Texas Executes First Man of 2013

Carl Henry Blue was put to death Thursday for setting an ex-girlfriend on fire.
Fri February 22, 2013 1:00 pm
Execution chamber.
AP Photo | Pat Sullivan

Carl Henry Blue was put to death Thursday evening, marking Texas’s first execution of 2013. Blue, 48, was  convicted in 1995 for setting ex-girlfriend Carmen Richards-Sanders on fire, ultimately causing her death.

In mid-August, 1994, Blue walked seven miles from his home to a convenience store. He drank malt liquor and smoked crack, The Associated Press reported, and finally purchased 50 cents worth of gasoline in a Big Gulp cup. Blue waited outside the victim’s apartment, and when she opened the door, he rushed in and said, “I told you I was gonna get you.” He then tossed the gasoline on Richards-Sanders and set her on fire with a lighter. Her friend, Laurence Williams, tried to save her, but Blue set him ablaze, as well.

Williams survived his severe burns, but Richards-Sanders died 19 days later from organ failure, Reuters reported.

Blue turned himself in to the police hours after the attack, claiming it was a prank gone wrong. In a tape-recorded statement played at his trial, Blue said, “She snatched the door open and had a cigarette… . I wasted gas on both of them. And she caught on fire.”

Blue was injected with a lethal dose of Pentobarbital at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. He was pronounced dead 26 minutes later.

Before losing consciousness, he expressed remorse to the victim’s daughter, Terrella Richards, The Eagle wrote. “I love you, I never meant to hurt your momma,” Blue said. “I hope you can forgive me.”

Blue looked toward a viewing room where his parents stood, saying “I love y’all.” He told his two children who were not in attendence that their “daddy will be looking down on them from Heaven.” 

Finally, he said, “So y’all hang on, cowboy up; I’m fixing to ride, and Jesus is my vehicle.”

Terrella Richards spoke briefly with the media following the execution. “I can move on with my life,” she said. “My journey has ended today.”

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