LIVINGSTON, Texas – Texas prisoner Coy Wesbrook is realistic about the likelihood he'll be executed Wednesday for a Houston-area shooting rampage more than 18 years ago that left five people dead.
"I'm very optimistic they're going to kill me," Wesbrook said from a visiting cage outside death row. "Yeah, there ain't no doubt."
That's set to happen Wednesday evening in Huntsville, when Wesbrook, 58, is scheduled for lethal injection for the 1997 shooting rampage during a party at his ex-wife's apartment in Channelview, just east of Houston.
"The main thing in my case is five victims, five shots, five bodies and everybody died," he said. "There was nobody left alive and that pretty much cinched it, you could say."
Among the five victims was Wesbrook's ex-wife, Gloria Jean Coons, 32. Others killed were Coons' roommate, Diana Ruth Money, 43, and three men: Antonio Cruz, 35; Anthony Ray Rogers, 41; and Kelly Hazlip, 28.
Wesbrook would be the eighth convicted killer put to death this year nationally and fourth in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state. Two Georgia inmates have been executed so far in 2016, along with one each in Alabama and Florida.
Wesbrook's attorney, Don Vernay, said appeals to the courts have been exhausted and no last-ditch efforts to save him are expected.
Previous appeals rejected in the courts focused on claims Wesbrook had deficient legal help at his trial and that an undercover informant improperly was used to obtain incriminating information for his trial. More recently, courts refused arguments Wesbrook was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty under U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
The former security guard and delivery driver married Coons in 1995. They divorced the following year but continued seeing each other and began living together until he moved out in August 1997. They had lunch Nov. 12, 1997, and talked about reconciling. When he showed up that night at her apartment, he found a party in progress.
He testified at his 1998 capital murder trial that Coons humiliated him by having sex with two of the men while he was there.
"You hear all your life if you catch your old lady in bed with somebody, don't just shoot her but shoot her lover too," Wesbrook said from prison. "In her case, there was a bunch of lovers. I just took care of my business.
"I made her a promise," he said. "If you keep on pushing me I might push back."
Wesbrook testified when he tried to leave the party, Cruz grabbed the keys to his truck and joined others in taunting him. He said he "lost it," walked out, grabbed a 30.06 rifle he kept in the truck and returned, shooting each person once. Coons was the final victim.
Court records show the five shots were fired within 40 seconds. Wesbrook testified he shot Money after she threw a can of beer at him, shot Rogers and Cruz as they rushed toward him, then shot Coons and Hazlip as they were engaged in sex.
Neighbors who heard the gunfire and called police saw Wesbrook emerge from the apartment, place the rifle inside his truck and then stand calmly by the tailgate of the pickup to wait for sheriff's deputies to arrive.
"I'm sorry it happened," he said from prison. "But I'm not going to sit here and boo-hoo about it."
Two more Texas inmates are set to die later this month, followed by another in April.