In an 11th-hour stay of execution, Gov. Abbott spares the life of a Houston-area murderer
Kent Whitaker (L) and his son Bart during a visit to Bart's prison in Polunsky, Texas, where Bart is sentenced to die for plotting the ambush that killed his mother and brother in 2003 AFP / FAMILY HANDOUT

By Chuck Lindell, American-Statesman Staff, 7:21 p.m Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 Gov. Greg Abbott agreed Thursday evening to spare the life of death row inmate Thomas Whitaker, announcing his decision less than an hour before the Houston-area man’s scheduled execution.