A Texas man convicted of killing a cop more than 30 years ago was put to death Wednesday, the Lone Star State’s first execution of the year, the Houston Chronicle reports. “To my friends and family, it was a nice journey,” Robert Mitchell Jennings reportedly said just before his death at 6:33 p.m. at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. “To the family of the police officer, I hope this finds you peace, and be well and stay safe. Enjoy life’s moments because we never get them back.” Mitchell, 61, was convicted in the 1988 murder of 24-year-old Elston Howard, an officer in Houston, during a botched robbery. He was put to death by lethal injection after his final appeal for a stay of execution was unsuccessful. Dozens of uniformed police officers stood outside the prison as they waited for Mitchell to take his last breath.