A Mexican man has been executed for killing a Houston police officer, despite diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government.Edgar Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection for the fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24, in January 1994.
The execution came after the US Supreme Court and lower federal courts rejected last-day appeals.
Texas officials also denied claims Tamayo’s case was tainted because he was not informed, under an international agreement, that he could get legal help from the Mexican consulate after his arrest for the officer’s killing.
Lawyers also argued unsuccessfully that Tamayo was mentally impaired, making him ineligible for execution, and that the state’s clemency procedures were unfair.
Officer Gaddis, who had been on the force for two years, was driving Tamayo and another man from a robbery scene.
Evidence showed the officer was shot three times in the head and neck with a gun Tamayo had concealed in his trousers.
The car crashed and Tamayo fled on foot but was captured nearby – still in handcuffs and carrying the robbery victim’s watch and necklace.
Mexican officials and Tamayo’s lawyers said he was protected under a provision of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Legal assistance guaranteed under that treaty could have uncovered evidence to contest the capital murder charge or provide evidence to keep Tamayo off death row, it was claimed.
Records show the consulate became involved, or aware of the case, just as his trial was to begin.
Secretary of State John Kerry previously asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to delay Tamayo’s punishment, saying it “could impact the way American citizens are treated in other countries”.
The Mexican government said in a statement this week it “strongly opposed” the execution and said failure to review Tamayo’s case and reconsider his sentence would be “a clear violation by the United States of its international obligations”.
Tamayo was in the US illegally and had a criminal record in California, where he had been jailed for robbery and had been released on parole.