Mon, Jan 23, 2017 | updated 01:53 AM IST

Convicted killer of 2 in Fort Worth set to die Wednesday evening

Updated: Jan 11, 2017 13:13 IST

Washington [United States), Jan.11 (ANI): Death row inmate Christopher Wilkins, 48, will be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday evening after he failed to get a reprieve from the United States Supreme Court,media reports in Huntsville, Texas, said.

Wilkins, convicted for the slaying of two persons in Fort Worth in 2005 that stemmed from a 20 dollar drug deal, will be first execution of death row convict in the United States in 2017.

Wilkins helped jurors make a decision on his punishment at his capital murder trial in 2008 by telling them how and why he killed the two victims and that he didn't care if they gave him the death penalty.

Lawyers representing him before the Supreme Court said he had received poor legal help at his trial and during earlier stages of his appeals and that the courts improperly refused to authorise money for a more thorough investigation of those claims to support other appeals and a clemency petition.

State attorneys said courts already rejected similar appeals in his case and that arguments over court-approved money for investigations were legal tactics only meant to delay the punishment.

Wilkins, already a convicted burglar, fled a Houston halfway house where he was assigned in 2005 after serving time for a federal gun possession conviction. Evidence showed he drove a stolen truck to Fort Worth, where police tied him to several aggravated assaults and burglaries.

He befriended a Fort Worth man, Willie Freeman, 40, who supplied and shared drugs with another man, Mike Silva, 33. Court records show Freeman and his supplier duped Wilkins in the phony drug transaction. As they drove in Silva's SUV Oct. 28, 2005, Wilkins said he shot Freeman in revenge for laughing about it, then shot Silva because Silva was there. Wilkins' fingerprints were found in Silva's wrecked SUV and a pentagram matching one of Wilkins' numerous tattoos had been carved into the hood.

He also testified that the day before the shootings, he shot and killed another man, Gilbert Vallejo, 47, outside a Fort Worth bar in a dispute over a pay phone, and about a week later used a stolen car to try to run down two people because he believed one of them had taken his sunglasses.

Wilkins was arrested following an 11-mile police chase that ended when he wrecked a stolen vehicle and tried to run away.

Thirty convicted killers were executed in the U.S. last year, the lowest number since the early 1980s. Seven were carried out last year in Texas, the fewest since 1996. Wilkins was among nine Texas inmates already scheduled to die in the early months of 2017.(ANI)