Update: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 7:41 pm EDT
Derrick Dewayne Charles was executed by the state of Texas on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Derrick was pronounced dead at 6:36 pm CDT, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Derrick was 32 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 77-year-old Obie Lee Bennett, 44-year-old Brenda Bennett, and 15-year-old Myiesha Bennett, on July 2, 2002, in their Harris County, Texas home. Derrick spent the last 11 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Derrick had a difficult birth and childhood. He was born prematurely to a mother who had schizophrenia. As an infant Derrick suffered from at least two seizures. Throughout his life he had a history of depression. Derrick grew up in poverty and, due to his mother’s mental state, was not always provided with food and clothing. Life at home was turbulent. Due to his mother’s mental illness, Derrick was never able to receive proper treatment for his depression growing up. He was violent at school and expelled at least four times due to his violence and disruptiveness. During the limited treatment he received for his depression, Derrick was uncooperative. Derrick was arrested several times as a juvenile and spent time in the Texas Youth Commission, where it was frequently documented that he misbehaved.
On July 2, 2002, Derrick Charles was hiding in the closet of his underage girlfriend, Myiesha Bennett. After she and her mother left, Charles exited the closet and was surprised to find Myiesha’s grandfather, Obie, still in the house. Charles beat the elderly man with his fists, a lamp, and two trophies before strangling him to death.
Charles then waited for over three hours for Myiesha and her mother to return home. Once they returned home, Charles beat Myiesha with stereo speakers, dropped a television on her head, and strangled her. She did not survive. Charles also killed Brenda, Myiesha’s mother. Charles put her in a tub of water and threw a plugged-in television in with her. He then dragged her throughout the house and raped her before strangling her to death. Allegedly, Charles was upset with Brenda because she had told the police that he was sleeping with her daughter.
Charles was arrested the following day. At the time of the murders, Charles was on parole for a burglary conviction. Charles confessed to the three murders. He was sentenced to death on May 27, 2003.
Please pray for peace and healing for the Bennett family. Please pray for strength for the family of Derrick Charles.