|Birth: ||Jun. 26, 1955|
|Death: ||May 25, 2010|
"We walk in faith and not by sight." In remembrance of our beloved:
Johnny was born to Louis J. and Lucia Alba.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers; Louis Alba II, and Andrew Alba.
In God's care he is survived by his sons; John Alba Jr., Robert Johnson, and Eric Johnson, daughter; Sabrina Jaramillo, brothers; Ray John Alba, and George Alba, sister; Lupe Hernandez, grandchildren; Marissa, Johnathan, Anthony, Jonathon, Krystal, Kayla, Thomas, Caleb, Emily and Keenan, and many other dear relatives and friends.
Johnny will always be remembered as a loved and much loved father, grandfather, and friend.
John Avalos Alba, 54, was executed by lethal injection on 25 May 2010 in Huntsville, Texas for killing his estranged wife after invading her home.
In June 1991, Alba was accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl who was at his apartment for a slumber party. A warrant was issued for his arrest on the charge of indecency with a child. As officers were taking him to jail in handcuffs, Alba told his wife, "Wendy, you better come get me out of jail, or I'll kill you."
While Alba was in jail, he wrote numerous threatening letters to his wife. She, meanwhile, moved in with friends Robert Donoho and Gail Webb in their apartment in Allen, north of Dallas. She was also trying to find residence in a women's shelter.
Alba was released from jail on 4 August 1991. The next day, he purchased a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol and a box of ammunition from a pawn shop in Plano and tracked down his wife. At about 10 p.m., he began attempting to force his way into the apartment. While Donoho called 9-1-1, Wendy, 28, and Webb leaned against the door. Alba, 36, overpowered the two women and forced the door open. He then entered the apartment, grabbed Wendy by the hair, and dragged her to the doorway, where he pistol-whipped her before shooting her to death. He left he body lying across the threshold, then went back inside. He kicked Webb repeatedly and shot her seven times, including once in the temple. She survived. Donoho, who was still on the phone, then came out. Alba shot at him, but missed. Alba then left the apartment. He saw the manager running to call for help and shot at him, but missed.
While he was fleeing, Alba encountered a police officer. He told the officer he was getting out of the area because a crazy man was shooting a gun. The officer, unaware that Alba was the shooter, let him go. Alba then drove in his own car to a bowling alley in Plano. There, he carjacked a 16-year-old, forcing him to drive him to a nearby neighborhood. He spent the night with the mother of one of his children.
The next morning, Alba returned to the apartment complex where he killed his wife. Seeing a police officer, he ran to a shopping mall and set up a 2-hour standoff with police, during which he held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself. A SWAT team used a stun grenade and tear gas to subdue him.
In order for a murder to qualify as capital murder, one or more aggravating factors must exist. In Alba's case, the aggravating factor was the burglary he committed when he broke into apartment. The defense did not deny that Alba broke into the apartment, killed Wendy at the doorway, and went back inside to shoot Webb. They argued, though, that he was standing outside the apartment doorway when he committed the murder, and therefore he was not committing burglary at that moment.
At the punishment hearing, Allen police officers testified that they responded to a domestic violence call in the spring of 1991. Wendy had two black eyes, red marks on her neck and body, and a shoe imprint on her back. Alba told one of the officers who arrested him that he knew where the officer lived and was going to kill his wife and children. Other officers testified that they had responded to similar domestic violence calls from Wendy. Neighbors and friends testified that they frequently heard yelling and screaming, saw Wendy with bruises and black eyes, and saw Alba abuse and threaten her. Alba's ex-wife also testified that he was violent towards her during their marriage.
He had no prior felony convictions.
A jury convicted Alba of capital murder in May 1992 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in June 1995.
An issue that arose during another Texas death row prisoner's case resulted in Alba's death sentence being vacated. In 2000, Texas Attorney General John Cornyn confessed that Dr. Walter Quijano, acting as an expert witness for the prosecution, offered racially biased testimony at Victor Saldano's capital punishment hearing. Specifically, Quijano stated, "because [Saldano] is Hispanic, this was a factor weighing in favor of future dangerousness." Following this disclosure, Cornyn reviewed all capital cases in which Quijano testified and a death sentence was given. In June 2000, he announced that six other cases - including John Alba's - were tainted by racially biased testimony from Dr. Quijano, and recommended that all of their death sentences be vacated. Accordingly, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Alba's death sentence in August 2000.
The state held a new sentencing hearing for Alba. At this hearing, he testified that he did not deliberately kill his wife; it was a "bad reaction." He stated that he bought the gun on the day of the shooting as protection from a cousin.
A jury resentenced Alba to death in March 2001. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the sentence in April 2003. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Alba declined requests to speak with reporters as his execution date approached. A web site operated by a supporter of his described the circumstances of the murder quite differently than the trial record. According to the site, Wendy Alba also physically abused John, and she had sexual affairs with several other men. The site also stated the friends she moved in with were drug dealers. John went to visit his children and got into an argument with Wendy over the environment where his children were living. "He asked Wendy if she had been unfaithful again, and tragically the gun was in his possession at the same time of the chilling details of Wendy's latest liaisons were revealed."
Alba's execution was attended by members of his victim's family, the parents of the daughter he was accused of molesting, and his own son and daughter. "I am sorry for taking someone so precious to you and to my kids," he said in his last statement. "I wish I could go back and change it, but I know I can't." Turning to his loved ones, he said, "Thanks for being beside me. I appreciate you always standing by me and everything y'all have done. ... Just tell everyone I love them. Y'all will be OK. I will, too. OK, warden. Do it." The lethal injection was then started. Alba said he could taste the chemicals. He said "I am starting to go," then lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 26 May 2010.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents, Associated Press, Huntsville Item, johnalba.com.
Contributed by: Delores
Lucia A Alba (1925 - 2008)
Louis Alba (1945 - 2004)*
Andrew Alba (1951 - 2004)*
John A Alba (1955 - 2010)
Elgin Latin Cemetery
Created by: GCA
Record added: Jun 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54072755