Texas Executes Oldest Death Row Inmate in State’s History
HUNTSVILLE, Texas, June 3 (UPI) — Texas’ longest-serving death-row inmate, Lester Bower, 67, was executed Wednesday for the murders of four men at an airplane hangar near Dallas in 1983.
Bower was put to death by lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court refused his last-minute stay of execution, The Guardian reported.
He died 18 minutes after he was given a lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital. His wife and daughters were in attendance.
“Much has been written about this case, not all of it has been the truth,” Bower said in a final statement. “But the time is over and now it is time to move on. I want to thank my attorneys for all that they have done. They have afforded me the last quarter of a century.
“I would like to thank my wife, my daughters, family and friends for unwavering support, and all of the letters and well wishes over the years. Now it is time to pass on. I have fought the good fight, I held the faith. I am not going to say goodbye, I will simply say until we meet again. I love you very, very much. Thank you warden.”
After more than 30 years on death row, Bower and his team of pro-bono attorneys have repeatedly appealed his 1984 conviction. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest.
He was convicted of killing four men in Sherman, Texas, and stealing an ultralight aircraft.
Bower said he purchased the aircraft from one of the men and all four were still alive when he left the hangar after the transaction was complete. He said he lied to police about having dealings with the men because he had not told his wife about the purchase.
Appeals courts refused to retry Bower’s case even after his attorneys discovered the prosecution withheld evidence that they said undercut their case, the Intercept reported. Multiple witnesses also came forward to say the murders were the result of a drug deal gone bad and Bower wasn’t involved.
Bower was the eighth person to be executed in Texas this year.