Man insists he didn't torture and drown 20-year-old woman moments before execution: 'But, hey, whatever makes you happy'
A Texas inmate, who reportedly taunted a jury to sentence him to death, was executed on Wednesday evening for torturing and drowning an East Texas woman in his bathtub and eventually stuffing her body into a barrel. Troy Clark was punished for the May 1998 killing of his former roommate, Christina Muse of Tyler. According to authorities, Clark, who was a drug dealer, was worried that Muse would snitch on him.
Reports from the New York Post stated that while he was taken to his execution, Clark chuckled and addressed several friends watching through a window a few feet from him. He even told them a number of times that he loved them and "it's all good".
"I’m not the one who killed Christina," he said. "But, hey, whatever makes you happy." And as the lethal sedative pentobarbital was being administered to him, Clark laughed and remarked that the drug "burned going in".
"I feel it," he said. and soon after, he grunted, gasped and began to snore. Within seconds, all movements in his body stopped, and he was pronounced dead 21 minutes later at 6:36 p.m. The victim's aunt, Margaret Bouman, told the publication that witnessing the execution was hard, but somewhere it was also "kind of bittersweet".
"I’m a Christian and accepting the death penalty was very, very difficult for me," Bouman said. "But I also believe the law of the land is important."
After he was convicted, Clark had argued that his trial attorneys failed to present evidence of his childhood, which was heavily marked by physical and emotional abuse, and said that if all of that was revealed, it might have convinced the jury to spare his life. However, because of the overwhelming case against Clark, it’s likely he would have still been sentenced to death even if the jury had heard evidence of his troubled childhood.
Prosecutors of the case made the claim that Clark first subdued Muse with a stun gun and bound her with duct tape before leaving her in a closet for several hours while he played video games and sold drugs to a customer. He then moved her into a bathroom, hit her with a board and threatened his girlfriend, Tory Bush, into helping him drown Muse in the tub, reported the publication.
Troy Clark to be executed at 6 p.m. https://t.co/XUHlhf5XpJ pic.twitter.com/gOulu4jISF— KYTX CBS19 (@kytxcbs19) September 26, 2018
The report then stated that Muse's body was stuffed into a barrel with cement mix and lime by the couple, which they later disposed of in a ravine. Clark testified during his trial’s punishment phase against the good advice of his attorneys and said, "I really ain't got no story to tell. It's just I want the death penalty."
Bobby Mims, one of Clark's trial attorneys, said Clark denied killing Muse. "But there was pretty strong evidence that he was guilty. Tory Bush was pretty damning," Mims said. For testifying against Clark, Bush was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
"At the punishment hearing, the prosecutors actually had one or two of (Clark’s) own relatives show up and they had indicated they wanted him to get the death penalty. It was crazy," Mims said. "I hope he’s made peace with his maker," he added.
People know the truth and people want justice! @GovAbbott you can still halt the execution of an innocent man. Please do the right thing and grant Troy Clark a stay! It is time to #Endthedeathpenalty @jettica65 @HeidiMoan @PenaltyEnd pic.twitter.com/CeEBmPa5t2— Karine Omry (@KarineOmry) September 26, 2018