Update: Tuesday, April 21, 2015  9:44 am EDT


Richard Vasquez has been granted a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  Richard applied for the stay, arguing that new science, which was unavailable at the time of his trial, shows that he did not kill his step-daughter, Miranda Lopez.  Additionally, the new science discredits the testimony of the doctors at his trial.  Richard is requesting that he be given a new trial.  He alleges that with the new scientific evidence, a jury would find him not guilty.


Update: Monday, April 20, 2015  10:37 am EDT


Richard Vasquez's execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CDT, on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Thirty-five-year-old Richard is convicted of murdering his four-year-old step-daughter, Miranda Lopez, on March 5, 1998, in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Richard has spent the last 15 years of life on Texas’ death row.


Richard was scheduled to be executed on January 15, 2015, however his execution was delayed for unspecified reasons.  It was rescheduled for April 23, 2015.


Richard’s mother drank heavily while she was pregnant with him, leading him to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Richard’s father was a drug addict and a drug dealer who was frequently in and out of prison.  Richard lived with his aunt and uncle, although he remained in contact with his father, who taught him how to steal to afford drugs, and how to buy and sell drugs.  Richard was frequently around drug addicts and drug dealers growing up.  Richard dropped out of school after the 9th grade.  He worked as a laborer prior to his arrest.  As a teenager, Richard had some misdemeanor offenses, however, he had no convictions as an adult.  Richard became addicted to drugs at the age of 12. 


On March 4, 1998, Richard Vasquez and his girlfriend, Brenda Lopez, got into an argument.  Before going to bed, they injected themselves with heroin.  In the morning of March 5, 1998, they again injected themselves.  Vasquez later drove Brenda to work, becoming angry because he had to stay home and watch the children, Brenda’s daughter Miranda, and their child, Meagan.  


Later that day, Vasquez called Brenda, asking where the rest of the drugs were.  When she refused to tell him, Vasquez became angry and struck Miranda several times in the head.  She died in the hospital a day later from sever brain injuries.  Vasquez claimed that Miranda fell from a stool later that day, striking her head on the floor.


Miranda had also been sexually assaulted and had double the lethal amount of cocaine in her blood.  Vasquez denies sexually assaulting Miranda and could not explain the cocaine in her blood.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Miranda.  Please pray for strength for the family of Richard Vasquez.  Please pray that if Richard is innocent or lacks the mental competency to be executed, evidence will be revealed prior to his execution.  Please pray that Richard may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.