Meredith Land, NBC 5 News
Sarah Mervosh, a reporter with The Dallas Morning News, spoke withJohn David Battaglia in a jailhouse interview as part of The Dallas Morning News' special series “Deadly Affection.” The series shares stories of domestic violence to raise about the issue.
The Dallas Morning News' special series “Deadly Affection” shares stories of domestic violence to raise about the issue.
A Highland Park man is on death row for shooting and killing his two daughters more than a decade ago.
John David Battaglia was arrested for the May 2, 2001 shooting deaths of 9-year-old Faith and 6-year-old Liberty in his downtown Dallas loft. The girls’ mother was on the phone and heard the gunshots.
Jurors found Battaglia guilty of capital murder and sentence him to death.
Battaglia, 58, is now on death row. Sarah Mervosh, a reporter with The Dallas Morning News, spoke with him for an hour in a jailhouse interview. Here is some of that interview.
Sarah Mervosh: "Do you feel like you were killing them to get back at your wife?"
Battaglia: "I don't feel like I killed them."
Mervosh: "You what?"
Battaglia: "I don't feel like I killed them. I do not know why. If you read what I wrote, you will find that I am a little bit in the blank about what happened."
Mervosh said Battaglia was persistent that he is innocent.
"From what he says and if I can infer that is true that he can't remember what happened and he doesn't feel like he did it," Mervosh said.
During the interview, Battaglia talked about his late daughters.
"You think about your best little friends. Nicest little kids you've ever met. Not much you can do about that," Battaglia said. "I have pictures of them up in my house. I have them on my table and on my wall, I have them around me all the time," Battaglia said, speaking of his prison cell.
"I thought that was interesting that he wants to keep it in his line of sight, because it means something to him, and yet he killed them," Mervosh later said.
Battaglia at one point turned on Mervosh, pointing his finger at her and yelling. But during the interview he saved most of his venom for the people he believes put him behind bars.
For Mervosh's special series, "Deadly Affection," pick up Sunday's newspaper or read the full interview on Saturday online at www.dallasnews.com/deadlyaffection.