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UPDATE: He’s dead, Jim. Good and dead.
- Thug: Preston Hughes III (22 at time of offense)
- Date of Execution: November 15, 2012, sometime shortly after 6:00 pm HTT
- Date of Crime: September 26, 1988
- Victim(s): Shandra Charles (15) and Marcell Taylor (3)
- Last Meal: Same shit salad being fed to every other thug on the row that day
- Final Words: “You know I’m innocent and I love you both. Please continue to fight for my innocence even though I’m gone.”"Give everybody my love.”
In a rare (but welcomed) back-to-back execution on consecutive days, Preston Hughes III is scheduled to die (finally) for the 1989 murders of Shandra Charles (15) Marcell Taylor (3) in Houston, Texas.
At Hughes’s 1989 trial, the State presented evidence that Hughes stabbed both of the victims in the neck and chest, severing their aortas and jugular veins. When the police arrived at the scene, Shandra Charles was still alive. She told a police officer that a man named “Preston” had stabbed her after trying to rape her. The police officers went to an apartment complex near the vacant field in which the victims were found. The manager of the complex gave them a list of tenants. The only tenant named “Preston” was the petitioner. The police officers went to Hughes’s apartment around 2:30 a.m. He agreed to accompany the officers to the police station, where he later gave two written statements in which he admitted that he had stabbed both of the victims.
He raped and then stabbed to death a 15-year old girl. When the terrified 3-year old boy ran between them, he stabbed and killed that toddler, too.
He’s a vile, sick animal. And the only thing to do with sick animals like this is to put them down — for their own good as for ours.
During the penalty phase of Hughes’s trial, jurors learned that Hughes had previously sexually assaulted a thirteen-year-old female and later threatened her with a gun to prevent her from testifying against him about the sexual assault. At the time of Hughes’s capital murder trial, he was serving two ten-year terms of probation for aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault arising out of those incidents. The jury also learned that Hughes had been charged with first degree sexual assault of a sixteen-year old female in Buffalo, New York, but the charge was dropped after the victim did not appear in court.
Not surprising is that the rabidly anti-death penalty advocates at the Texas Tribune have a lengthy report on this animal, in a not-too-thinly disguised attempt to draw attention to his cries of innocence. Though it looks like their resident anti-death penalty activist, Brandi Grissom, has been joined by Maurice Chammah in that pursuit.
Also not surprising, is that they don’t have a story about today’s execution of Ramon Torres Hernandez, because they know there is no way to use his case to advance their anti-death penalty agenda.
Three Digit Inmates
Preston Hughes is inmate #939, making him one of only 33 remaining death row inmates with the old three-digit inmate numbers, which were reserved for Death Row inmates.
Texas ran out of three-digit numbers (because they reached 999) back in June of 1991, so they started all over again and prefixed 999- to every new TDCJ death-row prisoner number.
- Andrew Cantu (#999) was the last Texas death row inmate to receive a three-digit number in June of 1991. He was executed in 1999. Since then, TDCJ has started renumbering death row inmates by adding 999 to the beginning of their inmate number.
- Of those 33 remaining three-digit inmates, Harvey Earvin has the lowest number (#577), having been received on October 26, 1977.
- The last three-digit inmate to be executed was Gayland Bradford (#966) who was executed on June 1, 2011.
- The first non-three digit inmate to be executed was George Lott (#999058), who was executed on September 20, 1994.