Convicted Amarillo murderer executed after sitting on death row for over 20 years

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 10:04 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 11:36 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After sitting on death row for over two decades, Amarillo convicted murderer John Balentine was executed earlier this evening in Huntsville.

Potter County District Attorney Randall Sims had pushed for the execution to go forward. Attempts for his final stay today failed.

According to court documents, on January 21 of 1998, Balentine crawled through a window to enter a home which he used to share with former girlfriend Misty Caylor.

Once inside, Balentine shot and killed three teens.

Those teens were 17-year-old Edward Caylor, 15-year-old Kai Geyer and 15-year-old Steven Watson.

Balentine shot all three with a single gunshot wound to the head while they slept.

Prosecutors said the motive was a domestic feud.

Defense attorneys argued the victims had threatened his life over his interracial relationship.

In April of 1999, a Potter County Jury convicted and sentenced Balentine to death.

During the trial, the prosecution brought up Balentine’s extensive criminal history.

In the 80s he was convicted multiple times of attempted theft and burglary after stealing weapons multiple times.

In the 90s he served time for kidnapping and aggravated assault of a woman.

In 2009 his execution date was scheduled but was delayed on three separate occasions.

Balentine’s attorneys alleged the jury foreman in his case, held racist views and used racial slurs during his life.

He also said he bullied jurors who had wanted to sentence Balentine to a life sentence into changing their minds.

Wednesday stared with the state’s top criminal court approving the execution that a district judge had delayed earlier this week.

At 6:36 p.m., 15 minutes after the drugs began, a physician pronounced him dead.

According to the Associated Press, the victims’ witnesses shared high-fives before leaving the death chamber and refused to speak with reporters.

Balentine is the sixth inmate to be put to death in the U.S. this year.

A correction has been made on the timeline of Balentine’s death.