HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A previously convicted sex offender who kidnapped and murdered a 5-year-old girl, 22 years ago, was executed Thursday by lethal injection, according to the Texas Department of Corrections.
David Renteria, 53, became the eighth Texas inmate to be executed this year, despite last minute attempts by his legal team. Less than three hours before the scheduled time of death, his attorneys attempted to stay the execution, according to the Associated Press.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected the stay request without further comment, while the Supreme Court rejected yet another appeal to halt the execution.
The lethal injection process at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville began at 7 p.m. and Renteria was pronounced dead at 7:11 p.m., state DOC spokesman Robert Hurst told Fox New Digital.
On November 18, 2001, Alexandra Flores, 5, was with her family Christmas shopping at a Walmart in El Paso when she was abducted by Renteria, then 31, according to prosecutors, the Associated Press reported.
The little girl was strangled and her body was then set on fire, prosecutors said. Her charred remains were recovered about 16 miles from the store the next day.
During trial, video evidence was presented of Renteria leading Flores out of the store. Blood prints found on his van matched the slain child’s DNA, and his palm print was discovered on a plastic bag placed over the girl’s head before she was lit on fire, prosecutors said.
Renteria’s defense was that a gang member forced him to commit the heinous crime with threats to his own family.
A federal judge dismissed those assertions as “fraught with inaccuracies” in 2018, and was “insufficient to show Renteria’s innocence,” Fox reported.
Renteria was already a convicted sex offender for “indecency with a child” when he carried out the savage crime, per the Texas Department of Corrections.
The condemned killer’s mother as well as Flores’ family members were present in separate rooms for the execution. Renteria asked for forgiveness for his crimes.
Ignacio and Sandra Frausto held a photo collage of their slain baby sister, the youngest among eight children in their family, while speaking with reporters after the execution took place, the Associated Press reported.
“I want to recognize her, not forget about her,” Ignacio Frausto said as she wept. “It took 22 years but the time came. It is done. We can finally and really begin to heal — 22 years of wondering what was going to happen.”