Judge rules child-killer Battaglia competent to be executed

After months of uncertainty, the fate of convicted child killer John Battaglia was sealed in a Dallas County Courtroom on Friday.

Judge Robert Burns ruled Battaglia’s scheduled execution date of December 7 will stand after the court found him competent to face the death penalty.%

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The judge's ruling concluded 'Battaglia does understand that he is to be executed and that his execution is imminent, and he does understand the reason for his execution.'

Battaglia committed one of the most heinous and unthinkable crimes in Dallas history back in May 2001.  He shot and killed his two little girls, Faith and Liberty, while on the phone with his ex-wife Mary Jean Pearl.

In Judge Burns' ruling 

Back in March, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of execution.  Court documents at the time stated Battaglia claimed his lawyer abandoned him and failed to call into question his mental competency.

In a jailhouse interview with News 8’s Rebecca Lopez, Battaglia blamed a list of people he called “demons” for his conviction in the murders.

Prosecutors believed Battaglia was attempting to game the system while the defense team argued three out of four experts concluded he was delusional and should not be executed.%

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In court, it was revealed Battaglia read books and case law on how he could fool doctors into believing he was too incompetent to be executed.

Rebecca Lopez and Tanya Eiserer contributed to this report. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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