Age: 46 (30)
Executed: May 3, 1994
Education level: 9th grade
Rougeau, his brother and another man entered to
rob the Stock Exchange Lounge in southeast Houston on Jan. 6, 1978.
Rougeau was convicted of killing security officer Albert Wilkins,
50, an off-duty Harris County deputy constable, though he claimed he
Joseph Rougeau was killed at the scene during a
gunbattle with police. Their accomplice pleaded guilty to murder and
testified against Rougeau in exchange for a 40-year sentence.
Paul Rougeau was convicted of capital
murder for the murder of a police officer during an aggravated
robbery attempt at a Houston nightclub. Rougeau, then 30, was
convicted twice for the killing of Albert C.Wilkins, 50, a Harris
County deputy constable. Wilkins had been working at the Stock
Exchange Club in Houston as a security guard when he was fatally
shot on Jan.6, 1978.
Rougeauís first conviction in
1982 was reversed after the trial judge excused a prospective juror
merely on the lawyers showing that the prospective death penalty
might affect the jurorís decision. After the case was returned to
the trial court, the State agreed to recommend a life sentence if
Rougeau would plead guilty. Rougeau refused the offer. He was
retried and given the death penalty in 1983.
Rougeau, his brother Joe and Curtis Gillory, each of who frequented
the Houston nightclub, committed the robbery. Testimony showed that
Rougeau cursed Wilkins as the officer begged for his life and then
shot him in the head with a .38-caliber pistol. Then Rougeau, his
brother and Gillory exited the club and a shoot-out with the police
ensued. Joe was killed, Rougeau managed to escape and Gillory was
arrested outside of the club. Rougeau fled in a car, but was
arrested about 12 hours later with an apparent gunshot wound to the
Gillory made a plea bargain agreement and
testified for the state. He received 40 years for his participation
in the crimes. Rougeau, an ex-carpenter from St. Bernard Parish, La.
said that he was innocent and would be wrongly put to death for the
Jan.6th murder. Rougeau said that the shooting was related to a drug
deal involving his younger brother Joseph. Rougeau had no prison
record before the murder.
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that his trial
lawyers were incompetent and that Texas death penalty statute was
unconstitutional. Attorney Steven Thorpe handled all of Rougeauís
state and federal habeas corpusí appeals and said that he feels
Rougeau had bad representation in both trials.
Despite lawyerís attempts to keep him from the
death chamber, Paul Rougeau, 46, was put to death by lethal
injection on May 3, 1994 in Huntsville.
Texas Executes a Guard's Killer Who Was
Convicted in 2 Trials
May 4, 1994
A 46-year-old man was executed by
injection early today for killing a security guard in a botched 1978
holdup at a Houston bar.
The man, Paul Rougeau of St. Bernard Parish, La.,
went to his death hours after the United States Supreme Court
refused a stay of execution.
Mr. Rougeau told three sisters and a niece who
had gathered in the death chamber to watch him die that he loved
them, adding, "Peace be with you all." He then told the warden that
he would have no final statement.
Mr. Rougeau was twice tried and convicted of
murdering Albert Wilkins during a holdup by three men that erupted
into a gun battle with the police. Witnesses said Mr. Rougeau had
cursed Mr. Wilkins and shot him in the head as Mr. Wilkins, 50,
pleaded for his life. Mr. Wilkins, a deputy constable, was
moonlighting as a guard.
Mr. Rougeau's younger brother, Joseph, was killed
in an exchange of gunfire with officers who had pulled up outside
the bar. Mr. Rougeau was wounded and fled but was arrested 12 hours
later. The third participant testified against him as part of a plea
agreement. Identified by Voice
The holdup men wore ski masks when they entered
the bar, but Mr. Rougeau, a frequent customer, was identified by at
least two patrons by his voice.
Mr. Rougeau contended that he had nothing to do
with the robbery and that he had run from the bar when the shooting
"I know in my mind the same that God knows," he
said in an interview last month. "My execution won't change the real
punishment that's coming in the hereafter for those who think they
can get away with this."
Explaining his bullet wounds, Mr. Rougeau said he
was shot at an apartment the day after the holdup. Prosecutors said
a bullet that could have been used as evidence remained in Mr.
Rougeau's buttocks, but he denied that and refused to let surgeons
look for it.
On appeal to the Supreme Court, Mr. Rougeau
contended that his lawyers had been incompetent and that the Texas
death penalty law was unconstitutional.
His first conviction was thrown out in 1982 by an
appeals court, which ruled that potential jurors had been improperly
excused for expressing reservations about the death penalty. He was
retried the next year.