In­mate ex­e­cuted for prison guard’s death

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - NATION -

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 re­peat­edly stabbed with a tapewrapped 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.

In his fi­nal state­ment be­fore be­ing put to death, the 38-year-old Pruett said he hurt a lot of peo­ple and a lot of peo­ple hurt him. He said he was sorry and held no grudges.

“I’ve had to learn lessons in life the hard way,” he said. “One day there won’t be a need to hurt peo­ple.”

He told his friends who were watch­ing the ex­e­cu­tion through a win­dow that he loved them. “I’m ready to go,” Pruett said. “Nighty night. I’m done, war­den.”

As the lethal dose of the pow­er­ful seda­tive pen­to­bar­bi­tal be­gan to flow, he started chant­ing: “Love. Light. It’s for­ever.”

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