Robert Pruett, a Texas inmate convicted for the murder of prison guard Daniel Nagle’s convicted and scheduled executed this week.
Pruett’s case garnered national attention, as he and his attorneys maintained corrupt guards and improperly-tested crime scene evidence were the reason he remained – and died – on Death Row.
In 1999, a jury found Pruett, then 20 years old, guilty and convicted him to serve 99 years in a state prison in Beeville for his work as an accomplice to a murder, found by another jury to be carried out by his father.
Prosecutors said the younger Pruett stabbed Nagle after Nagle wrote him up for taking a peanut butter sandwich into the prison recreation yard.
Investigators also said they found a shredded report mentioning the incident near Nagle’s body.
A jury convicted Pruett in 2002, when he received a transfer to Texas’ Death Row unit in Huntsville.
According to Pruett’s attorneys, since much of the testimony against him came from guards – eventually found to be friends with Nagle – and fellow inmates, it was unreliable.
They also argued none of the physical evidence linked Pruett to the murder, as all the blood and DNA testing on the items found at the scene were inconclusive.
Originally scheduled for April 2015, a state judge ordered a stay for Pruett’s execution after his attorneys filed a motion to re-test DNA evidence on the murder weapon.
Court documents showed the DNA tested came from an unknown female, but a forensic scientist theorized it potentially came from someone who handled the weapon after Pruett’s conviction.
Pruett’s attorneys reportedly worked until two hours before his scheduled execution for his case to be reopened.
Executioners ended the 38-year-old’s life on October 12.