The Associated Press’ Michael Graczyk described Hernandez’s demeanor as “cheerful.”
“God bless everybody. Continue to walk with God,” Hernandez, 47, said to assembled witnesses, who did not include his victim’s family. “Love y’all, man.Thank you. I can feel it, taste it. It’s not bad.”
Hernandez became the fourth man executed by Texas in 2012 after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeal Wednesday.
In April 2001, Hernandez was babysitting Karlos Borja and his 4-year-old sister for the children’s 22-year-old mother. While she was out, he apparently hit the children with a flashlight, fracturing the baby’s skull and leaving bruises, Graczyk wrote. After a week in a medically-induced coma in the ICU, Karlos was taken off life support. His sister drew pictures to describe to investigators what happened.
Hernandez had a record that included indecency with a child, drug charges, and domestic violence.
The Texas Tribune‘s Brandi Grissom noted last week that Brad Levenson, Hernandez’s appeals attorney, filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals earlier in March asking the court to stay his execution after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a habeas issue in a different case.
Levenson maintained that “a more thorough investigation could have shown Hernandez wasn’t responsible for the child’s death,” Graczyk wrote.