From left, Kevin, Tricia, Thomas and Kent Whitaker appear in this undated family photo. Thomas Whitaker was sentenced to die for setting up an ambush that killed his brother Kevin and mother Tricia and severely injured his father, Kent. (Photo: Austin American-Statesman)
Chuck Lindell, Austin American-Statesman
Thomas Whitaker is on Texas’ death row because he lured his family out to dinner so a friend could slip into their Sugar Land home to gun down his mother, father and brother when they returned.
Shot in the upper chest in the 2003 attack, Kent Whitaker barely survived the ambush, but only after hearing the first two bullets, which killed his youngest, Kevin, a college sophomore, and wife, Tricia, whose last sounds he heard were a series of weak, wet coughs as blood filled her lungs.
Now 38, Thomas Whitaker is scheduled to be executed on Feb. 22 for the crime.
His father, however, is making a last-ditch plea to spare his son’s life despite the heartache and suffering he has caused.