This is the twelfth and last edition of the Last Meals series from Historydojo.
Please find the eleventh edition of the series here.
Start the series from the beginning here.
The story of Delbert Teague is not really as strange as it is sad, which makes it not unlike most of the other stories from the Last Meals series. As we come to the end of this examination of the last meals of condemned prisoners, reflection would reveal that these men were all deeply troubled, misunderstood, and suffering from their own self inflicted demons.
Some of the men were mentally ill, and others simply immature and misguided. The killings all seem to be unintended, random reactions and overreactions to a moment that could have easily gone another way.
Their executions are all debatable, as the use of Capital Punishment is endlessly controversial.
Their last meals have revealed inner ideals and priorities, sometimes telling and often times very sad.
Delbert Teague was just a petty thug. He and his friend were robbing innocent people in a park, not looking for a victim to kill. Until Teague did just that.
“Convicted in the April 1985 robbery-slaying of 21-year-old Kevin Leroy Allen at a park near Fort Worth.
Teague and accomplice Robin Scott Partine robbed Thomas Emmit Cox and his date at gun point.”∗
Working with a friend to mug people is wrong, but sadly common in the history of crime. When the victims tried to report the crime, however, the simple mugging turned violent.
“Cox had run over to a vehicle to ask for help after Teague and Partine robbed the couple of about $80.00 dollars.”
At that point, Teague pulled up behind the men in the stolen pickup he was driving and shot Robert Allen, David Suson and James Bell, the men in the pickup, each in the head with a .22 caliber pistol.
Allen died at a local hospital of two gunshot wounds to the head. David Suson and James Bell recovered from head and facial wounds.”∗
The fear of being caught sparked an instant reaction in Teague that was not preplanned. The shooting of three men in reaction to a victim seeking help from a mugging suggests that Tague wasn’t thinking, but rather reacting with violence.
The kidnapping of Cox’s date supports this theory, as the mugging had now progressed into a one way journey with only one possible ending. Teague most likely kidnapped and raped the woman because he knew in his heart that he had gone way, way too far, and there was no going back. More violence may have seemed acceptable at that point because Teague knew his life ended when he took the lives of three men so quickly and finally.
The two [Teague and Partine] were arrested the following day after the woman was able to leave a note asking for help in a service station restroom near Ramah, Louisiana.
This poor woman went on an unspeakable trip through hell. Teague and Partine used her as a toy for their sadistic pleasure, unconcerned that she was a human being, loved by her friends and family, who deserved the right to live unmolested.
Teague was sentenced to death after Partain testified against him , in exchange for a lighter sentence.
At his execution, Teague made an odd statement, quoting from the Latin:
“I have come here today to die, not make speeches. Today is a good day for dying.
Est Sularus Oth Mithas (My Honor Is My Life).”
My honor is my life. After living without honor, it is fair to say that Teague had no life. He honored no one through his actions, leaving only dishonor behind him.
Oddly, however, he was loved. In this we may see the folly of execution. Teague was unrepentant to the end, but still someone loved him. The power of love is a wonderful thing. Love is perhaps the best thing. Teague was loved too, even though it is hard to imagine anyone giving love to someone who acted in so vile and evil a manner.
Teague had made no final meal request. He was a tough man, and was going out tough. All show and no substance, he was showing the world that he was not going to be human, even unto his death. His honor was his life, after all.
Executed September 9, 1998.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice notes: “Last minute he decided to eat a hamburger at his mother’s request.”
Even Teague was loved by his mother.
∗Find A Grave