HUNTSVILLE — Abel Revilla Ochoa, who in 2002 murdered five members of his own family in Dallas, was executed Thursday evening.
After spending 16 years and 9 months on death row, the state carried out the sentence ordered by a jury on April 23, 2003.
Before receiving a lethal injection of pentobarbital, Ochoa said his last words.
“I would like to thank God, my dad, my Lord Jesus savior [sic] for saving me and changing my life,” he said in English.
“I want to apologize to my in-laws for causing them all this emotional pain,” he said. “I love y’all my sisters I never had. I want to thank you for forgiving me.”
The doctor assigned to the Huntsville Unit, where Texas carries out executions, declared Ochoa dead at 6:48 p.m.
Ochoa is the third inmate to be executed in the U.S. this year and the second in Texas.
On Aug. 4, 2002, Ochoa, then 29, fatally shot his wife, sixth-grade teacher Cecilia Ochoa, 32; daughters, Crystal, 7, and 9-month-old Anahí; father-in-law, Bartolo Alvizo, 56; and sister-in-law, Jacqueline Saleh, 20.
Another sister-in-law, Alma Alvizo, then 27, was severely injured in the shooting. She lost a kidney and spent three months in a hospital.
The shootings took place in Ochoa’s central Oak Cliff home in the 2300 block Salerno Drive, near Illinois Avenue and Zang Boulevard.
His defense team argued that the killings were fueled by Ochoa’s addiction to crack. He had struggled with the drug for years and was high at the time of his rampage, according to court documents.
In an effort to save his life, the defense appealed on Feb. 5 to the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting that his sentence be commuted to life in prison.
Seven more Texas prisoners are scheduled to be executed through May.
Howard Blackmon, one of the Dallas County prosecutors who tried the case, told The Associated Press he argued that Ochoa killed his family in frustration and anger.
“It’s just a horrendous set of circumstances for a parent just to murder, gun down their own children,” Blackmon, who is now a criminal defense lawyer in Dallas, told the AP.
Alma Alvizo testified that Ochoa had become aggressive after learning his wife had had a child with another man before they were married. He had threatened to kill his wife before, Alvizo said.