A man was executed in Texas on Wednesday for strangling his mother and burying her body in her own yard nearly 20 years ago.
Tracy Beatty, 61, said, “See you on the other side,” before receiving a lethal injection of pentobarbital at the Huntsville State Penitentiary.
After an argument in her East Texas mobile home in November 2003, the inmate was found guilty of murdering his mother, Carolyn Click, who was only a year older than Beatty at the time.
Beatty’s lawyers had appealed his death sentence, arguing he shouldn’t be executed due to his history of mental illness. However, the Supreme Court shot down the appeal Wednesday morning to stop the execution.
Beatty choked up and began sobbing when the warden asked if he had any final words before his life was ended.
Strapped to a gurney, he could barely get the words out as his voice broke.
“I just want to thank …,” Beatty spoke directly to his wife watching from the viewing room behind glass. “I don’t want you leave you, baby. See you when you get there. I love you.”
He blew a kiss to her and then offered his gratitude to fellow death row inmates, naming several.
“I love you, brothers,” he said. “See you on the other side.”
Prosecutors said Beatty strangled his 62-year-old mom and then buried her body beside her mobile home in Whitehouse before blowing her money on drugs and alcohol.
The mother and son had a “volatile and combative relationship,” prosecutors said. Click confided in a neighbor that Beatty had assaulted her several times before her murder. She said he once had “beaten her so severely that he had left her for dead,” the neighbor, Lieanna Wilkerson, testified.
Beatty moved back in with Click a month before her death and she had been excited for his return so that they could have time to mend their relationship, Wilkerson said.
However, the pair began arguing daily and Click asked him to move out at least twice, including just before she was killed, according to trial testimony.
“Several times [Beatty] had said he just wanted to shut her up, that he just wanted to choke her and shut her up,” Wilkerson testified.
In their petition to the courts to spare his life, Beatty’s legal team cited one expert’s opinion that the murder was “clearly psychotic and has a complex paranoid delusional belief system” in which he thinks correctional officers torture him with their “menacing voices” via a device in his ear.
The Supreme Court has not barred those with serious mental illness from the death penalty before, though it has prohibited the fatal sentence to the intellectually disabled.
Beatty was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m. CT, becoming the fourth inmate to be executed in Texas this year and the 13th nationwide.
With Post wires