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story.lead_photo.caption This May 9, 2018 photo shows Juan Edward Castillo at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky Unit near Livingston, Texas. (AP Photo/Mike Graczyk)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- A condemned Texas inmate who insisted he wasn't involved in a San Antonio "lovers' lane" killing more than 14 years ago was executed Wednesday evening for the slaying.

Juan Edward Castillo, 36, received lethal injection for the fatal shooting and robbery of a 19-year-old man that testimony showed was carried out by Castillo and several friends on a secluded road where the victim was enticed by the promise of drugs and sex.

Castillo became the 11th convicted killer executed this year in the U.S. and the sixth in Texas.

He gave a brief final statement before receiving the lethal dose of pentobarbital, thanking "everyone."

"You know who you are. I love you all," Castillo said. "That's it."

As the powerful sedative took effect, he lifted his head off the gurney and used an expletive to say he could taste the drug and that it burned. He took several quick breaths that became snores and then stopped all movement.

Castillo was pronounced dead 23 minutes later, at 6:44 p.m.

The victim's mother and stepmother were among the people watching through a window. After a doctor pronounced Castillo dead, one of the other relatives exclaimed: "We've got justice. Thank you."

Castillo never looked at them and offered no apology.

"For him to look over and not even acknowledge, I mean, it was tough," said Mark Garcia, whose brother, Tommy Garcia Jr., was killed by Castillo. "But we weren't expecting him to apologize."

Castillo lost appeals earlier this week at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest court. No last-day appeals were filed in the courts to try to block his punishment, and Gov. Greg Abbott declined a request from his lawyers for a 30-day reprieve.

A Section on 05/17/2018

Print Headline: Inmate executed for slaying in Texas

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