HUNTSVILLE, TX (KTRE) - At the Huntsville Walls Unit Execution 999.301 occurred. That's the official state title the State of Texas gave the lethal injection of Khristian Oliver, 32.
"He was very calm. Eight minutes after the lethal injection began he was pronounced deceased tonight," Jason Clark, public information spokesman for TDCJ. Families and local officials including District Attorney Nicole LoStracco, Sheriff Thomas Kerss and Texas Ranger Tom Davis were among the witnesses.
At six o'clock, right before the lethal injection, Oliver took time to speak to both families. He first spoke to the victim's family of Joe Collins Sr. He told them tonight's execution would not bring them closure. Oliver told them he was sorry and had prayed for them.
The family questions Oliver's sincerity. "I felt it was more self-healing for him than for us," Joe Collins Jr. Said shortly after the execution. "He didn't admit to much. He wanted us to feel better and have some closure. But it's kinda hard."
The only sister of five children, Elsie Walker had mixed emotions about witnessing the execution. "I will be there for my brothers," Walker said the day before the execution. Shortly after watching a man die Walker said, "It was pretty hard, but I made it."
It was difficult for the Oliver family as well. At 5:58 p.m. Oliver's parents, brother, sister and brother-in-law made a short walk across the street to the Wall's Unit to hear Khristian's final words. "He told his mother and father that he loved them," Clark described.
Watching their son's passing was hard. It was quite the opposite for the Collins. "There wasn't nothing difficult. I looked at him. I didn't see any real remorse in his eyes. It was very easy to stand there," said Collins Jr.
"His death was too easy," Gary Collins said. "With what our dad went through. I seen what was left. It was just too easy." Their father, Joe Collins, 64, was beaten about the head with the butt of a gun. "For 11 years he's been alive, doing things. For 11 years, I've been without a dad," Collins Jr. expressed. He then became emotional and choked up. After a slight pause he said, "But there was closure."
The families on their way home from Huntsville will have thoughts of their loved ones. The Collins will remember a father who never got to see numerous grandchildren grow up. The Olivers will remember a son a they watched come into this world, as well as leave it.