Huntsville, TX – John Battaglia died by lethal injection on Thursday, nearly 17 years after he brutally murdered his daughters while their mother helplessly screamed over speakerphone for them to run.
Even as he prepared to die, Battaglia, 62, continued to taunt the mother of his murdered children, People reported.
He smiled at his ex-wife, Mary Jean Pearle, as she and other witnesses entered the death chamber’s viewing area.
“How many people are there?” he jovially asked, as he looked around the viewing gallery, according to The Dallas Morning News. “Oh, that’s a lot.”
When the warden asked Battaglia if he had a final statement, he replied, “No,” but then quickly changed his mind, the Associated Press reported.
“Well, hi, Mary Jean,” he said, as he smiled at Pearle. “I’ll see y’all later. Bye.”
“Go ahead please,” he then told the warden.
After he was given the injection, Battaglia lifted his head.
“Am I still alive?” he asked.
“Oh, here, I feel it,” he said a moment later, before he gasped and began to snore.
Battaglia was pronounced dead at 9:40 p.m.
In May of 2001, the former accountant was on probation for attacking Pearle during the Christmas of 1999, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Pearle had been trying to have Battaglia arrested for violation of his probation conditions when their daughters went to visit him.
According to police, Battaglia became enraged when he learned that Pearle notified police that he had been harassing her, so he forced his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, to call her on speakerphone.
“Mommy, why do you want Daddy to have to go to jail?” the little girl asked.
Suddenly, Faith began to beg for her life as her mother listened helplessly.
“No, Daddy! Please don’t! Don’t do it!” the little girl pleaded.
Pearle screamed over the phone for Faith and her 6-year-old daughter, Liberty, to run, just before gunfire rang out over the line.
“Merry f*****g Christmas,” Battaglia paused to say to Pearle, before he opened fire again.
Investigators learned that he shot Faith three times, and that Liberty was shot five times, the Associated Press reported.
Battaglia was apprehended outside of a tattoo shop, where he had just gotten two large red roses inked onto his arm in memory of the children he murdered.
“I don’t feel like I killed them,” Battaglia told the Dallas Morning News in 2014, calling his daughters his “best little friends.”
Battaglia’s execution had been postponed on two occasions, and his attorneys also filed a last-minute federal appeal on Thursday, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Within hours, all of his appeals were struck down.
Just after Battaglia took his final breath, Pearle turned and walked away from the death chamber window.
“I’ve seen enough of him,” she said.