41-year old Vaughn Ross was executed by lethal injection Thursday evening in Huntsville after his stay of execution was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ross was convicted of the 2001 double murder of 53-year-old Texas Tech Library Dean Douglas Birdsall and 18-year old Viola Ross McVade.
Retired Lubbock Police Detective Doc Proctor said more than a decade ago he looked across the table at Vaughn Ross and made him three promises:
First, that he would obtain a search warrant, second that he would arrest him, and finally, that he would be there on the day he was executed. That third promise was fulfilled Thursday as he watched Vaughn Ross take his final breath.
Roger Birdsall never expected Vaughn Ross to own up to his brother's murder, but he came to Thursday's execution hoping to heal.
"He's never apologized or shown any remorse. That's hard," Birdsall said. "It's kind of like reading a book. This is the last chapter of a really bad book. So it weighs on you."
Birdsall says as he watched Ross die, he pictured the gruesome photos that were shown of his brother during the 2002 trial, after he was shot multiple times by Ross and left in a car with 18-year old Viola Ross McVade.
"It's a shame what a person does, in his case, killing two people - what they do to so many other families. The trickle-down effect, it's horrible," Birdsall said.
Birdsall was the only family member present as Ross looked up while lying on the gurney, thanked his family and friends for their support and said calmly, "I'm fine, I'm ok."
Ross ended his statement saying, "I know this is hard for ya'll, but we are going to have to go through it. We know the lies they told in court. We know it's not true. I want you to be strong and keep going."
The lethal injection was administered at 6:16 p.m., and at 6:38 p.m., the white sheet was pulled over his face.
"There's days when you just want to pick up the phone and call Doug and say 'Hey, what's going on,' and those days are gone," Birdsall said.
Roger said that he came to the execution not wanting to do any interviews, but that he changed his mind only because he wanted to thank the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office and the Lubbock Police Department for bringing his brother's killer to justice.
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