Texas executes man convicted of 1993 murder

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[December 12, 2018]  By Suzannah Gonzales

(Reuters) - The state of Texas on Tuesday executed an inmate convicted of shooting a man to death and sexually assaulting his wife after trying to rob the newly married couple on the campus of a community college near Dallas 25 years ago.

Alvin Braziel, 43, was pronounced dead at 7:19 p.m. local time, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was executed by lethal injection in the state's death chamber in Huntsville.

Asked by the warden if he had any last words before he was put to death, Braziel expressed thanks to "all those overseas, Italy and France, for their support for death row prisoners.

"I would also like to apologize for Lori for the second time for her husband dying at my hand," he added, before telling the warden, "You may proceed."

Braziel was convicted and sentenced to death in 2001 for attacking Douglas and Lora White at gunpoint while they were on a walk along a jogging trail at Eastfield College, a Dallas-area community college, on Sept. 21, 1993, according to court documents.

The couple told Braziel they had no money before he shot Douglas and sexually assaulted Lora, according to her testimony in court. The case remained unsolved for the better part of a decade.

Braziel was serving a sentence for another sexual assault seven years later when authorities made a positive DNA match that placed him at the scene of the crime against the Whites, court documents showed.

Braziel appealed his conviction on several grounds, arguing he was denied adequate legal representation and due process and that he is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible to be executed. His appeals were denied by several courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.

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Alvin Braziel appears in a booking photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Austin, Texas, U.S., December 10, 2018. Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Handout via REUTERS

Braziel became the 13th inmate to be executed in Texas and the 24th in the United States this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, an organization that tracks executions in the United States.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis)

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