Texas executes man convicted of killing college coed

23 Août, 2019, 01:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Larry Swearingen is set for execution for a 1998 Texas slaying. His lawyer says bad science got him on death row

Swearingen, a Texas death row inmate who has long maintained his innocence, is facing execution for the abduction, rape and murder of a suburban Houston community college student more than 20 years earlier.

Larry Ray Swearingen was executed at 6.47pm yesterday for the slaying of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter.

Swearingen is the 12th inmate to be executed in the U.S. so far this year, according to data from the Death Penalty Information Center.

Larry Swearingen has been executed for the rape and murder of teenager, Melissa Trotter.

Prior to his death on Wednesday, Swearingen had received five stays of execution in the past two decades.

Asked if he had a final statement, Swearingen said: "Lord, forgive them". "They don't know what they're doing".

Twelve minutes after the lethal dose started Swearingen was pronounced dead.

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Swearingen has long tried to cast doubt on the evidence used to convict him, particularly claims by prosecution experts that Trotter's body had been in the woods for 25 days.

They described him as a sociopath with a criminal history of violence against women and said he tried to get a fellow death row inmate to take the blame for his crime. He also claimed the state knew that a criminologist had "manufactured" evidence that the torn pantyhose used to strangle Trotter matched pantyhose found at Swearingen's house.

Kelly Blackburn, the trial bureau chief for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, which prosecuted Swearingen, said Swearingen's efforts to discredit the evidence were unsuccessful because his experts' opinions did not "hold water".

Prosecutors, in court papers, responded that the DNA from another man could have come from contamination of evidence and that Trotter's body had the same clothing she was seen wearing the day she disappeared, which they said undercut arguments that she died days later.

"We'd all like to know who done it", he said. "Melissa Trotter", Blackburn said. At the time of Trotter's killing, Swearingen was under indictment for kidnapping a former fiancée. They also cited a pack of cigarettes matching Trotter's preferred brand, which were discovered by Swearingen's wife in their trailer.

In a prepared statement his lawyer released after his death, Swearingen said he had proved his "innocence beyond any shadow of doubt", although it was not enough to stop his execution.

Blackburn said Swearingen tried to get people to lie to give himself an alibi. In 2017, Swearingen and another death row inmate, Anthony Shore, concocted a plan to get Shore to take responsibility for Trotter's killing.

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