Texas executes hitman in deadly life insurance plot

Washington (AFP) – The state of Texas on Tuesday executed a man convicted of taking $2,000 to kill a woman in a murder-for-hire plot to obtain life insurance money about 25 years ago.

Rolando Ruiz, 44, was given a lethal injection at the state prison in Huntsville late on Tuesday and declared dead at 11:06 pm, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

In his final statement, Ruiz apologized profusely to the family of the victim for the 1992 murder.

“Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am and the hurt that I have caused you and your family,” Ruiz said. “May this bring you peace and forgiveness.”

He also thanked his family for their support and said: “I am at peace.”

In July 1992, a man named Mark Rodriguez offered to pay Ruiz to kill his sister-in-law, Theresa Rodriguez.

Ruiz accepted the job and was initially going to kill her at a restaurant in San Antonio, but backed off when he saw a security guard. He later came up with a more elaborate plot in collaboration with Rodriguez and his brother Michael Rodriguez, the victim’s husband.

He then ‘ambushed’ the two brothers and the victim after they returned from the movies, shooting the wife in the head as she got out of the car.

Media reports said evidence presented in court showed Michael Rodriguez stood to gain at least $250,000 in insurance benefits from his wife’s death and that he had also applied for another $150,000-policy for her.

The Rodriguez brothers were initially sentenced to life in prison for their role in the scheme, but Michael Rodriguez was later placed on death row following a botched escape attempt which resulted in the death of a police officer.

He was executed in 2008.

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