North Texas man set to be executed for killing family

A 45-year-old North Texas man who was convicted of murdering his wife and two stepsons before raping his stepdaughter is set to be put to death.

Robert Sparks, 45, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Wednesday at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit.

That is if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t step in.

Sparks, who has been on Texas death row since his conviction in 2008, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, arguing that the jury specifically relied upon “the false testimony of prosecution expert A.P. Merillat when sentencing him to death. The appeal also claims that the courtroom bailiff wore a syringe tie on the date of jury deliberations, “creating an unacceptable risk of impermissible factors coming into play at trial.”

Court records show that just after midnight on Sept. 15, 2007, Sparks put his hand over the mouth of his wife, Chare Agnew, and stabbed her 18 times in her bed. Then, one at a time, he woke up his stepsons — 9-year-old Harold and 10-year-old Raekwon — and stabbed them 45 times each, dragging their bodies into the living and stashing them under a comforter.

Next, he went after the girls, raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter on the couch while her younger sister watched. Afterward, he apologized to them for the rapes and murders — but said their mother had been trying to poison him.

Sparks was arrested a few days later and tried the following year.

If carried out, Sparks will be the 16th person executed in the United States this year and the seventh in the state of Texas.