A killer who brutally murdered his wife and stepsons before raping his two young stepdaughters will be executed tonight. Robert Sparks, 45, is due to be put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday evening, 12 years after murdering wife Chare Agnew, 30, as well as her sons Harold, 9, and Raekwon, 10. The bloodbath at Sparks’ home in Dallas, Texas, saw Chare knifed 18 times and Raekwon stabbed 45 times. Afterwards, Sparks raped his 12 and 14 year-old stepdaughters. Sparks claimed he committed the atrocity because he believed Chare and the boys were trying to poison him, KSAT reported.
He told a psychologist that a voice told him ‘to kill them because they were trying to kill me.’ Sparks’ lawyers argue that he suffers from severe mental illnesses that render him intellectually disabled and that he should not be put to death.
But last month, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals declined a request to cancel the execution, saying Sparks’ lawyers had not provided sufficient evidence of Sparks’ alleged mental disability, or done so in a timely manner. His lawyers Seth Kretzer and Jonathan Landers said: ‘Without a stay of execution, it is likely that Texas will execute an intellectually disabled man.’ Bizarrely, they have also argued that Sparks’ trial jury was ‘improperly influenced’ by a bailiff who wore a necktie emblazoned with a syringe to illustrate his support for the death penalty. Condemning his crimes, the Texas Attorney General’s office said: ‘Sparks committed a heinous crime which resulted in the murders of two young children. ‘He is unable to overcome the overwhelming testimony.’ If his execution goes ahead, Sparks will be the 16th death row inmate killed in 2019, and the seventh to be executed in Texas.