19 May 2005 – Richard Cartwright

Richard CartwrightCowardly and evil, that’s the only way to describe today’s trio of Texan homophobes.

What makes this doubly cowardly is that the ring leader and instigator may have got off lightly compared to one of his minions, after Richard Cartwright was executed for murder despite maintaining that he was coerced into it. Not only that, he said he’d been with a fourth person by the name of Robbie Foster. But no-one bought it as a story.

Fight back

You see, he was a member of a gang of three (maybe four) comprising Dennis Hagood and leader Kelly Overstreet. Together they planned a robbery, but this was no ordinary scheme. They targeted the gay community by pretending to be gay too, figuring that the victim would be less keen to report the crime. But what they didn’t bank on was that the victim would fight back.

Nick Moraida had agreed to go for a drive with his assailants. Instead they whisked him off to a secluded area where they pulled a gun on him and demanded his money. But Moraida refused, opting to leg it instead.

Sadly, he didn’t get far. They first tried stabbing him and Overstreet apparently slit his throat, but the attempt failed, which is when Cartwright shot Moraida in the back.

Bigot

The three were hauled in for questioning and the other two ganged up on Cartwright in return for a plea bargain. And it’s no surprise that they stitched him up – the pair had been in cahoots the whole of their criminal lives, but they hadn’t known Cartwright for long.

It paid off. Hagood got 20 years and Overstreet, 50 years. Cartwright, on the other hand, got death. But his argument was that despite actually pulling the trigger, Cartwright felt that he was compelled to take part in the crime. Overstreet was a bully and Cartwright was too scared to defy the main man.

Indeed, a damning letter to his girlfriend emerged, which showed the extent of Overstreet’s inhuman and bigoted opinions, ‘I have always hated faggots but I didn’t mean to kill the little ‘queen’. I was pretty high that night and I guess my rage overcame my ass. I guess that’s what being a skinhead is all about.’

Nevertheless, despite the duress, Cartwright carried the can for this monstrous crime. He was put to death by lethal injection on this day in 2005. They last words to play across his lips as he succumbed to the toxins were ‘I love you’ directed at his mum who sat helplessly watching as her son was executed.

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