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Texas Executes Man for Killing Ex-girlfriend, Her Son

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Stephen Dale Barbee | Image by Texas Department of Criminal Justice

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Stephen Dale Barbee, who was convicted of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her son, has been executed by lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined a request by Barbee’s attorneys to delay the execution over religious and medical concerns.

The 55-year-old Barbee was pronounced dead at 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday night. He was the fifth inmate executed in Texas in 2022. The execution was delayed as prison officials searched for a vein in the disabled man’s hand and neck, a prison spokesperson said.

“Due to his inability to extend his arms, it took longer to ensure he had functional IV lines,” prison spokesperson Amanda Hernandez said in an email to the Texas Tribune on Wednesday night.

A fatal dose of pentobarbital was administered around 7:09 p.m., witnesses said, just before he made his final statement.

“I just want everyone to have peace in their heart, make eternity with Jesus, give him the glory in everything you do. I’m ready,” he said.

The Associated Press reported that Barbee didn’t look in the direction of his victims’ family and friends, who viewed the execution.

Barbee was convicted in 2006 for the murders of Lisa Underwood, a Fort Worth bagel shop owner, and her 7-year-old son in Tarrant County in 2005. He was sentenced to death after prosecutors proved he killed Underwood because he thought she was pregnant, and he feared his wife would find out. Later DNA tests proved Barbee was not the father.

Barbee confessed to suffocating both victims before claiming he only helped hide the bodies after they were killed.

“The death penalty is reserved for the worst crimes. This is one of them,” Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson said in a statement obtained by The Dallas Express. “What kind of person suffocates a pregnant woman and her 7-year-old son? One who deserves the death penalty.

“Our sympathy is with the family and friends of Lisa and Jayden. We pray that they have peace,” she added.

Assistant Criminal District Attorney Steven Conder handled the case after the conviction, starting in 2007. “Stephen Barbee’s case has been thoroughly reviewed by the state and federal courts,” Conder said in a statement. “There is no doubt as to his guilt, as he confessed to his former wife and law enforcement at the police station.”

Barbee’s attorneys argued his religious rights were being violated, claiming the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) does not have a clear policy on what spiritual advisers are allowed to do in the execution chamber.

The Supreme Court ruled in May that states must accommodate death row inmates if they want clergy to pray for and touch them leading up to the executions.

A court ruling in Texas later allowed the state to proceed in death cases on a case-by-case basis.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt turned down a Tuesday request by Barbee’s attorneys to stop the execution based on the killer’s lack of mobility. They argued he would be in extreme pain if strapped to a gurney and unable to raise his arm for the lethal IV.

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Clayton Bigsby
Clayton Bigsby
7 days ago

the child killer Blaine Milian should benext

Ronald
Ronald
Reply to  Clayton Bigsby
5 days ago

And all others convicted of 1st degree murder. Why must the TAXPAYER be burden with the expense of keeping these killers ALIVE! ! !