Robert Sparks, 45, was executed by lethal injection on 25 September 2019 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a woman and her two sons and rape of her daughters.
On Saturday, 15 September 2007, Sparks, then 33, entered the Dallas home of his wife, Chare Agnew, 30, after midnight, while she and her children were asleep. He first went to Agnew's bedroom and stabbed her 18 times while she lay in her bed. He then went into the bedroom of his stepsons, Raekwon and Harold. He woke Harold, 9, and took him into the kitchen, where he stabbed him at least 45 times. He then woke Raekwon, 10, took him to the kitchen, and killed him in the same manner. He then dragged the boys' bodies into the living room and covered them with a comforter.
Next, Sparks went into the bedroom of his stepdaughters, LaKenya and Garysha. He woke LaKenya, 14, and, holding a gun on her, pulled her out of bed and tied her up with bedsheets. Sparks told LaKenya he had killed her mother and brothers, showed her their bodies, and said it was her fault they were dead. He then woke Garysha, 12, tied her up with electrical cords, and tied a washcloth around her mouth. He then told LaKenya that in order to save her and her sister's life, one of them would have to have sex with him. LaKenya said she would do it. He then took her into the living room and raped her on the living room couch. When he was finished, he brought Garysha into the living room and raped her on the couch, next to her sister.
Sparks then took the girls into the bathroom and made them stay in it with him while he took a shower. He apologized to the girls for the rapes and murders. He told them that their mother had been trying to poison him and that her death was their fault.
Sparks then took the girls into the garage, where he tried, unsuccessfully, to change the license plate on his car.
Sparks then took the girls back to the living room. He lifted the comforter and showed them their brothers' bodies. He remarked that Raekwon was stronger than he had expected him to be. He made the girls walk into their mother's bedroom and kiss her face, then he put them in the bedroom closet. He started a compact disc player and told them that help would come when the music ended. He then locked the closet door and moved a dresser in front of it. After that, he finally left the house.
Sparks then drove to his mother's house to borrow her car. He then drove to the home of his former girlfriend, Shunta Alexander, and their teenage daughter, Brianna. He told Alexander what he had done. He gave her some money for Brianna and said that if there was a reward for catching him, Brianna should have it. Alexander implored Sparks to call the police. He called the police on his cell phone and briefly reported that he had killed his wife and two boys and had left two girls locked in a bedroom closet. He provided the address and then said that he was ending the call so the police would not have time to trace it. He then hung up, broke his phone, and left Alexander's home.
Later that morning, Sparks's cousin drove him to the Greyhound bus station, where he boarded a bus to Austin with a ticket he bought under an assumed name.
Sparks returned to Dallas a few days later. He phoned a police detective and asked him if the police had found an audiocassette he left in the house, which he said contained a recording of Agnew or one of the children admitting that they had been conspiring against him.
After his arrest, Sparks stated that LaKenya and Garysha should be questioned with a polygraph test about whether Agnew had been poisoning him. He also requested testing for the presence of poison in his body and provided blood and other tissue samples to be tested.
Investigators sent the samples Sparks provided to a lab, but it was unable to test them for evidence of poisoning. They contacted other labs around the country, but were unable to find one that could perform the required testing.
Detectives also recovered the audiocassette Sparks left behind. It contained segments of conversations he had made with Agnew and/or one or more of the children, apparently without their knowledge. These conversations included complaints Sparks had against the others, such as a demand that Agnew pay for damages to his car. In the final two segments, Sparks announced to his wife and stepchildren that he had been recording them and that the tape would be evidence of what "y'all" had been doing. He said that by the time police found the tape, he would have killed Agnew's sister, Nicole, and her boyfriend. He said that if he died, the police should analyze the contents of his stomach, thereby proving that "they" had been "putting shit in [his] food." The tape did not include any statements by Agnew or the children indicating that they were conspiring against him. An appeals judge summarized the tape's contents by saying it "contained only gibberish."
During Sparks's trial, Harold Sublet Sr., the father of one the murdered boys, disrupted the court several times, including an incident where he tried to rush to the witness stand when Sparks was testifying.
At age 17, Sparks was convicted of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. In May 1991, he began serving a 12-year prison sentence. He was discharged upon the completion of his sentence in May 2003.
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