Friday, January 22, 2016

Texas executes killer, state's first execution of the year

The 2nd Execution of 2016
Richard Allen Masterson, a two-time convicted burglar condemned for the 2001 murder of a professional Houston female impersonator, was executed in Texas on January 20, 2016. He was the first Texas killer to be put to death this year.
The lethal dose of pentobarbital was administered after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected multiple petitions seeking reviews of issues involved in his case. Masterson was pronounced dead at 6:53 p.m.
Masterson, 42, was sentenced to die for the strangulation-robbery of 35-year-old Darrin Honeycutt. Honeycutt's nude body was found in his Montrose apartment days after his murder. Masterson contended that Honeycutt, whom he had met at a Montrose nightclub, died accidentally as the pair engaged in sex.
Lawyers for Masterson asked the high court to review such issues as the impact of a trial court judge's failure to advise jurors they could convict Masterson of the lesser charge of felony murder ‑ an offense that could have resulted in an extended prison sentence, but not death.
They also asked the court to review a lower-court's rejection of the claim that a Harris County medical examiner misinterpreted results of Honeycutt's autopsy, testifying that the man had died of strangulation and giving short shrift to the possibility that he died of natural causes.
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