Valley criminals executed on Texas Death Row

Eight men have been exeucted for crimes in the Rio Grande Valley since 1982

The Rio Grande Valley has seen more than its fair share of heinous and brutal crimes.

But only 23 of those crimes ended with the suspects being sentenced to death.

Some 505 inmates have been executed in Texas since 1982.

Of those executed inmates, ten of them were from the Valley.

Six of the executed inmates were from Cameron County while four were from Hidalgo County.

Of the 275 inmates currently sitting on Texas Death Row, some 13 of them are from the Valley.

Nine of those inmates waiting for execution are from Hidalgo County while four of them are from Cameron County.

Action 4 News has compiled mugshots and details from their cases.

These are the stories of the ten people executed on Texas Death Row for Valley crimes.

Arturo Eleazar Diaz Date of Birth: 12/27/1975Date of Offense: 04/03/1999

Summary of Incident On 04/03/99, in the nighttime, in McAllen, Texas, Diaz and one co-defendant, murdered one male by stabbing him 94 times in the upper chest with a knife at the victim's apartment and stabbed another male, who was also at the apartment, two times in the face. Diaz and the co-defendant went to the apartment trying looking for drugs and also intended to rob the victim. Diaz and the co-defendant robbed the victim of an unknown amount of money and fled the scene by vehicle.

Co-Defendants Cardova, Jose Luis

Robert Garza Location: DonnaDate of Birth: 05/15/1982Date of Offense: 09/05/2002Executed: 09/19/2013

Summary of Incident On 09/05/2003, in Hidalgo County, Texas, Garza and co-defendants killed four Hispanic females by firing into the victims' car. It was later discovered that Garza and his co-defendants were members of the Tri City Bomber Gang, carrying out orders to murder one of the females who was a witness to their weapons activity.

Co-Defendants M. Reyna, G. Guerra, R. Medrano, A. Medrano, J. Cordova, J. Juarez, M. Bocanegra, S. Solis, J. Martinez, J. Ramirez, H. Garza, R. Saucedo, R. Cantu

Jesus Ledesma Aguilar Location: HarlingenDOB: 11/28/1963Crime: 06/10/1995Executed: 05/24/2006

Offense: Convicted in the June 1995 shooting death of Leonardo Chavez and his wife Annette Esparza Chavez at a trailer home in the Palm Vista Estates of Harlingen. Both victims were shot execution style with a .22 caliber weapon. Police said Leonardo was pistol whipped prior to being shot in the back of the head. Annette was shot through the neck. During the shooting, the couple's 22-month-old son slept on a bed while their 9-year-old son hid beneath a kitchen table. Neither was harmed. Police said the shooting was drug-related, with reports of Annette making frequent trips to Mississippi and returning with large amounts of cash.

Last Statement: Yes sir. I would like to say to my family, I am alright. (Spanish) Where are you Leo; are you there Leo? (Spanish) Don't lie man. Be happy. Are you happy? Are you all happy? (Spanish)

Robert Andrew Lookingbill Location: San JuanDOB: 07/22/1965Crime: 12/05/1989Executed: January 22, 2003

Offense: Convicted in the December 1989 beating death of his 70-year-old grandmother, Adeline Waunita Dannenberg of San Juan, Texas. Lookingbill was living with his grandmother and grandfather, 77-year-old Lorenz K. Dannenberg, at their home at 106 W. 12th Street when he beat them with a metal bar weighing more than 20 pounds. Following the attack, Lookingbill stole $568 from his grandmother's purse. She died at a hospital 10 days later from head injuries. Mr. Dannenberg survived the attack but suffered brain damage. Lookingbill confessed after blood was found on his shoes and pants. He said he wanted to take his grandparents' money so he could buy cocaine.

Last Statement: I would like to thank all my loved ones that are standing over there for all the kindness and support you have shown me over the years. Be strong. Do not hate, but learn from this experience. Just because it happens, do not think that God doesn't care. He will be with you. I will be there with all of you. I love you all and appreciate all of you. You won't be forgotten and there are a lot of people out there that love you. It has been a blessing to know all of you. This is not easy for any of us. Don't be upset about my situation, because I am not. I am still faithful and I am still strong. Just give my love to everyone out there. Don't forget me and burn a candle for me when you can. I love you all.

