Texas executes man who killed woman at her apartment in 2004

Last Updated Jul 27, 2017 11:06 PM EDT

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas prisoner was executed Thursday night, according to prison officials.

TaiChin Preyor, 46, was sentenced to die by lethal injection for breaking into a 24-year-old San Antonio woman’s apartment and fatally slashing her in 2004.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal earlier Thursday to put a stay for the execution after attorney’s failed to convince courts that Preyor had deficient legal help during earlier stages of his appeals and that he deserved a reprieve so his case could be reviewed more fairly.

Asked by the prison warden if he had a final statement, Preyor replied, “First and foremost, I’d like to say: Justice has never advanced by taking a human life,” and attributed the statement to Coretta Scott King. Then he said that he would love his wife and children “forever and always.”

“That’s it,” Preyor said.

As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began taking effect, he took several deep breaths, then began snoring, each sound decreasing in volume. Within a minute, all movement stopped.

He was pronounced dead 19 minutes later at 9:22 p.m.

Preyor selected no friends or relatives to witness his punishment. No one related to the victim in his case attended.

Preyor was convicted in the February 2004 slaying of 24-year-old Jami Tackett, who court records identified as Preyor’s drug supplier. She was stabbed and her throat was cut.

Preyor’s lawyers earlier argued unsuccessfully in the Texas courts and lower federal courts that an inexperienced California attorney who handled federal appeals in his case from 2011 to 2014 was “utterly unqualified.” They said she employed a disbarred lawyer for guidance, perpetrating a fraud on the courts.

State attorneys said the late appeals to reopen his case were legally improper and that it was Preyor’s decision to stay with the inexperienced lawyer who didn’t appear to miss any filing deadlines and filed…

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