Justin Fuller Executed For Donald Whittington Murder

Justin Fuller was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of Donald Whittington

According to court documents Justin Fuller and three accomplices would go to the home of Donald Whittington. While one of the accomplices took property from the home Fuller and another accomplice would force Whittington into a vehicle where they would drive to an ATM and Donald was forced to make a withdrawal. The vehicle was driven to a park where Donald would be shot three times causing his death

Justin Fuller would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Justin Fuller would be executed by lethal injection on August 24 2006

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Justin Fuller Execution

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Justin Fuller was executed on August 24 2006

Justin Fuller Case

Condemned prisoner Justin Fuller quietly went to his death Thursday evening for the abduction, robbery and fatal shooting of a Tyler man nine years ago. In a brief statement, Fuller thanked his family and friends for their support. “Let everyone know that you must stay strong for each other,” he said. “Take care of yourselves.” He told the warden standing next to him, “That’s it.”

As the drugs began to take effect, he looked at his parents watching through a window a few feet away and said, “I love you.”

He did not acknowledge the parents and a sister of his victim, Donald Whittington III. He was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. “It was too easy. Compared to what my son went through, it was really too easy,” Donald Whittington Jr. said. “He showed no remorse in court, and he showed no remorse being injected.”

The younger Whittington was killed at Lake Tyler early April 21, 1997. Fuller denied firing the fatal shots with a .22-caliber pistol and said he didn’t show off the body later to friends. Whittington’s body wasn’t found by police until four days after he was reported missing. By then, authorities said, a number of people had gone to see the body, which became the subject of conversation at Chapel Hill High School near Tyler. A student at the school, which Whittington, Fuller and two other people convicted in the slaying had attended, overheard some of the talk and called police. The case inspired passage of a state law making it a crime to know about a dead body and keep silent about it.

Fuller said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he couldn’t express regrets about the killing. “If I have regrets, it means I done it,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Fuller’s appeals hours before the execution. Fuller’s lawyers contended that his trial attorneys were ineffective and failed to tell him about a proposed plea bargain that would have spared him from a death sentence.

Fuller’s accomplices, Samhermundre Wideman of Tyler and Elaine Hays of Red Springs, are serving life sentences. Brent Bates Chandler accepted a 25-year sentence and testified against Fuller.

Fuller and Wideman lived in the same apartment complex as Whittington. Prosecutors said the robbery plot was hatched by Hays, Wideman’s girlfriend, who believed that Whittington had received $15,000 from a trust fund when he turned 21. Hays’ lawyers at her trial blamed the scheme on the three men. Whittington was sprayed with a tear gas, blindfolded, had his hands and feet tied and was threatened with death if he didn’t surrender his ATM card and password. Chandler took clothing and items from Whittington’s apartment, and the other assailants threw Whittington in the back seat of his own car, drove to a bank and withdrew about $300 and then went to the lake area where Whittington was killed. Fuller told police that he was urinating in the lake at the time of the shooting. His companions disputed his story. “They said I was the triggerman,” said Fuller, who blamed Wideman for the shooting. Whittington’s ATM card was found in Fuller’s wallet.

Fuller, whose 28th birthday would have been next week, was the 19th inmate executed this year in Texas, matching the total executions in the state for all of 2005. At least seven condemned prisoners have death dates through the end of the year.


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