Texas ex­e­cutes killer of prison guard

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

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.

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