You’ve heard the expression “a stab in the dark”—meaning to take a wild guess? Well, that phrase applies perfectly to both the crime and the alibi of Preston Hughes, executed by the state of Texas tonight for killing a 3-year-old boy and his 15-year-old female cousin.
The way Hughes described it, he was walking through a vacant field one night when someone came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. Hughes turned around, pulled a knife, and “just started sticking” whoever had tapped him, not even noticing that it was a teenage girl. Later on, Hughes changed his story and claimed that the girl walked up and said she wanted to borrow his contact lenses. When Hughes said he didn’t like that idea, the girl became sexually aggressive. Hughes then killed both her and the 3-year-old boy, who was her cousin.
During his trial Hughes went back to his “sticking” story, but claimed he hadn’t killed anybody. When prosecutors accused him of stabbing the two victims, Hughes said “I didn’t stab anybody. Stabbing and stuck is two different things.”
Tonight, Hughes himself was the one who got stuck—by a needle that delivered a lethal injection.
Since Texas no longer allows special last meals, Hughes was served the same food as the other inmates in his unit. His last meal was Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, and corn bread.