"I love ya'll and I'm gonna miss ya'll," those were the last words Gilberto Reyes spoke just minutes before he became the 17th person to be executed in Texas this year. Reyes died by lethal injection in Huntsville at 6:17 Thursday evening. He did not speak to or look at the family of Yvette Barraz, the ex-girlfriend he was convicted of killing in 1998.
Barraz was 19-years-old when Reyes stalked and murdered her. A Muleshoe Police Officer calls Thursday's execution closure for one of the most brutal crime scenes he has ever seen. The brother of the condemned is speaking out on behalf of his brother, saying he was sorry.
"Well I think there'll be closure to a lot of families and a lot of citizens in Muleshoe," Lt. Benny Parker said.
"It's hard that I can't be there with him and him having to be alone," said brother of Gilbert Reyes, Ismael "Smiley" Reyes.
"He's sorry for what he did and he understands what he did wasn't right. He really regrets what he did. It's just a mistake he can't take back," Smiley said.
Supportive words from Smiley, who is serving time for unrelated crimes in Parmer County. Smiley didn't offer details of the murder his brother was convicted of, but for Lt. Parker, sometimes life is worse than fiction.
"My involvement was processing the crime scene at Leal's. From start to finish it's always good to find your victim but not in the state she was in," Lt. Parker said.
Yvette was working at Leal's in Muleshoe on March 12, 1998. As she walked to her car after work, Gilberto Reyes kidnapped her in her own car, leaving behind a trail of blood and loose change in the parking lot. The next day, Yvette's car was found 420 miles south of Muleshoe in Presidio, her body was found in the trunk. She had been strangled and hit six times in the head with the claw end of a hammer and after death, sexually assaulted.
"It's the most brutal thing I think I've seen. Same goes for Muleshoe," Lt. Parker said.
Police arrested Reyes on June 7th, 1998 in Portales, New Mexico, where he had Barraz's car keys. DNA later showed the blood in the car and on the murder weapon was his, and for that Reyes was sentenced to death, a sentence that was carried out Thursday.
Smiley said, "I'll be thinking about 'em... Praying for him is about all I can do for him."
Muleshoe Man Executed
A Muleshoe man has been executed for killing his ex-girlfriend 19-year-old Yvette Barraz.