John A. SalasPor: John A. Salas
World19 noviembre 2023 23:19

Texas executes man convicted of kidnapping and murdering 5-year-old girl

At the time of the crime, the executed man was on parole for a crime of indecent acts

The state of Texas carried out the execution of David Santiago Rentería, 53, convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Alexandra Flores, a 5-year-old girl, which occurred two decades ago.

The Latino was declared dead at 7:11 p.m. local time on November 16, after receiving a lethal injection at the Huntsville prison, near Houston, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Before his execution, Renteria offered his last words, asking for forgiveness and expressing regret for his actions.

The crime took place on November 18, 2001, when Rentería kidnapped Alexandra Flores, taking advantage of her parents' negligence in a Walmart department store in El Paso, a city on the border with Mexico.

Security cameras captured the moment Renteria took the girl while the family was Christmas shopping. Alexandra's body was found the next day, naked and burned, in an alley about 25 kilometers from the site of the kidnapping. The autopsy revealed that the girl died of strangulation.

Renteria, who was on probation for a crime of indecent acts with a minor at the time of the crime, was sentenced to death in November 2003 by a popular jury. Over the years, he maintained a version in which he claimed that he kidnapped the girl on behalf of the Barrio Azteca prison gang, but prosecutors argued that this version was unfounded and that the evidence, such as the fingerprints found on the plastic bag, that covered the body, directly implicated him in the murder.

His last words before dying were: “I regret all the mistakes I have made. And to those who have asked for my death and who are about to murder me, I forgive them.”

Rentería's execution is the eighth in Texas and the 23rd in the entire United States so far this year. Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976, 1,581 people have been executed in the United States, 586 of them in Texas.