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Killer of 14-Year-Old Executed

December 10, 1999

A former hospital worker was executed by injection in Texas on Thursday for his part in a 1984 shooting rampage that left three members of a family dead in their east Texas home.

And in Virginia, Andre Graham awaited execution late Thursday for an October 1993 robbery and slaying outside a Richmond restaurant.

In his final statement, James Beathard, 42, expressed love for his family, criticized the death penalty and the government, rebuked his prosecutors and repeated his long-held assertion that his co-defendant lied at Beathard’s trial.

``The U.S. has gotten to the point now where there is zero respect for human life,″ he said. ``My life is just a symptom of a bigger illness.″

Beathard was convicted in the death of 14-year-old Marcus Hathorn in an Oct. 9, 1984, shooting rampage outside the town of Groveton that also killed the boy’s parents, Gene and Linda Hathorn.

An older son, Gene Hathorn Jr., also was convicted in the killings and sentenced to death. His case remains on appeal.

In the Virginia case, Graham, 29, was convicted of capital murder in the slaying of Sheryl Stack. Ms. Stack’s boyfriend, Edward Martin, also was shot but lived and identified Graham as the gunman who approached the couple and ordered them out of the car.