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Texas executes man for 1991 stabbing-strangulation murder

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas prison officials on Wednesday executed a man for the gruesome 1991 murder a women who was stabbed repeatedly with an ice pick and strangled with stereo wire at her Dallas-area apartment, state officials said.

Bobby Lee Hines, aged 19 at the time of the killing, was sharing a next door apartment with a maintenance man who had master keys to all the units in the building, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Hours after neighbors heard screaming and other loud noises coming from the apartment of Michelle Wendy Haupt, 26, her body was found just inside the door of her unit, covered with about 18 puncture wounds, according to a summary of the case from the Texas attorney general's office.

Hines' fingerprint and bloody palm print were found in the apartment. Haupt's gold sand-dollar charm was found in Hines' pants pocket.

Hines was put to death by lethal injection at a state prison in Huntsville, Texas. He was pronounced dead at 6:28 p.m. local time (2328 GMT), said Jason Clark, a spokesman for the criminal justice department.

Hines, 40, was the 11th person executed this year in Texas and the 33rd in the United States.

In his final statement, Hines asked Haupt's family for forgiveness, according to a copy of the statement provided by Clark.

"To the victim's family, I am sure I know that I took somebody special from y'all," Hines said. "I know it wasn't right, it was wrong."

He also said that God has forgiven him and that being locked up for the rest of his life would have been more of a punishment.

"I wish there was some other way to show I'm sorry," he said.

Hines' execution was scheduled for earlier this year, but it was postponed so that DNA testing could be conducted on fingernail clippings collected from Haupt's body. The testing did not exclude Hines as a source of the DNA, according to the attorney general's office.

(Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Eric Beech)

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