The state of Texas on Tuesday prepared to execute a man convicted of taking $2,000 for the 1992 murder of a woman in a murder-for-hire plot to obtain life insurance money.
Rolando Ruiz, now 44, is scheduled for execution by lethal injection late Tuesday at the state prison in Huntsville.
Ruiz's lawyers launched a last minute appeal to obtain a reprieve, claiming among other things that he did not receive an adequate defense.
In July 1992, a man named Mark Rodriguez met Ruiz and offered him the payment in exchange for killing his sister-in-law Theresa Rodriguez.
Ruiz accepted the job and was set to slay the victim at a restaurant in the city of San Antonio. Ruiz, however, got cold feet when he saw a security guard nearby.
Later, with support from Mark Rodriguez and his brother Michael -- the victim's husband -- the group planned a more intricate plot.
Ruiz followed the three home after an outing at the movies, then shot Theresa in the head as she stepped out of her car after parking it at home.
Ruiz ended the evening with a basketball game.
While Ruiz was sentenced to die, Mark and Michael Rodriguez were sentenced to life in prison.
Michael Rodriguez, however, was executed in 2008 after being sentenced for a prison escape that resulted in the death of a police officer.