Texas executes killer of prison guard
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas inmate convicted in the death of a prison guard was put to death Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his lawyer’s attempts to halt the execution.
Robert Pruett was given a lethal injection for the December 1999 death of corrections officer Daniel Nagle at a prison southeast of San Antonio. Nagle was stabbed repeatedly with a tape-wrapped metal rod, though an autopsy showed he died from a heart attack that the assault caused.
Prosecutors have said the attack stemmed from a dispute over a peanut butter sandwich that Pruett wanted to take into a recreation yard against prison rules.
Pruett, 38, who was already serving a 99-year sentence for a neighbor’s killing near Houston when he was convicted in Nagle’s death, lost two appeals at the Supreme Court as his execution neared. He became the 20th prisoner put to death this year in the U.S. and the sixth in Texas, which carries out the death penalty more than any other state. Texas executed seven inmates last year.