DEATH PENALTY

Texas Carries Out First 2017 Execution

© Handout . / Reuters

Christopher Wilkins, a 48-year-old man convicted of killing two men over a drug deal, was executed in Texas on Wednesday, marking the nation’s first execution of 2017. Wilkins reportedly mouthed “I’m sorry” to two relatives of the victims before being given a lethal injection. He did not make a final statement. He had previously been in prison and was released in 2005 after serving time on a federal gun-possession conviction. Wilkins shot and killed Willie Freeman, 40, and Mike Silva, 33, after he was reportedly tricked into purchasing a piece of gravel for $20 that he was told was crack cocaine.