Convicted killer of prison guard from Central Texas executed

(Texas Tribune photo by Tamir Kalifa/file)
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KWTX) The convicted killer of a corrections officer from Central Texas was executed Thursday evening in Huntsville after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour appeal.

Robert Pruett, 38, was executed just after 6 p.m. Thursday for the 1999 murder of corrections officer Daniel Nagle.

Nagle, a Gatesville native, died of a heart attack after he was stabbed repeatedly with a metal rod in an attack that authorities say stemmed from a fight over a peanut butter sandwich that Pruett wanted to take into a recreation yard at the McConnell Unit near Beeville

Pruett was serving a 99-year sentence for the murder of a neighbor at the time of the attack.

The six-member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously rejected Pruett’s clemency petition earlier Thursday.

His attorneys had asked the board to recommend a 120-day reprieve and a commutation of his sentence from death to life in prison.

Pruett’s attorneys had asked the Supreme Court to review whether lower courts properly denied a civil rights suit seeking additional DNA testing.

Pruett insisted he was innocent and rejected the claim that he killed Nagle because he was written up for taking the sandwich into the recreation yard.

He says the only witnesses to the incident were inmates who were promised favors from the prosecution in exchange for their testimony.

He was the sixth Texas prisoner executed this year.