Texas Execution Information Center
Martin Robles, 33, was executed by lethal injection on 10 August 2011 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two people in their home.
On 12 November 2002, Robles, then 24 and Joe "Magic" Padron, 26, entered a Corpus Christi house in the early morning and shot two occupants - John Commisky and Jesus Gonzalez, both 19 - to death. They then went outside and drove away in a maroon Chevrolet Trail Blazer. A third occupant of the house, Antonio Ortiz, called 9-1-1 after the killers left.
The autopsies determined that Gonzalez had been shot at least fifteen times, mainly in the head, while Commisky was shot at least fourteen times, mostly in the back. They were both shot from a distance of no more than two-and-a-half feet.
At Robles' trial, Ortiz testified that he was asleep in the front of the house when he heard shots being fired. He got up and looked down the hall to see two men dressed in black and wearing masks, shooting at Commisky and Gonzalez. Ortiz testified that even though the shooters were wearing masks, he recognized them as Robles and Padron based on their builds and his previous encounters with them. He also testified that he saw the men removing their masks after they got in their vehicle, and he recognized Robles as one of the men who removed his mask.
Two jail inmates also testified. One said Padron told him that after two attacks on their gang, Raza Unida, had taken place, he and Robles went to the house "to take care of business". They saw the person sleeping on the couch, but passed by him because they thought he was a woman. They then "went to the room and shot them two people". Another inmate testified he overheard Padron telling Robles he had killed for him, but Robles corrected him and stated that Padron froze at the critical moment and Robles had to go through with the killings.
Robles had a prior conviction for being a party to a murder with a deadly weapon. Felipe Quiroz, 21, was killed after a gang argument. Although Robles was not the shooter, he was present and armed. He was sentenced to six years in prison, which he served from 1995 to 2001. He had been out for about a year when he murdered Commisky and Gonzalez. He also had a lengthy juvenile criminal history.
On one arm, Robles had a tattoo of a demon eating the brains of Jesus Christ. At the punishment phase of his trial, he was instructed to show the tattoo to the jury. He was given the option of either removing his shirt in the courtroom or allowing the jury to take photographs of the tattoo into deliberations with them. He chose to remove his shirt. "And he didn't put the shirt back on," prosecutor James Sales recalled later. "He sat there, with his muscle shirt on, the rest of the trial and closing arguments.
" A jury convicted Robles of capital murder in September 2003 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in April 2006. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Joe David Padron, who at the time of the killings had just completed a ten-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. He remains in custody as of this writing.
On a web site operated by German death penalty opponents, Robles admitted he was in a gang, but claimed he was "wrongfully convicted" because "gang members just don't win."
"I was set up by the cops", he wrote, without elaborating.
Robles declined requests to be interviewed and did not request a last meal. No one attended his execution on his behalf, or for his victims. The only people present at his death were prison staff and reporters.
Robles' last words were reported as either "I love you, Israel," or "I love Israel." He was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 10 August 2011.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents, Associated Press, Huntsville Item, Reuters, deathrow-usa.us.
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