On Wednesday, a man was put to death for the murder of a Dallas police officer sixteen years ago.
At the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, 43-year-old Wesley Ruiz was put to death by lethal injection for the murder of Dallas Police Senior Corporal Mark Nix in March 2007.
Ruiz sparked a pursuit with law enforcement after they observed him driving a vehicle which matched the description of the one utilized by a homicide offender.
Police reports indicate that when Officer Nix attempted to break the passenger window of the vehicle being chased, Ruiz fired a single shot. The bullet struck Nix’s badge, shattering it and sending fragments into his neck that ultimately resulted in the severing of an artery.
Despite receiving medical attention, Nix sadly passed away at the hospital.
Nix, aged 33, was a veteran of the U.S. Navy who had taken part in Operation Desert Storm. He had been a part of the Dallas police force for nearly seven years and was engaged to be married at the time of his unexpected death.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined an appeal from the attorneys of Ruiz to put off the execution. The defense lawyers had claimed that the jury had used “overtly racist” stereotypes to evaluate if Ruiz posed a potential threat to the public in the future. Ruiz was of Hispanic origin.
On Tuesday night, the Texas Attorney General’s Office presented court documents to the Supreme Court refuting the claim of juror bias made by Ruiz. The review conducted by the District Attorney Creuzot last week concluded that there was no evidence of bias.
At his trial, Ruiz said he felt scared for his life when he discharged his gun in self-defense against Nix who had supposedly threatened to take his life. He also asserted that he believed the officers had fired their weapons first, saying “I didn’t try to kill the officer. I just tried to stop him.”
Ruiz revealed that he evaded the police on that particular day as he was in possession of illicit substances in his vehicle and was under the influence of drugs.
Ruiz has become the second convict to be executed in Texas in 2020, and the fourth in the entire United States. Additionally, seven more executions are planned to occur in Texas before the year is over, the first of which is set to take place in the coming week.