Monday, April 15, 2024

Texas Execution of Michael Gonzales Stayed Ahead of March 8, 2022

Michael “Spider” Gonzales, Texas

Updated: Monday, March 7, 2022

Michael GonzalesMicheal Dean “Spider” Gonzales was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, inside the execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. His execution is stayed.  Forty-eight-year-old Michael is convicted of murdering 73-year-old Manuel Aguirre and 65-year-old Merced Aguirre on April 21, 1994, in Odessa, Texas. Michael has been on Texas’ death row for the last 26 years.

Michael dropped out of school following the ninth grade. Before his arrest, Michael worked as a laborer. He had previously been arrested and served time for burglary in Texas and auto theft in Oklahoma.

Michael “Spider” Gonzales lived with his mother, wife, and child, in a house next to Manuel and Merced Aguirre. Before being murdered, the Aguirre’s complained to the police about the late-night activities at Gonzales’s house. Additionally, the elderly couple feared their neighbors and had put bars on their windows.

On the night of April 21, 1994, someone broke into the Aguirre’s home. As the home was being burglarized, Manuel and Merced woke up. Both were stabbed to death. Manuel had 11 stab wounds, while Merced attempted to fight off her attacker, even after falling to the floor. She received numerous stab wounds.

Michael quickly became the focus of the investigation. Approximately 16 hours after the murders, Michael was brought in for questioning by the police. He was later released while the police continued their investigation.

A bloodstain was found on a camper parked between the Gonzales and Aguirre homes. The alley where the camper was parked had also recently been swept clean. An anonymous tipster told police Michael had swept it the morning after the murders. A specific type of red pepper, that could not be bought locally, were found under Merced’s body. The same type of pepper was found on Michael’s back doorstep and in his fridge.

The day after the murders, several items belonging to the victims were found in a dumpster on a route Michael was known to have traveled.

Friends of Michael later told police that he had sold them several items that were reported stolen from the Aguirre’s home. They also saw that Michael had a gun, the same caliber as the one that was stolen. During the sale, Michael commented, “They are on to me.” When asked to explain what he meant, Gonzales said, “No, I can’t tell you.”

Two weeks after the murders, Michael was arrested and charged with their murders. At the time of his arrest, Michael had two teardrop tattoos on his face, gang symbols showing how many people he killed. Michael was a member of a gang called “Homies Don’t Play.”

Michael was convicted and sentenced to death for the double murder.

This is not Michael’s first execution date. His previous execution was stayed to allow time for him to complete his appeals.  This current execution date has been stayed by a judge over concerns regarding his mental competency and over allegations that the state illegally withheld information that could have supported his claims of innocence.

Pray for peace and healing for the family of Manuel and Merced Aguirre. Pray for strength for the family of Michael Gonzales. Please pray that if Michael is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Pray that Michael may come to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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