HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Convicted killer Preston Hughes III proclaimed his innocence as he was executed Thursday for the fatal stabbing of a 3-year-old Texas boy and the child’s teenage cousin who uttered her attacker’s first name to police in her dying breaths.
Hughes long had contended he wasn’t responsible for the slayings of Shandra Charles, 15, and her cousin Marcell Taylor 24 years ago in Houston, and that police had planted evidence and coerced his confessions.
The condemned prisoner’s mother sobbed and wailed as she witnessed the lethal injection. Hughes’ sister was at her side.
“You know I’m innocent and I love you both," Hughes, 46, said as his mother cried loudly. “Please continue to fight for my innocence even though I’m gone.
“Give everybody my love."