Huntsville | Texas Public Radio

Huntsville

The Walls Unit in Huntsville where death row inmates are executed.
Jack Morgan | Texas Public Radio

Texas death row inmate Larry Swearingen was executed Wednesday evening for the 1998 murder of Melissa Trotter. She was a 19-year-old student at Lone Star College on the Montgomery County campus.

Courtesy Texas Department of Criminal Justice

HOUSTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the appeal of a Salvadoran man on Texas death row for the slayings of two store clerks in Houston 15 years ago. The high court offered no explanation for its decision Monday in the case of 45-year-old Gilmar Guevara.

Lower courts have rejected claims Guevara’s legal help at his Harris County trial in 2001 was deficient and that his mental impairment made him ineligible for the death penalty.

Guevara was condemned for fatally shooting 48-year-old Tae Youk and 21-year-old Gerardo Yaxon during an attempted robbery in 2000.

Youk was from South Korea.

Yaxon was from Guatemala.

No money was taken from their store.

Courtesy Texas Department of Criminal Justice

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A San Antonio man convicted of killing with the officer’s own gun in a struggle 14 years ago is headed for execution.

No last-day appeals were in the courts as the lethal injection of Manuel Garza Jr. scheduled for Wednesday evening approaches.

Last year, 21,000 inmates were released in Huntsville, Texas — one of the largest prison towns in America. For most of them, their gateway to the free world is the Huntsville Greyhound station.

Monday through Friday, the glass doors swing open on the front of the Civil War-era, red-brick prison they call "The Walls." The inmates exit and shuffle along the sidewalk, some smiling, some pensive, shouldering potato sacks full of belongings. Most of them don't have loved ones waiting, so they continue walking the two blocks to the bus station — single file, out of habit.