Texas execution delayed until late in the night

Rolando Ruiz. (Texas prison photo)
Rolando Ruiz. (Texas prison photo)(KWTX)
Published: Mar. 7, 2017 at 5:22 PM CST
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Texas death row inmate Rolando Ruiz, 44, received a lethal injection late Tuesday night for a contract killing in 1992.

Ruiz’s execution was scheduled for just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, but he waited in a small cell near the Texas death chamber for word on eleventh hour appeals.

Ruiz was pronounced dead at 11:06 p.m. Tuesday, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

He apologized to the victim’s parents before he was executed.

“I would first like to say to the Sanchez family how sorry I am. Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am and the hurt that I have caused you and your family. May this bring you peace and forgiveness. I am sorry,"

"To my family, thank you for all your love and support. I am at peace. Jesus Christ is Lord. I love you all. Thank you warden that is it."

Ruiz was sentenced to die for the 1992 contract killing of Theresa Rodriguez, 29, outside her home in San Antonio.

Ruiz was convicted of accepting $2,000 to kill her.

Evidence showed her husband and brother-in-law arranged her murder.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Ruiz’s attorneys who argue that his execution would be unconstitutionally cruel because he had been on death row since 1995, had multiple execution dates and two reprieves, and the lengthy time was the result of poor state-appointed lawyers.

The Texas Attorney General's office disputed the claims.

Ruiz's execution Tuesday evening was the third this year in Texas and the fifth nationally.