Brown execution Thursday draws victims, Houston DA

Mar. 9—Arthur Brown Jr., 52, who was executed Thursday night at the Huntsville Unit for the murder of four people, professed his innocence in his final statement.

The drug robbery gone bad happened in a Houston home, where 32-year-old Jose Tovar; his wife's 17-year-old son, Frank Farias; 19-year-old Jessica Quiñones, the pregnant girlfriend of another son of Rachel Tovar; and 21-year-old neighbor Audrey Brown were all murdered. All four had been tied up and shot in the head. Rachel Tovar, wife of Jose Tovar, and another person were also shot but survived.

"What is occurring here tonight is no justice, it is murder of an innocent man for a murder that occurred in 1992. For the last 30 years, I've proven my innocence to the courts, but the courts blocked me and then refused me access to the ballistics for 20 years," Brown said, while staring up at the ceiling of the execution chamber. "I've proven facts and ballistics to be false. It's been 30 years now, the state refused to turn over evidence."

He went on to accuse the state of denying him access to evidence and DNA so it would not have to admit to killing his co-defendant, Marion Dudley, in a 2006 execution.

"Tonight, Texas will kill a second innocent man," Brown said, before the lethal dose was administered at 6:20 p.m.

There were no witnesses in attendance on behalf of Brown, only his spiritual advisor Jeff Hood, who read John 8:7 before Brown made his statement.

As Brown lay waiting for the drugs to begin their work, he spoke to Wood, saying, "Keep fighting, use my truth." Brown, dressed in a black robe, clutching a Bible and rosary, said he would before he began shaking.

Brown was declared dead at 6:37 p.m.

Jason Clark, chief of staff with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, read a statement released by the Quinones family following the execution.

In that, the family said that after 30 years of anguish and uncertainty they are finally able to rest knowing the "monster" who destroyed so many lives will never again torment the body or soul of another.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg also spoke during the press conference, noting, "This should be a stark reminder to the criminal element out there that your actions will be addressed and you will be held accountable regardless of how long it takes."

Rachel Tovar was in attendance to watch the execution of the man she accused of murder.

"I just want to thank everybody. This took so long. Justice came to me today," Tovar said.