Second convict in Texas gay slaying executed
Convicted killer Donald Aldrich became the second man put to death for the abduction and gay-bashing murder of an East Texas man. Aldrich, 39, was executed Tuesday evening, a year and a half after the execution of Henry Earl Dunn. Aldrich and Dunn were members of what Tyler-area authorities labeled the "CB Gang." They were executed for the 1993 fatal shooting of Nicholas West, 23. "To the West family, I would just like to apologize for your loss," Aldrich said in a brief final statement. "I hope that you can forgive me." No one from West's family was present. "To my family and loved ones and friends, I thank all of you for your support, and I am sorry for the pain and hurt I have caused you," he told five friends he selected as witnesses. "I love you all, and I will see you on the other side." Six minutes later, after gasping several times when the lethal drugs began taking effect, he was pronounced dead. Aldrich's execution was the 16th this year in Texas and third in eight days. Two more remain on the schedule this month, and five are set for November. Aldrich and Dunn, along with David McMillan, first became acquainted over CB radios. For months the loose-knit group, with Aldrich considered the leader, preyed on gay men in the Tyler area. In a videotaped confession to police, Aldrich said he didn't like gays because at age 9 he allegedly had been raped by a gay cousin. Court records showed that West, a Tyler medical clerk, was robbed November 30, 1993, at a Tyler park known as a gay meeting place and then was taken to a remote area of Smith County. "They kidnapped him, stripped him down, walked him into a field, and basically played with him a little and killed him," said David Dobbs, the former Smith County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Aldrich.