His attorney once referred to him as the ‘poster child for how stupid the death penalty is.’
On Tuesday, Mark Anthony Soliz became the sixth Texas death row inmate to be executed, after he was put to death for the 2010 shooting of a 61-year-old grandmother at her Godley home during an eight-day crime spree. A spree that included thefts and another killing.
Soliz, 37, was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. after receiving a lethal dosage of Pentobarbital at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit — 13 minutes after the process began.
Soliz, who chose not to file a last-second appeal to the United States Supreme Court, was apologetic with his final statement towards the family of the victim Nancy Hatch Weatherly.
“I want to apologize for the grief and the pain that I caused y’all,” Soliz said to the two members of the Weatherly family in attendance. “I’ve been considering changing my life, it took me 27 years to do so. I don’t know if me passing will bring y’all comfort for the pain and suffering I caused y’all. I’m at peace.”
Soliz’s last statement lasted nearly five minutes.
“Execution Watch,” a radio show covering Texas executions, reported that Soliz refused his last meal and that 18 protestors were on hand outside Huntsville’s Walls Unit during his execution.
The same outlet reported that met with a spiritual advisor and family members beforehand and that family members said Soliz told them he was at peace with what was about to happen to him because he’s accepted the Lord in his life and know where he’s going.
State and federal appeals courts and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles turned down requests by Soliz's attorneys to stop his execution throughout his appeals process, with the most recent denial coming last week.
Soliz's lawyers had argued for years that he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which left him with brain damage. His attorneys said the disorder is the "functional equivalent" of conditions already recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as disqualifying exemptions to the death penalty, such as intellectual disability.
Prosecutors portrayed Soliz as a dangerous individual who killed Weatherly for a "pittance of property."
Soliz became the 15th inmate to be put to death in the United States this year, and the sixth in the state of Texas — the country's most active death chamber. Nine more executions are currently scheduled throughout the remainder of 2019, with one scheduled for 2020.
Soliz was sentenced to death by the 413th District Court for the June 29, 2010 shooting death of Nancy Hatch Weatherly in her home near Godley.
The week before Weatherly was murdered, Soliz and his friend Jose Clemente Ramos were known to have robbed strangers at gunpoint, shot a man in the ear, killed the driver of a beer delivery truck, pulled off a carjacking, burglarized homes and shot a man repeatedly in a drive-by.
Most of the crimes were in the Fort Worth area, but on June 29, Ramos and Soliz drove to Weatherly’s home in Johnson County. When the victim answered the door, the duo pulled out a gun and pushed her inside to rob her.
Attorneys involved in the case said Weatherly had poor eyesight, and may have confused Soliz and Ramos for two men who did work on her property when she opened her door.