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Killer executed for 1991 slayings
By John Moritz, Star-Telegram Austin Bureau     Thu, Feb. 12, 2004 

     
Edward Lewis LaGrone
 
HUNTSVILLE - Edward Lewis LaGrone went to his death Wednesday evening insisting that he did not kill a 10-year-old girl who was pregnant with his child or her two great-aunts, all of whom were shotgunned in their Fort Worth home in May 1991.
"I just want to say that I'm not sad today and I'm not bitter at anybody," said LaGrone, 46, just moments before the lethal injection was administered.
"As I said from Day One, I didn't kill anybody, but I'm no better than the people that did. Jesus is Lord."
LaGrone did not acknowledge the four relatives of his victims who watched his execution in silence. No one witnessed the execution on his behalf.
He was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.
In an interview afterward, an aunt and uncle and two cousins of the 10-year-old victim, ShaKeisha Lloyd, said they wished that LaGrone had expressed remorse for the killings.
"He could have said he was sorry or something," a tearful Kendra Lloyd said. "He took my cousin away. We were six months apart. She was my best friend."
Billy Lloyd Sr. said he found solace in the fact that LaGrone appeared to have found religion on Death Row.
"I had to see it with my own eyes," he said. "I know now that he can't hurt" anyone else.
LaGrone was the fifth Texas inmate executed this year and the 318th since 1982. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal, which asserted that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1991, LaGrone, on parole on a murder conviction, was a drug pusher who had dated ShaKeisha's mother, Pamela Lloyd Tutt, according to court testimony. Lloyd Tutt noticed that ShaKeisha's abdomen and breasts had grown, and the girl told her mother that she had been raped by LaGrone.
A doctor confirmed that the fourth-grader was 17 weeks pregnant.
Tests conducted after ShaKeisha's death indicated that LaGrone was the father.
Lloyd Tutt confronted LaGrone and demanded that he pay for an abortion.
She also threatened to file a complaint against LaGrone, whose parole could have been revoked.
On the morning of May 30, 1991, LaGrone appeared at the family's door with a shotgun. An uncle, 48-year-old Dempsey Lloyd, was shot twice when he met LaGrone, but survived. LaGrone killed ShaKeisha, Zenobia Anderson, 83, and Caola Lloyd, 76, who was blind and had terminal cancer.
Three members of the household were unhurt -- Lloyd Tutt and two of her children, 13-year-old Charles and Mytyl, 19 months.
In court, all witnesses identified LaGrone as the gunman, and investigators found that his girlfriend had bought the gun the day before the shooting.
Steve Conder, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney who handled the case through the appeals process, said the slayings were among the most chilling in Fort Worth's history.
"If I hadn't worked the case, it would be hard to imagine anything like this ever happening," Conder said shortly after LaGrone's execution date was set.
The condemned man spent his final day pacing in his cell on Death Row in the Polunksy Unit in Livingston before being taken to the Walls Unit in Huntsville, where executions are carried out.
A prison system spokeswoman described his demeanor as "serious, but quiet."
LaGrone requested a final meal of five pieces of fried chicken and two soft drinks.
In addition to Kendra Lloyd and Billy Lloyd Sr., the execution was witnessed by Beverly Lloyd, Billy Lloyd Sr.'s wife; and Billy Lloyd Jr.
Three reporters and several prison officials were also in the death chamber.
Lloyd Tutt did not witness the execution because she is in the fifth year of a five-year prison sentence for killing her husband, Gene Tutt, in 1997.
The family expressed frustration that it took nearly 14 years for the execution to be carried out.
"The only thing I have against the death penalty is that it takes too long," Lloyd Sr. said.
Tonight, Bobby Ray Hopkins of Johnson County is scheduled to die for the July 31, 1993, stabbing deaths of Sandi Marbut, 18, and Jennifer Weston, 19.


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