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Texas executes Mexican national

Despite pleas from the Mexican government and the US State Department, Texas executes Edgar Tamayo.

Last updated: 23 Jan 2014 04:45
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Relatives, friends and supporters of Tamayo protested ahead of his his execution [EPA]

A Mexican national was formally executed for killing a Houston police officer, despite pressure from the Mexican government and the US Department of State. 

Asked by a warden if he had a final statement, he mumbled "no'' and shook his head. As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began taking effect, he took a few breaths before all movement stopped. He was pronounced dead 17 minutes after the drug was administered.

The US Supreme Court has rejected appeals for Mexican national Edgar Tamayo, clearing the way for the Texas death row inmate's execution for the slaying of a police officer 20 years ago.

Tamayo's case has drawn criticism from the Mexican government and pressure from the US State Department after attorneys argued Tamayo was not immediately advised he could seek help from the Mexican consulate following his arrest in 1994.

The high court considered at least two last-minute appeals on Wednesday. One focused on whether he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty. The other was related to the consular issue.

Gaddis, who was 24 at the time of his murder, was driving Tamayo and another man from a robbery scene when he was shot three times in the head and neck with a pistol Tamayo had concealed in his pants.

The car crashed, and Tamayo fled on foot but was captured a few blocks away, still in handcuffs, carrying the robbery victim's watch and wearing the victim's necklace.

Case tainted

Tamayo's attorneys and the Mexican government contend Tamayo's case was tainted because he was not advised under an international agreement that he could get legal help from his home nation after his arrest. 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 State Department repeated that stance Tuesday.

Sixteen people were put to death in 2013 in Texas, the most active capital punishment state in the US.

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 U.S. illegally and had a criminal record in California, where he had served time for robbery and was paroled, according to prison records.

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