Texas Inmate Executed For 1980 Fatal Shooting

Thursday, March 8th 2007, 5:43 am
By: News On 6

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A man convicted of fatally shooting a 70-year-old clerk during a robbery at a Houston convenience store in 1980 was executed Wednesday evening.

When the warden asked if he had a statement, Joseph Nichols adamantly said yes. Then, he referred to a supervisory corrections officer on death row by name and uttered a string of obscenities about her.

``That's all I got to say,'' he said.

Nichols, 45, winked toward where his parents and three brothers watched. He was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m., seven minutes after the lethal drugs began flowing.

Nichols and a longtime friend, Willie Ray Williams, were both convicted and condemned to die for the Oct. 13, 1980, slaying of Claude Shaffer. Williams pleaded guilty and was executed in 1995.

``Finally, justice was carried out,'' the victim's daughter Claudette Shaffer said after watching Nichols die. Nichols' final statement ``just reaffirmed the image I had of him,'' she said. ``No feeling, no remorse, no concern for anyone.''

The lethal injection was the second carried out in Texas in as many days and the eighth this year in the nation's busiest capital punishment state. Three more Texas inmates have execution dates this month.