A Texas man became the oldest inmate on the state’s death row to be killed since the reinstatement of capital punishment nearly four decades ago.
According to the New York Daily News, 70-year-old Billie Wayne Coble counted five witnesses in the observation area on Thursday evening and addressed his enigmatic final comments to them.
“Yes sir, that will be five dollars,” he reportedly said. “I love you, I love you, I love you. Mike, I love you. Where’s Nelley at? I love you. That will be five dollars. Take care.”
His statement came at 6:13 p.m., seven minutes before he was injected with pentobarbital to begin the lethal process, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice Communications Director Jeremy Desel. Coble was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m.
Coble was sentenced to death row following his conviction on murder charges related to the 1989 deaths of his estranged wife’s parents and brother.
Two of the witnesses at his execution were reportedly arrested at the scene amid an outburst coinciding with the lethal injection.
Gordon Wayne Coble and Dalton Coble, the inmate’s son and grandson, allegedly shouted profanities and acted out violently. They allegedly took part in behavior including kicking others in the vicinity and banging on windows, according to a BBC report. Gordon’s wife reportedly also engaged in disruptive behavior but was not arrested.
The inmate’s daughter-in-law reportedly left the room without incident but expressed disappointment in the officers’ decision to arrest them.
“Why are you doing this?” Nelley Coble asked. “They just killed his daddy.”
The two men were released after posting $1,000 bond.
[Featured image: Billie Coble, handout]