The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

February 15, 2011

Texas executes Hall for 1998 torture killing

HUNTSVILLE — Michael Wayne Hall, convicted in the 1998 torture-slaying of a mentally disabled Arlington woman 13 years ago, became the first Texas inmate to be executed in 2011 on Tuesday.

As he lay on the gurney in the Death House in Huntsville, Hall, 31, made a lengthy and tearful last statement in which he apologized to the family of Amy Robinson, his victim, and to his family and asked for his family’s forgiveness.

“First of all, I would like to give my sincere apology to Amy’s family. We caused a lot of heartache, grief, pain and suffering and I am sorry.”

Weeping, Hall also spoke of his faith in Jesus Christ. “Even though I have to die for my mistake, he paid for mine by wages I could never pay. Here I am a big strong youngster, crying like a baby. I am man enough to show my emotions and I am sorry. I wish I could take it back but I can’t. I can’t take it back.”

Before his execution, Hall asked to watch the 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ,” but prison officials were unable to locate a rental copy. For his last meal, Hall ordered chicken cooked three different ways, pizza, brownies, sweet iced tea, milk and vanilla pudding.

The victim’s sisters Amanda and Ruth Ann Robinson and two of the victim’s friends witnessed the execution, along with two friends of the condemned.

The lethal doses of sodium thiopental, pancromium bromide and potassium chloride were administered to Hall at 6:14 p.m.  He was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.

Robert Neville, the other man convicted in the murder of Robinson, 19, was executed in February 2006. Hall’s execution was 13 years to the day the men abducted Robinson as she rode her bike to an Arlington grocery store.

The pair, 23-year-old Neville and 18-year-old Hall, drove her to a remote spot 12 miles away, where Neville shot her with a crossbow and Hall fired on her with a pellet gun. Neville finally shot Robinson in the head with a rifle to stop her from making noises that he feared might attract attention, according to testimony. They returned to her as yet undiscovered body, stole a few dollars and her keys from Robinson’s pocket and fired on the body several more times.

Both men, after having lost their jobs at the supermarket where their victim worked, decided to kill someone, they told reporters, and intended to target minorities, killing as many people as they could — “anybody as long as they weren’t our color,” Neville told the Fort Worth Star Telegram after Robinson’s slaying.

Robinson was part American Indian and suffered from Turner’s syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by a lack of sexual development at puberty, which made her “easy prey,” prosecutors said.

Neville and Hall bragged to reporters during jailhouse interviews soon after the crime, making fun of Robinson for begging for her life before they killed her. Prosecutors played a videotape of Hall describing the murder.

“He talked about the killing of this young woman the way a kid might talk about having the toughest football team, kind of braggadocio and matter of fact, said Bill Harris, who represented Hall at his trial. “I watched the jury...You could see the door slamming shut. From standpoint of a human being, I can understand.”

Hall’s lawyers claimed he was mentally impaired and heavily influenced by the older Neville, whom he admired.

At his execution five years ago, Neville also apologized to Robinson’s relatives and his parents.

There are four more executions scheduled so far in 2011. Three of the condemned inmates  were convicted in Tarrant County, one in Harris County and one in Bexar County.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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