Brandon Bernard, 40, has been executed by the federal government in Indiana after the US Supreme court rejected last-minute clemency pleas.
Bernard, who was convicted of murder in 1999, received a lethal injection of phenobarbital on Thursday night.
He reportedly directed his final words to the families of Stacie and Todd Bagley, telling them “I’m sorry.”
“That’s the only words that I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day,” Bernard added.
He was pronounced dead at 9:27 pm at the federal prison in Terre Haute.
Bernard was one of the teenagers involved in the murder of Stacie and Todd Bagley in June 1999. The couple were shot by 19-year-old Christopher Vialva before Bernard set their car on fire.
He was 18 when he and four other teens robbed the couple in Killeen, Texas.
The families of the Bagleys welcomed the “closure needed to move on in life” after Bernard’s death, thanking the president for letting it happen.
“It has been very difficult to wait 21 years for the sentence that was imposed by the judge and jury on those who cruelly participated in the destruction of our children to be finally completed,” Georgia Bagley said.
“This senseless act of unnecessary evil was premeditated and had many opportunities to be stopped at any time during a 9-hour period. This was torture as they pleaded for their lives in the trunk of their own car.”
She continued: “Please remember that the lives of family and friends were shattered and we have all grieved for 21 years waiting for justice to finally be served.”
The mother also said that Bernard’s apology before the execution “helped very much to heal my heart.”
“I can very much say, I forgive them,” she said to reporters, referencing Brandon and Vialva, who was executed in September.
Stacie’s father, Charles Woodard, also said: “On June 21, 1999, our lives were changed forever because this is the day that Todd and Stacie were executed!
“I pray that Brandon has accepted Christ as his Savior, because if he has, Todd and Stacie will welcome him into heaven with love and forgiveness.”
Kim Kardashian, who has been fighting to stop the execution, said she felt “so messed up right now.”
“I could go on and on about what an amazing Brandon was. I do know he left this earth feeling supported and loved and at peace.
“This just has to change: our system is so f***** up.”
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