HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A man that authorities say was a member of at least three violent street gangs was put to death Wednesday for killing two people outside a bar 15 years ago in San Antonio.
Frank Moore, 47, repeated his unsuccessful claims to stop the execution, saying from the death chamber gurney: "Self-defense is not capital murder."
He then thanked his wife and relatives for their support but did not address the relatives of the two victims, Samuel Boyd and Patrick Clark, who were also present. Nine minutes after the lethal flow of drugs began, he was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m.
"He's free," Danielle Rubens Moore, Moore's Belgian wife by proxy, said.
"Knowing that he's not going to be on the street, I can feel more comfortable," said Clark's sister Peggy. "Justice has been served."
Moore was the second prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state. Another inmate was set to die Thursday evening, and three more were scheduled for next week.
Boyd, 23, and Clark, 15, were shot and killed in 1994 after getting into a fight with Moore and his half brother.
According to testimony, the two victims fought with Moore and his half brother, then got into a car and tried to run them down. One of Moore's friends tossed him a rifle from a nearby car and he opened fire.
Moore insisted the gunfire was in self-defense. "They were trying to rob and kill me," he said in a death row interview.
One of his trial lawyers, Pat Moran, said the two victims wanted to take the club away from Moore, but he said the amount of gunfire created a problem for the defense.
"That car and those two kids, they were turned into Swiss cheese," Moran said. "Prosecutors kept saying: 'You've got a lot of self-defense bullet holes to explain."'
About an hour before the execution, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals that sought a reprieve based on affidavits recently obtained by Moore's lawyers from three eyewitnesses who supported his self-defense claims.
Moore already had an extensive criminal record at the time of the killings, but he denied prosecution assertions that he'd long been an active member of several violent gangs.
According to court documents, Moore belonged to the East Terrace Gangsters, who took their name from a San Antonio public housing project, was a member of the Black Panthers, and had been a member of the Crips gang since he was 14 in California.
Moore said from prison his Crips involvement was a way of life for teens in his neighborhood, but that he had long put that behind him.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out Moore's first conviction in 1998 because jurors weren't allowed to consider lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and murder. He was retried the following year, convicted and condemned again.
Reginald Perkins, 53, was set to be executed Thursday for the slaying of his stepmother in Fort Worth eight years ago.