John David Battaglia, a former Dallas accountant convicted of murdering his two young daughters and forcing their mother to listen to them die, smiled before he was put to death late Thursday. The 62-year-old was pronounced dead shortly before 10 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection. He taunted the mother of his slain daughters, Mary Jean Pearle, as she watched the procedure from the death-chamber viewing area. Smiling at Pearle, he said, “Well, hi, Mary Jean. I’ll see y’all later. Bye,” The Dallas Morning News reports. Battaglia and Pearle were separated when he had the couple’s 9-year-old and 6-year-old daughters over for a scheduled visit in May 2001. Angry with Pearle for reporting his harassment of her to police, Battaglia made her listen over the phone as he shot both daughters dead. Lawyers for Battaglia had sought a last-minute appeal, arguing that their client was delusional and mentally incompetent. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that appeal just hours before he was put to death Thursday.
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