A Texas judge has ruled against clemency for a condemned prisoner, but a legal challenge against his execution remains unresolved.
Julius Jones, 36, was put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday evening.
Jones, who chose not to make a final statement, tried to prevent the execution by filing a handwritten appeal to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
But Justice Craig Jenkins denied the request and the prisoner was executed by lethal injection at a prison in Huntsville.
His mother, brother and sister witnessed the execution.
Relatives cried and hugged each other as Jones fell silent.
Before the execution he released a letter addressed to “Longtime Friend”.
“I’m not an angel,” he wrote. “I’m not a perfect person.
“I know we’ve all lost somebody close to us, and some of us would do anything to get back to where we once were.”
Jones told his victim’s family that he couldn’t forgive himself, “But I can at least ask for their forgiveness.”
The Supreme Court will decide whether to enforce Tuesday’s sentence on Thursday.
There is still a last-minute opportunity for the prisoner to have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
Jones was convicted of the 1999 killing of Charlene Carter, his ex-girlfriend’s mother, in Houston.
His current mother says he is mentally ill and should be freed.
The case is being fought in the Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas’ top criminal court.