HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A man was executed Wednesday for abducting and killing the 12-year-old son of longtime friends in an apparent scheme to obtain ransom money to pay off his debts.

Hilton Crawford apologized and asked for forgiveness from the boy's mother, who witnessed the execution. He was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. after an injection.

The boy, McKay Everett, knew Crawford as "Uncle Hilty," a longtime family friend who gave him gifts such as a football a few weeks before his 1995 abduction.

"Justice is now complete," said the boy's mother, Paulette Everett-Norman.