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Thirty years after gunning down an Austin Police officer, a Texas death row inmate apologizes to the officer's family in a letter.
"I am infinitely sorry that I killed Ralph Ablanedo ," wrote Powell, who shot Ablanedo 10 times with an AK-47, according to court records. "I stole from you and the world the precious and irreplaceable life of a good man."Powell's attack involved a full auto AK47 and an ensuing shootout also involved a live hand grenade. He's one of the longest serving death row inmates in Texas. One of Officer Ablanedo's sons, David Mills had this response to the letter.
Powell, whose execution date could be set within days, said he has no excuse for what happened May 18, 1978, in the 900 block of Live Oak Street near Travis High School in South Austin, but wrote that his actions happened "in a few frightened seconds."
David Mills said Wednesday that "it was a good gesture to at least acknowledge to the family that he admits guilt, that he is apologetic. I guess I hope that maybe it was something that would bring him some closure as well."If the letter was an attempt at clemency by hoping to curry favor with the officer's family, it sounds like they were unconvinced.
But to Mills, the letter doesn't change the facts of his father's death or his opinion that Powell's death sentence should be carried out.