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Convicted cop killer gets execution date set after lengthy delays

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
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An execution date in Texas is drawing the attention of the US Secretary of State. Back in 1994, Edgar Tamayo was convicted in the shooting death of a Houston police officer during an arrest. Now, if a Harris County District Court judge's ruling sticks, Tamayo will finally be executed, 20 years after his crime. But Tuesday's decision is making waves.

Judge Michael McSpadden ordered Mexican national Edgar Tamayo to be sentenced to death January 22, 2014. Unless he is granted a stay, he will be executed for killing that Houston police officer.

After 19 years of appeals and other delays, Tamayo is one step closer to facing execution. Tamayo was convicted of the capital murder of Houston police Officer Guy Gaddis. Gaddis died after Tamayo shot and killed him back in 1994.

Judge McSpadden says decisions like this are never easy.

"This is the worst part of my job, even though my responsibility is to see the jury's verdict is fulfilled," he said.

Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson says the state and federal courts have given Tamayo every right a US citizen would receive, and it's about time this case proceed forward.

"We are now in a position where it's time to set an execution date," she said. "It's long past time to set an execution date and so we are going to proceed with that."

Lawyers for Tamayo argue he was not given his rights under the Vienna Convention at the time of his arrest, that treaty stating everyone has a right to contact their consulate after a run-in with the law in a foreign country.

Although officials from Mexico were in court on Tuesday representing Tamayo's interest, they did not address the court directly. Judge McSpadden stated that he had at least hoped that the slain officer's family would have received an apology from the Mexican government.

He said, "I just suggested today it might be nice on their part to apology once. Saying, 'I know one of our nationals came over here. I'm going to make sure this person has all his rights guaranteed to him but at the same time we would like to issue an apology.'"

The court did received letters from both Secretary of State John Kerry and the Mexican ambassador to the US, both urging the court not the set an execution date, stating that setting the date would be detrimental to the United States/Mexico relationship.

Judge McSpadden proceeded forward saying he feels it's his responsibly to carry out the wishes of the jury who sentenced Tamayo to death.

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