Michael Rosales Executed For Mary Felder Murder

Michael Rosales was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of Mary Felder

According to court documents Michael Rosales would break into the home of Mary Felder. When she would surprise him he would stab her over a hundred times causing her death

Michael Rosales was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Michael Rosales would be executed by lethal injection on April 15 2009

Michael Rosales Photos

Michael Rosales execution

Michael Rosales FAQ

When Was Michael Rosales Executed

Michael Rosales was executed on April 15 2009

Michael Rosales Case

Almost a dozen years after he beat and used kitchen utensils to fatally stab a 67-year-old woman during a burglary of her Lubbock apartment, a Texas parole violator was executed for the slaying.

Michael Rosales, 35, said little as the lethal drugs were being administered to him Wednesday evening. “I love you,” he told witnesses, who included three of his brothers standing a few feet away and watching through a window. “May the Lord be with you. Peace. I’m done.”

Eight minutes later, he was pronounced dead, making him the 13th Texas prisoner executed this year, the most among states with the death penalty.

Rosales was condemned for the June 1997 slaying of Mary Felder, who was living in the same apartment complex where Rosales was staying with friends. No friends or relatives of Felder attended the execution.

His punishment was carried out about 90 minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal that sought a delay so he could have more time to file a state clemency petition and pursue claims he was mentally retarded and ineligible for lethal injection.

The same mental retardation claims five years ago halted Rosales’ then-scheduled execution but subsequently were rejected in the courts, a point made by prosecutors contesting the appeal.

Rosales confessed a day after Felder’s body was found by her grandson, who routinely checked on her. Rosales told police he was high on cocaine and looking for money when he broke into her home as she slept. She was attacked when she woke up.

“If my loved one got killed, I’d be plenty angry with 12 years, but I never have a problem with the system taking its time,” Ken Hawk, a former Lubbock assistant district attorney who prosecuted Rosales for capital murder, said. “But at the close of the day, if someone receives that ultimate punishment for his crime, if we know for sure everything was done right and it takes12 years, you know that’s what separates us from other countries where you commit a crime on Monday and you’re dead on Friday.”

Rosales was born in Kit Carson County, Colo., and had a record in that state. Testimony at his trial indicated he escaped from a Colorado jail in 1994 after he was arrested on charges that included resisting arrest and battery. He was on probation for nearly four years for a drug conviction in Lubbock but had a history of violating probation. When he was arrested for Felder’s slaying, evidence showed he had removed an electronic monitor he was supposed to be wearing.

Hawk said he remembered the murder scene for its incredible violence. “There were more than 100 wounds to her face and head, with terrible blunt force trauma,” he said.

Felder, a grandmotherly presence in the neighborhood where she was known lovingly as “Miss Mary,” was pummeled and stabbed with a two-pronged fork and a steak knife. Records showed she had 113 wounds, including some from needle-nose pliers.

Rosales became a suspect after he kept asking detectives at the scene if they’d caught the killer. When he was brought in for questioning, he told police he was the killer, then led officers to a trash bin where he tossed the weapons. Authorities also had bloody clothes he had tried to wash and used DNA evidence to tie them to the slaying. Prints from his shoes matched bloody footprints in Felder’s bedroom.

“He was kind of in a panic and stabbed her and when he realized she wasn’t going to survive, he stabbed her a bunch more times in his twisted logic of trying to put her out of her misery,” recalled one of his trial lawyers, David Hazlewood. “And that’s what made the whole thing so horrible. “He signed a confession to the whole thing and pretty much fessed up to it. … This is another one of those cases where the facts are never in your favor, and we just didn’t have a whole lot to work with except trying to convince people not to kill him.”

A Lubbock jury that convicted him of capital murder deliberated about two hours before deciding he should die.

At least five other Texas prisoners have execution dates stretching into the summer. Scheduled next is Derrick Johnson, 28, who faces execution April 30 for a 1999 rape-slaying in Dallas. LaTausha Curry, 25, was beaten with a board and then suffocated with a shirt and sweater after she was abducted while making a call at a pay phone.


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