Ramiro Gonzales Put to Death in Texas for 2001 Murder of 18-Year-Old Woman

Ramiro Gonzales, a Texas death row inmate, was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday in spite of many appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court about his 2001 murder and rape of an adolescent lady.

Gonzales received a chemical injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville and was declared dead at 6:50 p.m. Following his admission that he had shot and killed Bridget Townsend, an 18-year-old from southwest Texas, whose remains were discovered almost two years after she went missing in 2001, he was put to death.

Gonzales frequently apologized to the victim’s family from the execution chamber, according to a statement made public by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

“I can’t put into words the pain I have caused y’all, the hurt, what I took away that I cannot give back. I hope this apology is enough,” he stated.

“I never stopped praying that you would forgive me and that one day I would have this opportunity to apologize. I owe all of you my life and I hope one day you will forgive me,” he continued.

This year, Townsend would have turned 41. In January 2001, Gonzales abducted her from her home and raped her sexually before killing her.

After receiving two life terms for kidnapping and raping another woman, Gonzales led authorities to her remains in southwest Texas in October 2002, but her body wasn’t discovered until then.

David, Townsend’s brother, said, “We have finally witnessed justice being served,” following the execution. “This day marks the end of a long and painful journey for our family. For over two decades, we have endured unimaginable pain and heartache.

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Gonzales’ passing, according to David, “provides us a little bit of peace. I do want to say we are not joyous, we are not happy. This is a very, very sad day for everyone all the way around.”

In a Monday motion to the U.S. Supreme Court, Gonzales’ attorneys stated, “He has earnestly devoted himself to self-improvement, contemplation, and prayer, and has grown into a mature, peaceful, kind, loving, and deeply religious adult. He acknowledges his responsibility for his crimes and has sought to atone for them and to seek redemption through his actions.”

Eleven Christian leaders from Texas and across the nation petitioned Gov. Greg Abbott and the parole board earlier this month to prevent the execution and grant clemency.

The parole board decided on Monday, 7-0, not to commute Gonzales’ death sentence to a less severe punishment. A six-month reprieve for him was also denied by the members.

Gonzales was executed for the second time in Texas this year and the eighth time nationwide.

Richard Rojem, who kidnapped, raped, and killed a 7-year-old child in 1984, is set to be executed in Oklahoma on Thursday.


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