David Allen Castillo Location: MercedesDOB: 08/11/1964Crime: 07/14/1983Executed: August 23, 1998

Offense: Castillo was convicted and sentenced to death for the July 1983 stabbing of Clarencio Champion, 59, a cashier at the Party House Liquor Store in Mercedes, Texas. Castillo confronted Champion and demanded all of the cash. When Champion resisted, Castillo attacked him with a long, solid knife stabbing him in the chest, abdomen and slashing him across the face. Castillo took an undetermined amount of cash. Champion died a week later.

Last Statement: Keep it brief here. Just want to say, uh, family, take care of yourselves. Uh, look at this as a learning experience. Everything happens for a reason. We all know what really happened, but there are some things you just can TMt fight. Little people always seem to get squashed. It happens. Even so, just got to take the good with the bad. There is no man that is free from all evil, nor any man that is so evil to be worth nothing. But it TMs all part of life, and my family, take care of yourselves. Tell my wife I love her. I TMll keep an eye on everybody, especially my nieces and nephews. I TMm pretty good. I love ya TMll. Take care. I TMm ready.

Irineo Montoya Location: BrownsvilleDOB: 06/03/1967Crime: 11/17/1985Executed: 06/18/1997

Offense: Convicted in the November 1985 robbery and murder of 46-year-old John Edgar Kilheffer in Brownsville. Kilheffer, a resident of South Padre Island, was stabbed to death after offering Montoya and accomplice Juan Villavicencio a ride as they were hitchhiking. Killheffer suffered 21 stab wounds to the neck, torso and legs. His body was stripped of its clothing and dumped in a grapefruit orchard where it was discovered a week later. The victim's bloodstained 1984 Chevrolet Blazer was recovered by Mexican state police in Matamoros on Thanksgiving Day. Records indicate that Montoya was also suspected in the abduction, rape and robbery of two Brownsville women. He reportedly told the court following his conviction for capital murder that he would have the prosecutors and trial judge killed.

Last Statement: Goodbye.I will wait for you in Heaven. I will be waiting for you. I love my parents. I am at peace with God.Fight for the good.

Davis Losada Location: San BenitoDOB: 04/28/1965Crime: 12/23/1984Executed: 06/04/1997

Offense: Convicted along with three co-defendants in the rape and murder of 15-year-old Olga Perales near San Benito. Perales was stabbed twice in the chest and abdomen and beaten around the head with a pipe. She had been raped repeatedly before her death.

Last Statement: Yes, I do.If it matters to anyone, I did not kill Olga.Brian, thank you for caring.Dee Dee, you have been a good sister to all of us.Ana and Chico (not sure of name he said), trust in God.I will always love you, Lynn. I will always love you.O.K., Warden.

Leonel Torres Herrera Location: Los FresnosDOB: 09/17/1947Crime: 09/29/1981Executed: 05/12/1993

Offense: Convicted in the September 1981 shooting death of Enrique Carrizalez, a Los Fresnos police officer. Carrizalez was shot after stopping Herrera for speeding. Before the police officer died, he identified a police mug shot of Herrera as the man who shot him.

Last Statement: I am innocent, innocent, innocent. Make no mistake about this; I owe society nothing. Continue the struggle for human rights, helping those who are innocent, especially Mr. Graham. I am an innocent man, and something very wrong is taking place tonight. May God bless you all. I am ready.

Jesus Romero, Jr. Location: San BenitoDOB: 02/03/1965Crime: 12/23/1984Executed: 05/20/1992

Offense: Convicted in the December 1984 rape-slaying of 15-year-old Olga Perales near San Benito. Romera and three co-defendants drove Perales to a remote location 1.3 miles west of State Highway 2520 where she was raped repeatedly and then beaten around the head with a pipe and stabbed twice in the chest with a knife. Her nude body was found the same day in a brushy area off Kilgore Road.

Last Statement: When his attorney came into the witness room, he said, "Tell Mom I love her." The attorney said back to him, "I love you, too."

Jerry Bird Location: HarlingenDOB:Crime:Executed: 06/17/1991

Offense: Murdered an antique gun collector during a burglary at his home.

Last Statement: I don TMt think so. That TMs all. Go ahead. Start things rolling. (Mouthed "Hi, Mom" to his mother.)

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