Thursday, January 16, 2003

MCALESTER, Okla., Jan. 16 (UPI) — Almost 16 years after brutally killing his teenage girlfriend’s 13-month-old child, Daniel Juan Revilla was executed Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Revilla, 34, was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. from a lethal mixture of intravenous drugs.

Court documents indicate Revilla rushed into the Jackson County Hospital in Altus carrying Mark Gomez on the morning of Jan. 26, 1987. Hospital personnel were unable to revive the unconscious infant, who apparently had swallowed his tongue. Workers noticed the baby had numerous injuries, including blisters on his chest, peeling skin on the chest and groin areas, bruises on his back, burns and lacerations.

An autopsy of the child’s body revealed swelling of the brain and a complete dissection of the liver.

Revilla told investigators he had found the boy unconscious and not breathing after dropping his girlfriend off for a physical, according to court records. He said he hit the child in the abdomen in an effort to revive him, then rushed the child into the bathroom to put water on him. In his haste, Revilla said, he accidentally turned on the hot water, scalding the boy, and also bumped the child’s head on a door frame as he rushed to the hospital.

Medical experts testified at trial that the baby’s injuries could not have happened the way Revilla described. One doctor testified Gomez “certainly is a battered child” who was “literally beaten to a pulp,” according to court records. Trial witnesses said Revilla had abused the boy during his entire month-long relationship with Michelle McElmurry, Mark Gomez’s mother.

Witnesses said Revilla did not like the child because he wasn’t the child’s father and that Revilla had shut the infant in a kitchen drawer, folded him in a hide-a-bed, and hanged him by his ankles with duct tape.

Four members of Gomez’s family traveled to McAlester from Huntsville, Texas, to witness the execution.

Reading a prepared statement, Juan Gomez, the boy’s father, said, “I feel that justice has finally been served — not for me but for my son Mark.” He said the boy was killed just two days before he was have taken custody of his son.

There were no witnesses for Revilla, who lay with his eyes closed and his head turned from the witness room in the death chamber. He shook his head “no” when asked if he had a final statement. Four minutes later he was pronounced dead.

Revilla visited with his brother and grandmother and ate a last meal of three large hamburgers, two orders of fries, an order of jumbo shrimp, four mini pecan pies and a large cherry cola in the hours leading up to his execution. Revilla was the first convicted killer executed this year in Oklahoma.

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