Convicted killer of Amarillo couple set to die Thursday evening

LIVINGSTON, Texas A man whose criminal record dates back to a bicycle theft at age nine heads to the Texas execution chamber tomorrow night.

Ryan Dickson is to die for the death of 61-year-old Amarillo grocery clerk Carmelo Surace in 1994. Also killed the attempted beer theft was Surace's 60-year-old wife, Marie.

Dickson would be the 13th Texas inmate put to death this year in the nation's busiest capital punishment state.

Dickson's lawyer, Ronald Spriggs, said he planned "a last-minute effort" court effort to block his execution. He contends Dickson could be mentally retarded and ineligible for execution and that evidence of childhood abuse should mitigate his punishment.

Dickson was one of four young neighborhood toughs arrested in the slaying. One was his 14-year-old brother. Dane Dickson testified against his brother and is serving a 15-year prison term.

At least nine other Texas inmates have execution dates in the coming months.


On the Net:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice execution schedule

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