“A Heart Full of Scorpions” Oldest Inmate Executed By Texas

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Billie Wayne Coble. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

A Texas inmate was executed Thursday evening for the killings nearly 30 years ago of his estranged wife’s parents and her brother, who was a police officer.

Billie Wayne Coble received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the August 1989 shooting deaths of Robert and Zelda Vicha and their son, Bobby Vicha, at separate homes in Axtell, northeast of Waco. Coble, 70, once described by a prosecutor as having “a heart full of scorpions,” was the oldest inmate executed by Texas since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982. Asked to make a final statement, Coble replied: “That’ll be $5.”

He told the five witnesses he selected to be in attendance that he loved them, then again said: “That’ll be $5.” Coble nodded to the witnesses and added, “take care,” reports the AP.

He gasped several times and began snoring. As Coble was finishing his statement, his son, a friend, and a daughter-in-law became emotional and violent. They were yelling obscenities, throwing fists, and kicking at others in the death chamber witness area. Officers stepped in and the witnesses continued to resist.

They were eventually moved to a courtyard and the two men were handcuffed. “Why are you doing this?” the woman asked. “They just killed his daddy.” While the witnesses were being subdued outside, the single dose of pentobarbital was being administered to Coble.

He was pronounced dead 11 minutes later at 6:24pm. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel said the two men were arrested on a charge of resisting arrest and taken to the Walker County Jail. (Read much more on the case here.)

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Posted by on March 1, 2019. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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2 Responses to “A Heart Full of Scorpions” Oldest Inmate Executed By Texas

  1. Glenn Geist Reply

    March 1, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Reminds me of the fellow with the mind of a child asking about what’s for lunch after the execution.

    Was an insanity plea valid enough to allow a jury to consider it? We will never know, but “you owe me five dollars” seems odd as does keeping a man alive for 30 years and then killing him “as a deterrent” seems pretty odd too.

  2. Bill Formby Reply

    March 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Ah, so now all of America, and in particular the State of Texas, feel safer now. There will be no more violent acts committed because the State of Texas has killed evil. We should all feel better now but some how I don’t.

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