Twice-Convicted Killer Executed in Texas for Double Slaying

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Convicted killer Leon David Dorsey IV quietly went to his death.

The twice-convicted murderer with a history of violence that included 95 disciplinary infractions since he arrived on death row eight years ago offered no resistance as Texas corrections officers led him to the death chamber Tuesday evening for lethal injection for a double slaying in Dallas in 1994.

"He was executed without incident," Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said. "He was escorted to the execution chamber and did not have to be forcibly taken."

Dorsey, 32, became the seventh prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state and the first of two inmates scheduled to die this week. Two more are to die next week.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upheld his conviction and death sentence and no late appeals were filed to try to block Dorsey's punishment.

In brief comments after he was strapped to the death chamber gurney, Dorsey said: "I love all y'all. I forgive all y'all. See y'all when you get there."

Then he told prison officials: "Do what you're going to do."

Nine minutes later, he was pronounced dead.

Security was beefed up as Dorsey arrived at the Huntsville Unit prison about five hours before he was scheduled to die. Dorsey, whose record included an attack where he stabbed a corrections officer 14 times with a shank, a homemade weapon, also remained in restraints in a small holding cell a few steps from the death chamber. Just two weeks ago, officers found another shank in his cell and his threats to harm officers were taken seriously, prison officials said.

On death row, he was classified by authorities as a Level 3 inmate, a designation as the most troublesome.

"Every day he was looking to hurt someone," said Toby Shook, a former Dallas County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Dorsey for capital murder. He called Dorsey a "true psychopath."

"It was the only satisfaction he got in life."

Dorsey already was in prison, serving 60 years after pleading guilty to killing a woman during a convenience store robbery, when a Dallas police cold case squad tied him to the unsolved shooting deaths four years earlier of James Armstrong, 26, and Brad Lindsey, 20, at a Blockbuster Video store in East Dallas where they worked.

"Losing James has been, and will always be, painful," Armstrong's parents, Gerald and Nanci Armstrong, who witnessed the execution. said in a statement. "It doesn't get any easier, but we've gotten stronger. God, therapy, medication, support groups, family and friends have helped."

Evidence showed Dorsey, who called himself "Pistol Pete," looked around the video store on Easter Sunday night in 1994, then returned after midnight to rob the cash register of $392. He shot the workers when Armstrong had difficulty opening a safe and Lindsey tried to run.

Most of the crime was recorded on security cameras in the store.

Dorsey initially was questioned after his girlfriend reported to police he had admitted the shootings to her. Police, however, initially believed the 18-year-old was too tall, based on images from the security tape. When the case was reopened in 1998, Dallas authorities had the tape analyzed by the FBI and determined Dorsey could have been the gunman.

"He got away with it a long time because technology hadn't caught up to him," Jason January, who prosecuted the case with Shook, said.

Five months after the video store killings, Dorsey killed a 51-year-old Korean woman, Hyon Suk Chon, at the convenience store she managed in Ennis, south of Dallas. He was in prison for that slaying when he confessed to the video store killings.

"You hate to see that, knowing that potentially if the technology had been as good when the crime was committed, someone else would not have been killed," January said.

Dorsey at age 12 moved to Waxahachie to live with his grandparents after he was booted from Germany where his mother was stationed in the Air Force. Records show when he was 14 he took a gun to school and fired it. At 16, he fired at a couple driving in a car.

"He'd walk down the street with a sawed-off shotgun tied to his arm and with a coat on and then just throw it open — just to see the reaction of people," Shook said. "He's a piece of work."

On Thursday, Michael Rodriguez, one of the infamous "Texas 7" prison escapees, has volunteered for execution for his part in the fatal shooting of a Dallas-area police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, during a robbery while he and the six other escapees were fugitives in December 2000.