According to court documents Jedidiah Murphy would force his way into the vehicle of eighty year old Bertie Lee Cunningham at gunpoint. Murphy would force the elderly woman to drive to a remote location where he would then force her into the trunk of the vehicle. Murphy would then drive to various ATMS making withdrawals using Cunningham bank card. Jedidiah would then drive to another location where he would fatally shoot the woman before dumping her body in a creek
Jedidiah Murphy would be arrested, convicted, sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection
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The state of Texas executed Jedidiah Murphy by lethal injection Tuesday for the carjacking murder of a 79-year-old Garland woman in 2000.
Lawyers for Murphy, 48, had filed multiple requests in state and federal court to have his execution postponed because of issues with execution drugs and DNA testing of evidence.
Those requests were denied Tuesday, and he was killed Tuesday night, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed.
In his final words recorded by TDCJ, Murphy expressed remorse.
“To the family of the victim I want to say I sincerely apologize for all I did,” he said. “I hope this brings you closure, thank you.”
He then recited a version of Psalm 34 of the New Testament, and another verse from the Bible.
Murphy was convicted in 2001 for shooting and killing Bertie Lee Cunningham after forcing her to give him a ride at gunpoint, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday granted Texas’ request to lift a pause on Murphy’s execution.
In its request, the Texas attorney general’s office argued Murphy’s claims came too late in the process and that his reasoning didn’t show how new DNA evidence would prove his innocence.
A lower federal court first halted the execution in part because Murphy’s lawyers successfully argued the DNA evidence used to prove he was a future danger to the public was insufficient. They requested new testing of that evidence.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to lift the stay of execution, ruling it should be on hold while they weighed in on a similar case, Gutierrez v. Saenz.
The Fifth Circuit heard oral argument in that case Sept. 20 but did not issue a ruling before the Supreme Court’s order Tuesday night.
Murphy’s lawyers also argued in both federal and state courts to halt the execution because of a recent fire at the Huntsville prison, which they said made the lethal injection drugs unsafe and would constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals — the state’s highest criminal court — denied those requests.
Tuesday is also World Day Against the Death Penalty.