Rick Perry

Texas governor accepts recommendation, spares inmate

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday spared the life of a convicted killer shortly before the man's scheduled execution for masterminding the fatal shootings of his mother and brother.

In sparing the life of Thomas "Bart" Whitaker about an hour before he was scheduled for lethal injection, Abbott accepted the state parole board's rare clemency recommendation. Whitaker's father, Kent, also was shot in the 2003 plot at the family's suburban Houston home but survived and led the effort to save his son from execution. Abbott commuted the sentence to life without parole.

"I'm thankful not for me but for my dad," Bart Whitaker told prison officials after...

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