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Oldest Texas Death Row Inmate Executed

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Carl Wayne Buntion | Image by Texas Department of Criminal Justice

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The oldest death row inmate in Texas was executed on April 21. This execution comes nearly 32 years after killing a police officer.

According to The New York Post, 78-year-old Carl Wayne Buntion was executed in Huntsville at the state prison more than 31 years after he was found guilty of fatally shooting Houston police officer James Irby in June 1990.

Buntion, who had an extensive criminal record, had been on parole for only six weeks and was a passenger in the vehicle that Irby pulled over when he fatally shot the officer.

According to The New York Post, several motorcycle riders gathered outside the execution chamber as it was taking place and loudly revved their engines in support of the slain motorcycle officer.

“I wanted the Irby family to know one thing. I do have remorse for what I did,” said Buntion while being strapped to the Texas death chamber gurney.

He also said he prayed that the Irby family would get closure for the killing of their father and husband.

“I hope to see you in heaven someday, and when you show up, I will give you a big hug,” Buntion added.

His spiritual adviser then joined the 78-year-old, and both men began praying Psalm 23 as the dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital began to take effect.

According to The New York Post, Buntion took a deep breath, coughed once, and then took three more, but less pronounced, breaths before he stopped moving. He was pronounced dead 13 minutes later at 6:39 p.m.

Maura Irby, the slain officer’s widow, said she feels joy after Buntion’s execution.

“I’m sorry someone died,” Maura said. “But I didn’t think of him as a person. I just thought of him as a thing, as a cancer on the face of my family.”

Maura revealed that her husband was ready to retire and open a feed store.

“He wanted to be the dad that was there to go to all the ballgames and the father-daughter dances,” Maura said. “He was a super guy, the love of my life.”

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