On Oct. 6, 2016, Justen Hall, acting as his own attorney, wrote to a district court in El Paso, asking that it dismiss the appeals filed on his behalf and set his execution date. "These walls 24/7 have broken me," he stated. "I need to be put down like the rabid dog I am."
He got his wish. Hall was executed on November 6, 2019 for the strangulation murder of a woman in 2002, reported the El Paso Times.
Hall, 38, had been on Texas' death row since 2005 when he was sentenced to die after being convicted of capital murder in the strangulation of 29-year-old Melanie Ruth Billhartz in 2002.
The killing of Billhartz occurred while Hall was out on bond on another murder charge, the fatal shooting of a transgender woman that was labeled a hate crime.
Hall was a member of the white supremacist Aryan Circle gang and investigators had said that prejudice was a motive in the hate crime killing.
In October 2002, Hall strangled Billhartz to death with a black electrical cord and then buried her body in the New Mexico desert because he feared she would tell police about a methamphetamine cooking operation at a house in El Paso.
Another man had assaulted Billhartz during an argument and Hall and other gang members feared the meth operation would be discovered after Billhartz threatened to call police to report the assault.
Police had said Hall was the first person in El Paso to be charged with murder while out on bail on another murder charge.
Hall had been previously charged in fatal shooting of 28-year-old Arturo Diaz, who identified as a transgender woman.
On April 10, 2002, Diaz was found dead after being shot in the back off Anapra Road near Sunland Park, New Mexico, according to El Paso Times archives.
The two possibly met at a gay bar in Downtown El Paso, where Hall had been seen hanging around for some time before the killing, according to news archives.
Hall's indictment alleged he was motivated by prejudice over Diaz's sexual orientation, and the killing was classified as a hate crime.
Hall's bond in that murder was set at $75,000 by a municipal judge, and Hall paid $7,500 to get out of jail.
Hall was 21 years old at the time of Billhartz's killing on Oct. 28, 2002.
But at a March 2017 court hearing, Hall told a judge his request for DNA testing was a "stall tactic," the Associated Press reported.
"I killed Melanie, and I killed Arturo. And I accept the punishment for it, and I'm ready to get it over with, you know," said Hall, who stopped talking to his attorneys and asked that appeals be stopped.
Hall was the 19th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the eighth in Texas. Three more executions are scheduled in Texas this year.
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