Gregory Summers Executed For 3 Texas Murders

Gregory Summers and Andrew Cantu were executed by the State of Texas for three murders

According to court documents Gregory Summers would hire Andrew Cantu to murder his adoptive parents. Andrew Cantu would stab to death Gene and Helen Summers as well as Billy Mack Summers who was mentally challenged and the brother of Gene. All three would be stabbed to death before the house was set on fire

Gregory Summers and Andrew Cantu would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Andrew Cantu was executed on February 16 1999 by lethal injection

Gregory Summers was executed on October 25 2006 by lethal injection

Gregory Summers Photos

Gregory Summers - Texas execution

Gregory Summers FAQ

When Was Gregory Summers Executed

Gregory Summers was executed on October 25 2006

When Was Andrew Cantu Executed

Andrew Cantu was executed on February 16 1999

Gregory Summers Case

Gregory Summers was executed today for initiating a murder-for-hire plot that authorities said led to the fatal stabbing of his parents and an uncle. The lethal injection of Summers, 48, came more than seven years after the execution of Andrew Cantu, convicted of taking the $10,000 offer and fatally stabbing Gene and Helen Summers, both 64, and Billy Mack Summers, 60. Their home in Abilene was set on fire after they were attacked and their bodies were found in the rubble.

Gregory Summers was the 22nd inmate executed this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state. At least three other inmates have execution dates over the next four weeks. Asked by Warden Thomas Prasifka if he had a final statement while strapped to the Texas death chamber gurney, Summer replied, “No.” Eight minutes later, at 9:16 p.m. CDT, he was pronounced dead.

Attorneys for Summers tried today to block the punishment by challenging the constitutionality of the lethal injection method, accusing prosecutors of hiding evidence and raising questions about testimony from a trial witness who implicated Summers. The U.S. Supreme Court three weeks ago refused to review his case. Additional appeals delayed the execution about three hours past its scheduled time of 6 p.m. CDT. Three appeals went to the high court late today, and all were rejected. “When I went to trial, all they proved was there were three murders,” Summers said in recent interview on death row. “But they can’t show I did this with Cantu because it never happened.”

Gene and Helen Summers adopted their son when he was 3 days old. He was their only child. Prosecutors said Summers had hoped to collect $24,000 in insurance benefits. Relatives told authorities Summers was having financial problems and Gene Summers finally had decided to stop bailing him out financially. Billy Mack Summers, Gene Summers’ brother, was mentally retarded and was living with the couple when they all were killed in June 1990. “These were real people that we all loved very, very much,” Arbie McAliley, the victims’ niece, said after watching Summers die. “Justice was served, we believe in our hearts. There was nothing inhumane about this at all tonight. “He got a better treatment than what he gave our three loved ones. It was brutal what they did. The only regrets we have is we had to sit and wait for something we knew was coming.”

About 70 witnesses testified for the prosecution at Summers’ trial, which was moved from Abilene because of publicity and held in Denton, about 185 miles to the east. “Using the West Texas vernacular, they didn’t have a dog in this hunt,” Miles LeBlanc, one of the trial prosecutors, said of the Denton County jurors who convicted Summers and decided he should die. “They didn’t know this guy from Adam. And they believed, because of the evidence we were able to present, that this guy secured the services of Cantu to kill his parents and his disabled uncle, and after committing the crime set the house on fire to cover it up.”

Cantu, a paroled burglar at the time, was supposed to find his payoff in a dresser drawer at the Summers’ Abilene home, but no money was there. Summers said he knew Cantu’s brother, who had worked for his father. A tip to police from Cantu’s brother led to the arrest of Cantu and two companions. Summers became a suspect after relatives told authorities about his money troubles. Police also received a tip on a Crimestoppers telephone hot line about Summers’ scheme.

Two men who accompanied Cantu the night of the slayings testified against him as part of a plea bargain. They told how Cantu slipped through a back window, stabbed Gene Summers nine times in the chest, his wife eight times and Billy Mack Summers seven times, then set the house on fire. Cantu denied involvement and blamed the companions, who also testified Cantu identified Greg Summers as the instigator.

Prosecutors also showed how Summers previously collected insurance payoffs from fires at his grandmother’s house and a vehicle. At his trial, Summers’ two ex-wives testified about his violence toward them and his four children and how they feared him. Summers said from death row he loved his parents but described other relatives as “estranged.”

Cantu wasn’t the first man approached by Summers to carry out the killings, according to testimony. And a fourth man in the car with Cantu the night of the slayings left when he learned of the activities planned for that night. Both also testified against Summers. “There was not one crucial piece of evidence,” said Kent Sutton, another of the prosecutors. “It was the totality of the evidence. It was the overwhelming amount of evidence.”

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