According to court documents Lawrence Buxton was robbing a grocery store when Joel Slotnik and his five year old son walked into the store. When the five year old did not get down to the ground Buxton would shoot Joel Slotnik who would die in the hospital four days later
Lawrence Buxton would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Lawrence Buxton would be executed by lethal injection on February 21 1991
Lawrence Buxton Photos
Lawrence Buxton Case
Convicted killer Lawrence Lee Buxton was executed by injection early Tuesday for shooting to death a man whose frightened child was slow to comply with the gunman’s orders during a grocery store robbery.
When asked if he had a final statement, Buxton answered only, ‘Ready, Warden.’ He kept his eyes on the ceiling, drew in several deep breaths and puffed the air out through his lips as the lethal drugs took effect.
Buxton was pronounced dead at 12:21 a.m. CST.
The Supreme Court rejected Buxton’s request for a stay about 90 minutes before his scheduled midnight execution, and Gov. Ann Richards declined to intervene in the case.
He was the 144th person executed in the United States since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on capital punishment in 1976.
Buxton, a Georgia native, was the 38th person executed in Texas since the state resumed executions in 1982, and the first to die by injection this year.
Attorney General Dan Morales witnessed the execution, the first to occur since he took office in January.
Buxton’s execution ‘reflected the culmination of a series of tragedies,’ he said. ‘A tragedy for the victim, a tragedy for the perpetrator.’
The 38-year-old inmate spoke by telephone with his brother and his attorney Monday, and twice visited with prison chaplains.
Prison officials said he was calm when placed in a holding cell near the execution chamber Monday afternoon.
For his final meal, Buxton ate a filet mignon steak, pineapple upside down cake, sweet pickles and a chocolate milkshake.
Buxton, a former meatcutter and truck driver, was given the death sentence for the Sept. 19, 1980, shooting death of Joel Slotnik, 40.
Buxton and two unidentified accomplices were robbing a Safeway store in Katy, west of Houston, when Slotnik walked in carrying his son, Aaron. Both were ordered to ‘hit the deck,’ but the child did not comply.
One of the gunmen told Slotnik, ‘You better get that kid down,’ just before firing a shot that struck Slotnik in the neck.
As the masked robbers left the store, one pulled off his ski mask and witnesses, including Slotnik’s wife who was outside the store, later identified him as Buxton.
Slotnik, who had stopped at the store on his way home from religious services, died four days later.
Buxton previously served prison terms for aggravated robbery and possession of an illegal weapon.
In seeking a stay of execution, Buxton’s attorneys argued jurors at his trial were not allowed to hear testimony about his impoverished youth in the care of a drunken father, information they said could have led the jury to impose a life prison term instead of the death penalty.