Texas Man Executed for Rape-Slaying

A San Antonio man with a previous conviction for manslaughter was executed Thursday for the abduction, rape and fatal stabbing of a woman more than 12 years ago.

Richard Hinojosa expressed love for his family and asked his victim's family to find peace in their heart.

"I pray for you. Please find peace in your heart," he said looking at the parents, a brother and two aunts of his victim. "I know you may hate me for whatever reason. The Lord says hate no one. I hope you find peace in your heart. I know my words cannot help you. I truly mean what I say."

He indicated to the prison warden that he had finished his statement, telling him, "Kick the tires and light the fire. I'm going home to see my son and my mom."

He began chanting a prayer, repeatedly invoking Yahweh as the lethal drugs were being administered. Eight minutes later at 6:19 p.m. CDT he was pronounced dead.

Hinojosa, 44, acknowledged gunning down a man in 1986 but insisted he wasn't responsible for the slaying eight years later of 29-year-old Terry Wright, who lived next door. He spent 2 1/2 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter conviction, then received a death sentence for Wright's killing.

Hinojosa's execution was the 18th this year in Texas — one short of last year's total in the nation's most active capital punishment state. Two more executions are scheduled for this month and at least six other inmates have dates through the remainder of the year. If all are carried out, the total still would fall well short of the record 40 executions in Texas in 2000.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied Hinojosa's appeal that challenged the use of the lethal drugs in the execution process as unconstitutionally cruel. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles this week also refused a request for commutation or a temporary reprieve.