September 10, 2019 / 10:12 AM / 11 days ago

Texas to execute man convicted of killing woman during 2010 burglary

(Reuters) - A man convicted of shooting a 61-year-old grandmother to death as he and his accomplice burglarised her home during a week-long crime spree in 2010 is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday in Texas.

Mark Soliz, 37, is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. CDT(2300 GMT) at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville.

Soliz would be the 15th inmate in the United States and the sixth in Texas to be executed in 2019, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Texas has executed more prisoners than any other state since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Soliz was sentenced to death in 2012 by a jury that convicted him of killing Nancy Weatherly during a burglary at her Godley home with his accomplice Jose Ramos.

During the morning of June 29, 2010, the pair knocked on Weatherly’s door and pointed a gun at her when she answered. The two men then took electronics and valuables from Weatherly’s home before Soliz shot her in the head while she begged for her life, according to a confession he gave to police, court documents showed.

The men were arrested later that day after police tracked them down through the license plates and descriptions of the vehicles that they stole.

Their arrest ended a crime spree that had begun eight days earlier when the two men stole several guns that they then used to rob several people of their wallets and vehicles at gunpoint, according to court papers.

Prosecutors also accused the pair of opening fire as they drove past the home of a rival gang member and shooting two other men, one of whom died.

Ramos was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he pleaded guilty.

Soliz filed several unsuccessful appeals in state and federal courts. As of Tuesday, he had an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, claiming that he is ineligible for the death penalty because he suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, a condition that has diminished his mental capacity, court papers showed.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Sandra Maler

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