaniego as he was walking to his pickup truck to go to work. Samaniego was shot four or five times in the stomach. He survived.

A half hour later, Soliz and Ramos approached Ruben Martinez as he was walking to his truck. Soliz pointed a gun at Martinez and demanded his wallet. Martinez complied and offered his cell phone as well. When Soliz saw that Martinez's wallet contained only ten dollars, he shot him in the neck. He subsequently died from complications of this injury.

Less than an hour later, Soliz, wearing a blue bandanna, pointed a gun at Kenny Dodgin as he was exiting his car in a store parking lot. Dodgin locked his car and ran toward the store. He heard three gunshots behind him.

At about 7:00 a.m., Soliz burglarized two homes in Benbrook, a town southwest of Fort Worth.

Soliz and Ramos then drove to Godley, southwest of Forth Worth, in Johnson County. They knocked on the door of Nancy Weatherly's house and pulled a 9mm handgun when she answered. They pushed her inside the house and removed several electronics. Before leaving the residence, Soliz shot the victim once in the back of the head, killing her. The men then stole Weatherly's green Toyota Tundra pickup.

Based on Sammy Abu-Lughod's report of the theft of his vehicle and several subsequent incident reports involving a green or teal sedan, Fort Worth police were on the lookout for a stolen green Dodge Stratus. At about 10:30, officers were performing surveillance from an unmarked vehicle on a house of a known gang member, Arturo Gonzales, which was near the last known location of the Stratus. They observed the Stratus leaving Gonzales's house, closely following a Jeep Liberty. After confirming the license plate number of the stolen Stratus, they asked for a marked patrol unit to perform a stop. A marked unit then came behind the Stratus and activated its lights and siren. The driver of the Stratus accelerated instead of stopping. After a brief pursuit, the Stratus crashed into a parked 18-wheel truck. The driver, Elizabeth Estrada, fled behind the 18-wheeler and was apprehended. Soliz exited through the passenger window and was arrested after a foot pursuit.

A blue bandanna and a Hi-Point 9mm pistol were found in the Stratus.

Officers also stopped the Jeep Liberty for an equipment violation. Its occupants, which included Ramos, were taken to the police station for questioning. Ramos confessed to several of the crimes that had already been reported. He also talked about an as-yet-unknown crime involving a female victim and a green Toyota Tundra that ended badly and did not, in his opinion, have to "end that way." He gave detectives directions to the stolen pickup.

The pickup was found parked about a block from Arturo Gonzales's house. Detectives checked its registration and obtained the name of its owner, Nancy Weatherly. They then drove to Godley and, in cooperation with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, entered Weatherly's house. Her body was found lying in the kitchen area next to a table and chair.

Fort Worth police detectives then obtained a confession from Soliz about Weatherly's killing. Soliz admitted that he threatened Weatherly with a gun and stole items from her house, but he said that at one point he handed the gun to Ramos and went outside to start the car. He then heard a gunshot and saw Ramos walking outside. With Ramos driving the Tundra and Soliz driving the Stratus, they returned to Fort Worth.

Soliz also admitted his involvement in most of the above offenses. He acknowledged that Ramos did not participate in all of them.

Upon further questioning, Soliz stated he would confess to shooting Weatherly just to "get this over with." He then appended, in his own handwriting, a sentence reading, "It was me that shot that womn!!!" [sic] to his typed confession.

At Soliz's trial, Elizabeth Estrada testified that Soliz had bragged to her about killing an "old lady" in Godley. She said that while Soliz held a gun on her in her home, she begged for her life and prayed. When he showed her that he was stealing her jewelry box, she asked him not to take it because it had been a gift from her mother, who was now deceased. Soliz then told her to go be with her mother and shot her in the head. Estrada testified that Soliz laughed about the incident and ridiculed the victim's "country" accent.

Estrada further testified that when the Fort Worth police attempted to pull the Stratus over after leaving Arturo Gonzales's house, Soliz aimed his handgun at the pursuing police car, but she hit his hand and the gun fell to the floor of the Stratus.

A forensic scientist with the Fort Worth Police Department testified that a shell casing recovered from Nancy Weatherly's house had been fired from the stolen 9mm pistol found in the Stratus. A private firearms expert testified that there was a positive match between that gun and the bullet recovered from Weatherly's home.

Soliz had at least seven previous felony convictions for offenses including theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, burglary, evading arrest, and possession of a prohibited weapon. He had been out of prison for about a month when he and Ramos began their 8-day crime spree.

Jail guards and employees testified that during his stay in the Tarrant County Jail, Soliz refused to follow orders, fought against their attempts to handcuff or restrain him, wrestled with them, deliberately bumped against them, and threatened to "get" them.

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