HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A man who was convicted of killing his two daughters while his wife listened on the phone was executed Thursday night in Texas, the state’s Department of Criminal Justice said.
John David Battaglia, 62, died of lethal injection, CNN affiliate KDAF reported.
In 2001, Battaglia and his daughters — ages 6 and 9 — were in his Dallas apartment when he shot them, officials said.
The girls’ mother was on the phone with the 9-year-old when she heard the gunshots, said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark.
“She heard the girl screaming no daddy no, and then she heard several gunshots,” an investigator told KDAF at the time of the incident.
On Thursday, Battaglia was given a last opportunity to speak before the execution but he refused to say a statement, instead, he addressed the children’s mother, according to TDCJ.
“No, Well, Hi Mary Jean. I’ll see y’all later. Bye,” he said. “Go ahead please.”
He was pronounced deceased at 9:40 p.m. (local time).
Battaglia’s attorneys made several legal attempts to halt the execution throughout the years.
They argued that Battaglia was mentally ill and also accused the state of using expired drugs for the lethal injection, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Battaglia’s execution was the third one in Texas this year, officials said.
He was the second man put to death in the state this week. Convicted killer William Rayford was executed Tuesday.