Texas drug dealer executed for killing Austin police officer during traffic stop 32 years ago
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A former drug dealer convicted of killing an Austin police officer during a traffic stop 32 years ago has been executed in Texas.
Fifty-nine-year-old David Lee Powell was the 13th person put to death this year in Texas. He was the longest-serving inmate to be executed since the state began carrying out executions again in 1982 and one of the longest imprisoned in the nation to die.
Powell's attorneys had argued his exemplary behavior on death row over three decades showed jurors were wrong when they decided he would be a continuing danger and should die, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal Tuesday.
Powell shot 26-year-old Ralph Ablanedo 10 times with an assault rifle after the officer pulled over Powell's girlfriend's car in May 1978.
(This version CORRECTS the year that Texas resumed executions to 1982.)