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Derrick J. Sonnier - Texas Execution - July 23, 2008
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Thread: Derrick J. Sonnier - Texas Execution - July 23, 2008

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    Derrick J. Sonnier - Texas Execution - July 23, 2008


    Tameka Traylor, right, shown with her sister, Sebrina
    said their family struggled to cope with their mother's death.




    Facts of the Crime:
    Convicted and sentenced to death in the September 16, 1991 murders of 27-year-old Melody Flowers and her two-year-old son Patrick Flowers.

    The body of 27-year-old Melody Flowers and her two-year-old son Patrick were found in the bathtub of their apartment. Melody had been raped, stabbed, strangled and beaten with a hammer until its handle broke. Her child was stabbed eight times. Sonnier lived two doors away in the same complex. Police knocked on his door found Sonnier with his hand wrapped in a bloody towel. "I didn't hurt her," he told officers. But inside his place they found other bloodstained towels and a blouse identified as belonging to Flowers. DNA evidence also tied him to the slayings. Other testimony showed that Sonnier had been stalking Flowers for months and had to be repeatedly chased away from her place and that he was known to peek through her windows and even hide inside her apartment.

    Victims: Melody Flowers and Patrick Flowers

    Time of Death: 6:18 pm

    Manner of Execution: Lethal Injection

    Final Meal: None

    Final Words: None

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    July 23, 2008

    Sonnier executed for 1991 double murder

    A man convicted of a 1991 sexual assault and double murder was executed Wednesday at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Walls Unit.

    Derrick Sonnier, who had reached the age of 40 at the time of his execution, received a lethal injection beginning at 6:10 p.m. after he declined to give a last statement.

    He was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.

    “Derrick Sonnier was executed on Wednesday for the 1991 sexual assault and murder of Melody Flowers and her 2-year-old son Patrick,” said Michelle Lyons, TDCJ public information officer. “Sonnier declined to give a last statement — in fact, when he was asked if he had anything to say, he just shook his head.

    “He was pretty quiet and didn’t really display a lot of outward emotion.”

    Sonnier’s execution marks the third execution carried out in Texas this year since the temporary halt on the lethal injection method ended in April.

    His execution was the first scheduled after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the lethal injection method in April, but his attorneys filed an application for a stay of execution with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

    As the court had cases pending which addressed the lethal injection method, the stay was granted.

    On June 13, after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had lifted Sonnier’s stay four days prior, the 179th District Court rescheduled Sonnier’s execution for Wednesday.

    Of the three scheduled executions this month, Sonnier’s was the second.

    In a brief press conference following the execution, members of Flowers’ family spoke concerning their reaction to the execution.

    Tameka Flowers, Melody Flowers’ daughter who also traveled to Huntsville on the first execution date, said she was glad she returned for Thursday’s execution, but that she felt a lot of anger after witnessing his actions in the execution chamber.

    “I’m actually upset because this shows who he was as a person,” she said. “It really shows his character, and I hate that he was somebody we had to meet in our life.

    “What I feel now is a lot of anger because I didn’t see any remorse for what he had done.”

    Flowers also said she did not feel that Sonnier’s death could in any way make up for the death of her family members.

    “Whoever decided to say lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment to the inmates, I feel like that’s a slap in the face to everybody’s family who had to go through something like we’ve had to endure — like they never think about what we have to go through, or what we have to deal with,” she said. “If they think that’s cruel, just think about being stabbed, beaten with a hammer or strangled, or worst of all, losing a child.”

    Sonnier was originally sentenced on Feb. 18, 1993, for the capital murder of Flowers and her son.

    According to information released by the Texas Attorney General’s office, Sonnier lived with his girlfriend and her daughter two apartments down from Flowers during the summer of 1991.

    On Sept. 16, 1991, neighbors discovered Flowers’ 1-year-old daughter, Morgan, crying at the door to her apartment with blood on her clothes.

    After neighbors looked through an open patio door and saw blood on a bed, police were called.

    In the apartment, police found the bodies of Flowers and her son in the bathtub, partially covered by a blanket.

    Patrick Flowers had been stabbed twice, while Melody Flowers had been stabbed, bludgeoned with a hammer, strangled and stomped.

    That afternoon, Sonnier was spotted in a field near the complex with a bloody towel wrapped around one hand.

    As part of their initial investigation on the day of the murders, police officers went to Sonnier’s residence, where he told them before being questioned, “I didn’t hurt her. I am just here with my daughter.”

    Officers noted the bloody towel on Sonnier’s hand, gained access to his apartment and found a blouse and additional towels, all blood-stained.

    One of the towels and the blouse was identified as belonging to Flowers.

    In a field near the complex, police discovered a plastic shopping bag containing a piece of cord, shoes, socks, shorts and a shirt, all of which were blood-stained and were identified as being similar to those worn by Sonnier the day before the murder.

    Testing showed that Melody Flowers’ DNA matched that of the blood found on one of the socks.

    http://itemonline.com/local/x2125488...-double-murder

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