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Mikel James DERRICK





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Male prostitute
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 11, 1980
Date of birth: February 10, 1957
Victim profile: Edward Sonnier, 32 (gay man)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife 19 times
Location: Harris County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on July 18, 1990


Date of Execution:
July 18, 1990
Mikel James Derrick #701
Last Statement:
I just ask everybody I ever hurt or done anything wrong to, to just forgive me for whatever wrongs I done to them.

Mikel James Derrick

Age: 33 (23)
Executed: July 18, 1990
Education level: 8th grade

Derrick was picked up by Edward Sonnier, 32, while walking down a Montrose-area street on Oct. 11, 1980. He robbed and stabbed Sonnier to death at the victim's apartment.

Prosecutors claimed Derrick was a male prostitute who intended to rob Sonnier, but Derrick claimed he killed to ward off a homosexual advance.


Killer Is Put to Death In Texas After Court Turns Down Appeal

The New York Times

July 19, 1990

A 33-year-old man with a criminal record that began when he was 12 was executed by injection early today for a 1980 murder.

The prisoner, Mikel Derrick, was pronounced dead at 12:17 A.M., six minutes after the injection at the Walls Unit of the state prison here. He was executed for killing Edward Sonnier, 32, of Houston on Oct. 10, 1980; Mr. Sonnier was stabbed 19 times.

The execution was the 37th in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. It was the 134th in the nation since the Supreme Court allowed states to resume executions in 1976.

On Monday, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, rejected Mr. Derrick's request for a stay. He argued that he had not received adequate defense assistance at his trial, but the court noted that he had confessed to the slaying orally and in writing.

On Tuesday the Supreme Court refused, 5 to 4, to halt the execution. Voting to grant the stay were Justices William J. Brennan Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens and Harry A. Blackmun; opposed were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Byron R. White.

While Mr. Derrick was serving four 10-year terms on an unrelated robbery conviction, he wrote to the Harris County District Attorney's office saying he had killed Mr. Sonnier, stolen his car and stripped it for parts. He said he wrote the letter because he was worried that his brother was about to be charged with a crime related to the killing.

Mr. Derrick said at his trial in 1982 that the killing had been provoked by a homosexual advance.

But Kay Burkhalter, an assistant district attorney for Harris County who prosecuted Mr. Derrick, said Mr. Derrick ''was a prostitute and would lure men to his apartment, kill them and take their property.''

In a recent interview, Mr. Derrick said his troubles with the law began at age 12 when he served time in a juvenile detention center for petty theft. He was later convicted of auto theft in Beaumont, Tex., and placed on four years' probation. He also had a prostitution conviction in New York.



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