By Mark R. Execution Watch Editor
Liberty: a noun meaning (among others, the most common involving a government) “freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint”.
(The definitions below are taken from dictionary.reference.com)
Faith and Liberty are also the names of two young girls (ages 9 and 6, respectively), taken from this world much too soon, no thanks to Huntsville’s Pearl Harbor Day guest of (dis)honor, John David Battaglia.
Family members have killed other family members since Cain murdered Abel. And children have been the center of parental disputes since parents have had disputes. Sometimes, tragically, the two meet. But you will be hard-pressed to find a more cold-hearted family murder than that of the Battaglia children.
Battaglia had Faith and Liberty for a scheduled custody visit. But on May 2, 2001, Battaglia would place a call to his ex-wife (the girls’ mother). Battaglia would then proceed to destroy Faith’s faith and restrain Liberty’s liberty by murdering the girls while their mother overheard the murders on the phone. In Texas, killing children (especially your own) will usually get you a death sentence, and less than one year later (April 2002) that would be the punishment handed down by the jury.
All of Battaglia’s appeals have been DENIED. However, he has persistently claimed that he was suffering from bipolar disorder, and shouldn’t be executed for what he did. He also claims that he can’t remember a thing about what happened. I have a close friend with bipolar who had issues with her ex-spouse over their daughter—but she NEVER considered killing her in revenge.
In addition to the tragic story, the bipolar angle, and that it was one of the more notorious murders to come out of Dallas, I’ve followed this case for another reason: while prisons tend to be overpopulated with school dropouts and menial laborers, Battaglia had enough education to obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license from the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. As a Texas CPA licensee myself, Battaglia is a stain on our honorable profession. The wheels of justice may move slowly but the TSBPA doesn’t—roughly one year after his conviction his CPA license was REVOKED.
Sometime after 6PM Huntsville time Battaglia will pay for his crimes. AND—he won’t be able to have his CPA license reinstated.
Scheduled Execution: December 7, 2016.