Jerome Butler Executed For Nathan Oakley Murder

Jerome Butler was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of Nathan Oakley

According to court documents Jerome Butler would fatally shoot Nathan Oakley, a taxi cab driver, after he though that Oakley recognized him from the murder of another taxi cab driver A.C. Johnson

Jerome Butler would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Jerome Butler would be executed by lethal injection on April 21 1990

Jerome Butler Photos

jerome butler texas

Jerome Butler Case

A convicted killer who chose execution over spending any more of his life in prison died alone Saturday, and officials say he will likely be buried in a pauper’s grave.

Jerome Butler, 54, refused to appeal his death sentence for the 1986 robbery-slaying of a Houston cab driver and was executed by lethal injection. The former cook and truck driver who spent half of his life in prisons was pronounced dead at 12:26 a.m. at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Institutional Division

‘The only thing I have to say is I wish everybody a good life and things like that,’ Butler said in his last statement. ‘Everything is OK.’

The inmate then nodded at warden Jack Prusley and prison chaplain Carroll Pickett and mouthed the words, ‘All right.’ The deadly chemicals of execution were fed into his system, and Butler reacted violently, his head jerking up and down and slamming against the padded gurney. His eyes remained open and his mouth was slightly agape as he was dying

About 20 people from a chapter of the human rights organization Amnesty International protested the execution and the policy of capital punishment outside the prison unit as Butler spent his final minutes alive. There were no friends or relatives of the condemned man in the death chamber. Butler had no visitors during his last days and declined asking for personal witnesses to his death.

Prison spokesman David Nunnelee said Butler would be buried in the prison’s small cemetery at state expense if no family member claims his body. Butler was thought to have a father in the Houston area, but there was little indication anyone would claim his body.

‘If the family doesn’t claim the body, he will be buried there,’ Nunnelee said.

Butler was ordered to die for the June 17, 1986, robbery and slaying of taxicab driver Nathan Oakley, 67, who was shot three times in the back of the head and robbed of about $300.

After his trial, Butler said he would not appeal the death sentence, and he never wavered. State officials and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had been prepared to stop the execution at the last minute if he changed his mind

Butler, who gave no interviews prior to the execution, said that if his death sentence were commuted to life, he still would have to spend at least 15 more years in prison.

‘I’d be in my 70s when I got out,’ Butler said. ‘What am I supposed to do then? Go live under a bridge? I just want to get it over with.’

Butler had been declared mentally competent to make the decision whether to appeal. ‘He knows exactly what he’s doing,’ Texas Assistant Attorney General Bob Walt said.

Butler spent most of Friday watching television and talking with fellow inmates and Texas prison guards, officials said. He ate a final meal of a T-bone steak, four pieces of chicken, fresh corn, and iced tea.

Butler was the first Texas inmate put to death this year, the 34th in Texas since capital punishment was resumed in 1982, and the 122nd in the nation since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on capital punishment in 1976. He was the oldest inmate put to death in Texas since capital punishment resumed.

Prosecutors said Butler may have killed Oakley because the cab driver recognized him as the man who killed Oakley’s friend, A.C. Johnson, in 1973. Butler served 13 years of a 23- to 47-year sentence in New York’s Sing Sing Prison for robbery, attempted sexual assault and accessory to rape, and was released in 1972. In Texas, he served 10 years of a 30-year sentence for murdering Johnson and was released in 1984. He had been on death row since 1986

Jerome Butler, 54, was pronounced dead at 12:26 a.m. at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Institutional Division.

Prosecutors and judges were prepared to halt the execution at a moment’s notice and Texas Assistant Attorney General Bob Walt said the state would not oppose a stay of execution — had Butler wanted one.

But he didn’t.

‘The only thing I have to say is I wish everybody a good life and things like that,’ Butler said in his last statement. ‘Everything is OK.’

The inmate nodded at warden Jack Prusley and prison chaplain Carroll Pickett and mouthed the words, ‘All right.’

Butler’s body reacted violently as the deadly chemicals entered his system through an intravenous tube. His head jerked up and down and slammed against the padded gurney, his eyes remained open and his mouth was slightly agape.

About 20 people from a Amnesty International chapter protested the death penalty outside the prison as the execution took place.

The former cook and truck driver was ordered to die for the June 17, 1986, robbery and slaying of Nathan Oakley, 67, who was shot three times in the back of the head and robbed of about $300.

Jerome Butler, who has spent half his life in jail, once noted that if his death sentence were commuted to life, he still would have to spend at least 15 years in prison.

‘I’d be in my 70s when I got out,’ Butler said. ‘What am I supposed to do then? Go live under a bridge? They could take these cuffs off me and walk me back to (death row) and I still won’t resist. I just want to get it over with.’

Jerome Butler spent most of Friday watching television and talking with fellow inmates and Texas prison guards, officials said.

He ate very little of his breakfast, most of his lunch, and ordered a final meal of a T-bone steak, four pieces of chicken, fresh corn and iced tea, said prison officials, who added Butler requested no personal witnesses at his execution.

Jerome Butler was the first Texas inmate put to death this year, the 34th in Texas since capital punishment was resumed in 1982, and the 122nd in the nation since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on capital punishment in 1976. He was the oldest inmate put to death in Texas since capital punishment resumed

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1990/04/21/Executed-killer-likely-to-be-buried-in-paupers-grave/8511640670400/

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