Houston-Area Man in Family Murder Plot Gets Execution Date

A 37-year-old suburban Houston man on Texas death row for arranging the shooting deaths of his mother and brother in 2003 so he could collect a $1 million inheritance has received an execution date.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the agency has received court orders setting Thomas "Bart" Whitaker for lethal injection Feb. 22.

Whitaker was convicted of orchestrating the plot that led to the slayings of his mother, 51-year-old Patricia Whitaker, and his 19-year-old brother, Kevin, at the family's home in Sugar Land in Fort Bend County. Whitaker's father was shot but survived.

The gunman, Chris Brashear, pleaded guilty in 2007 to murder and is serving life in prison. Another man involved, Steve Champagne, took a 15-year sentence in exchange for testifying at Whitaker's trial.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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