Texas set to execute man who killed ex-wife and four other people

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[March 09, 2016]  By Jon Herskovitz
 AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas is set to execute on Wednesday a man who fatally shot five people in 1997 with a hunting rifle in a killing spree launched when he found his ex-wife having sex with other men.

Coy Wesbrook, 58, is set to be put to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. local time at the state's death chamber in Huntsville. If the execution goes ahead, it would be the 535th in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state.

Wesbrook told a court he went to the Houston-area home of his ex-wife, Gloria Coons, seeking to reconcile. When he arrived he found other people in the residence and began drinking with them, court documents showed.

Two men slipped away into his wife's bedroom and when he went in, he found her having sex with one of them. He then went to his truck to fetch his gun.

He went back and fatally shot anyone who was still on the premises, killing his ex-wife, Antonio Cruz, Ruth Money, Anthony Rogers and Kelly Hazlip.

He then calmly walked to his truck and waited.

Wesbrook, a former security guard, could be overheard saying "I did it. I did it. I did what I had to do," neighbors testified.

One man he shot dead was in the yard and the other victims were found inside. All had been shot at close range and his ex-wife was shot last, court documents showed.

It took a jury about 90 minutes to sentence him to death.

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Lawyers for Wesbrook have tried unsuccessfully to have the execution halted arguing his rights have been denied and he is mentally impaired.

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle published on Monday, Wesbrook said he spends his time studying the Bible, reading religious books and listening to gospel shows on the radio.

He also said he is ready to die.

"I'm looking forward to it," he told the paper.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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