DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A judge has found convicted killer John David Battaglia, 62, mentally competent to be executed for murdering his two young daughters in 2001 as their mother listened on the phone, begging him to spare their lives.
In 2002, a Dallas county jury convicted Battaglia of capital murder for his role in the shocking killings. The same jury also sentenced Battaglia to death.
After he was convicted and sentenced, Battaglia was granted an automatic direct appeal. In 2005, the conviction and sentence were affirmed by the c. At that point, Battaglia had exhausted all of his state and federal appeals and was set for execution in March 2016.
However, the execution was halted to allow Battaglia to pursue his claim that he was incompetent to be executed. In November 2016, Battaglia was afforded a full and fair review of his incompetency claim. During that hearing Judge Robert Burns found Battaglia to be competent for execution. Battaglia’s attorney then pursued an appeal of Judge Burns’ ruling with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
He remains confined to death row at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. A trial court will set a new execution date.