State carries out first execution of 2016

- Pope Francis had mentioned the execution of 42-year-old Richard Masterson as part of his promoting mercy.
But all the last minute appeals didn't stop Wednesday's execution.

Protestors made their disdain for the death penalty known as they took to the streets outside of the Walls Unit in Huntsville.

Masterson was sentenced to death for the 2001 Houston slaying of Darin Shane Honeycutt a female impersonator who went by the stage name Brandi Houston.

TDCJ spokesman Jason Clark spoke to Masterson just hours before the execution.

"I would describe his demeanor as matter of fact-- he didn't have a whole lot to say," Clark said. "He was interested in making some phone calls to family and friends."

Randy Wallace was one of the media witnesses to the execution.

Masterson did make a final statement he seemed at peace as he smiled and whispered 'I love you' to his two sisters and a brother and two friends who witnessed the execution.

"I'm all right with this," Masterson said in his last statement. "You have to live and die with the choices you've made. I've made mine."

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