Suzanne Basso, 59, died at 6:26 p.m. CST on Thursday February 6, by lethal injection at the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas.
Basso did not make a last statement, the Department of Criminal Justice said.
Before entering the chamber, when a warden asked her if she wanted to make a final statement, Basso told him, “No sir.” According to nearby officials, she appeared to be holding back tears.
The death penalty was reinstated in 1976 and since then, Texas has risen to the top state in the country with the most number of executions performed at 510 total, including Basso, who was the 14th woman to be put to death in the country.
Basso’s legal team filed for a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court, on the grounds that she is not mentally competent and execution should not be considered.
However, the appeal was denied.
“She is delusional. She has been diagnosed with at least six different disorders over time,” said attorney Winston Cochran Jr., who filed the petition.
Basso was found guilty of killing Louis “Buddy” Musso, a 59-year-old man, who she promised to marry just to get him to Texas.
When they arrived in Texas, her and five other people beat him to death for his money, as well as his life insurance policy, as Basso was named the beneficiary after they married, according to court documents.
“Buddy” was beaten so severely that he was not recognizable, and after the killers hit him with baseball bats, belts and steel-toed boots, they dumped him in a ditch. An autopsy revealed that Musso had several broken bones, including a skull fracture and 14 broken ribs. His back was covered with cigarette burns, and bruises were found all over his body.
After Basso reported her husband missing, just after the body was discovered, she became the prime suspect and the five others who were involved were convicted, including Basso’s son, but prosecutors only sought the death penalty for Basso.
“Suzanne ran the show for sure. … She was the one in charge. She directed them. She wanted the money,” said Colleen Barnett, the former Harris County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Basso. “She’s a heinous killer.”
After Musso’s death, while probing for motive, the police found an insurance policy that would pay $65,000 to Basso if her husband were to die in a violent crime, according to prosecutors.
Lawyers for Basso have argued there was no evidence that proved she was one of the killers.
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