A man convicted of strangling his mother to death and burying her body in his own yard nearly 20 years ago was executed in Texas on Wednesday.
Tracy Beatty, 61, said “see you on the other side” before being given a lethal injection of pentobarbital at Huntsville State Penitentiary.
The inmate was convicted of murdering his mother Carolyn Click, who was only a year older than Beatty now, after an argument in her East Texas mobile home in November 2003.
Beatty’s lawyers had appealed his death sentence, arguing that he should not be executed because of his history of mental illness. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on Wednesday morning to stop the execution.
Beatty choked up and started sobbing when the manager asked him if he had any last words before his life was over.
Tied to a stretcher, he could barely pronounce the words as his voice cracked.
“I just want to thank…” Beatty spoke directly to his wife, who was watching from the viewing room behind glass. “I don’t want you to leave, baby. See you when you get there. I love you.”
He blew her a kiss and then offered his gratitude to the other death row inmates, naming several.
“I love you, my brothers,” he said. “See you on the other side.”
Prosecutors said Beatty strangled his 62-year-old mother, then buried her body next to her mobile home in Whitehouse before wasting his money on drugs and alcohol.
The mother and son had a “volatile and combative relationship,” prosecutors said. Click told a neighbor that Beatty assaulted her several times before her murder. She said he once “beat her so badly that he left her for dead”, neighbor Lieanna Wilkerson testified.
Beatty returned with Click a month before his death and she had been thrilled that he was back so they could have time to mend their relationship, Wilkerson said.
However, the couple began arguing on a daily basis, and Click asked her to move out at least twice, including just before she was killed, according to trial testimony.
“Several times [Beatty] said he just wanted to shut her up, he just wanted to choke her up and shut her up,” Wilkerson said.
In their motion to the courts to spare his life, Beatty’s legal team cited an expert’s opinion that the murder was “clearly psychotic and has a complex paranoid delusional belief system” in which it believes officers correctional officers torture him with their “threatening voices” via a device in his ear.
The Supreme Court has never prohibited the death penalty for people with severe mental illness, although it has prohibited the death penalty for people with mental disabilities.
Beatty was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m. CST, becoming the fourth inmate to be executed in Texas this year and the 13th nationally.
With post wires.
New York Post