White Supremacist Gang Member Executed, Apologizes to Families of Women He Killed in Final Words

A white supremacist gang member used his last words before being executed to apologize to the families of his victims for the "pain and suffering" he caused.

Justen Grant Hall was given the lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, on Wednesday evening for the 2002 slaying of Melanie Billhartz, who he feared would expose his drug operation to police. He had also been charged with the killing of another woman.

Hall, 38, was pronounced dead at 6.32 p.m., the Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed to Newsweek.

From the Texas death chamber gurney, Hall apologized to the families of both of his victims "for the pain and suffering I have caused."

Billhartz's cousin, Cameron Rountree, attended the execution, as did Hall's mother and half-sister, The Texas Tribune reported.

"I want to address the Rountree family and apologize for the pain and suffering I caused. And to the Diaz family that I had to put you through this. It should never have happened," Hall said.

He addressed his own family in his final words as well, telling them: "To my mom and Morelia, I love you and I'm going to miss you all." "I'm ready," he said, before receiving the lethal dose of pentobarbital. Hall took a few breaths as the drug took effect, according to The Associated Press, before snoring. All movement ceased within seconds.

Authorities said Hall strangled Billhartz, 29, using an extension cord from his drug house in El Paso, Texas, in October 2002, then buried her body in the desert in New Mexico.

She had accused another man who frequented the drug house of assault and Hall, who was the district captain of the Aryan Circle gang, feared police would discover his drug operation if police were called.

The Associated Press reported that at the time of Billhartz's slaying, he had been out on bond after being charged in the death of Arlene Diaz, a 28-year-old transgender woman, in April that year.

Hall's attorneys had asked for the execution to be halted, citing his history of mental illness. The request was denied last month, AP reported.

His execution came after he said he needed to be "put down like the rabid dog that I am" in 2016 after stopping all contact with his attorneys and urging courts to waive all appeals.

"I do not like the person I have become, and I need to be put down like the rabid dog that I am," he wrote to a trial judge in October 2016, according to The Texas Tribune. "These walls 24/7 have broken me. It is taking every last ounce of will to even make it from day to day."

Hall had maintained his innocence after being put on death row in 2005, but at a court hearing in March 2017, he admitted killing Billhartz and requested an execution date be set for him.

"I killed Melanie, and I killed [Arlene]. And I accept the punishment for it, and I'm ready to get it over with, you know," Hall said at the hearing, according to AP.

Hall is the eighth inmate to be executed in Texas so far this year. Two more executions are scheduled for this month, including Rodney Reed, whose case has attracted the attention of celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.

justen hall
Justen Grant Hall was executed at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, on Wednesday for the 2002 slaying of a woman. Texas Department of Criminal Justice