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Texas Execution Today: Larry Swiringen Receives Deadly Injection for 1998 Murder by Student Melissa Trotter



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This unpublished photo, provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, shows Larry Swearingen.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice


A Texas death row inmate who claims his sentence is based on the science of junk was executed Wednesday for kidnapping, raping and killing a suburb from the University of Houston more than 20 years ago. Larry Swaringen, 48, received a lethal injection at the Huntsville State Penitentiary for the December 1

9 murder of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter. She was last seen leaving her college in Coro and her body was found about a month later in a forest near Huntsville, about 70 miles north of Houston.

Suringen, who has always maintained his innocence at the death of Trotter, is the 12th prisoner killed this year in the United States and the fourth in Texas the busiest state in the country. the death penalty. 11 more executions are planned for Texas this year.

"Lord, forgive them," Suringen said after the superintendent asked him if he had a final statement. "They don't know what they're doing."

Then, when the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, he said he could "hear" him fall into a vein in his hand and then be able to taste it. [19659006] "It actually burns in my right hand. I don't feel anything in my left hand," he said.

He took a short breath almost immediately, then began to snore quietly.

He never opened his eyes and never looked at the witnesses who were there on behalf of his victim, including her parents, who were looking out the window only a few meters away.

At 6:47 CDT – 12 minutes after the start of the lethal dose – Swearingen was pronounced dead.

"Justice was served on Melissa today," her family said in a statement provided to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "This process was overwhelming. We want to praise God for having experienced this horrific ordeal. We feel that we can now move forward and begin the healing process.

" We want Melissa to be remembered as a happy, loving, sweetheart spirit with a beautiful smile. We always knew that justice would prevail for Melissa. "

Prosecutors said they were behind the" mountain of evidence "used to convict Swarging in 2000. They described him as a sociopath with a criminal history of violence against women and said he had even tried

he tried to question the evidence used to convict him, especially the prosecution experts' claims that Trotter's body had been in the woods for 25 days, and his longtime appellate lawyer James Riting said at least five defense experts had concluded that her body is not there for 14 days, and since Swaringen had been arrested so far for outstanding traffic disturbances, he was unable to leave her body there. prosecutors used "false and misleading testimony" related to blood evidence and a piece of pantyhose used to strangle Trotter.

Kelly Blackburn, chief of the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office who prosecutes Swearingen, said she had tried Swearingen of Swearingen to discredit AT evidence was not successful because the opinions of its experts did not "maintain water."

"I doubt absolutely nothing to someone besides Larry Suiringen killed … Melissa Trotter," he said.

Blackburn said Suringen killed Trotter because he was angry that she had set him up for a date. At the time of Trotter's murder, Suringen was charged with charges of kidnapping a former fiance.

During a 2011 interview, Swiringen told the Associated Press that he was tired of being "demonized" for a crime he did not commit. [19659005] "We would all like to know who did it," he says.

In addition to the issue of the date of Trotter's death, Riting maintained a piece of tights used to strangle Trotter, not a match to a piece found in Swearingen's trailer. He also challenged the prosecution experts' claims by rejecting the blood found in the scrapes of Trotter's nails, which was determined not to be Swaringen's. He said the evidence supports the theory of defense that someone else killed her.

In letters sent to Swingenen's attorneys in July and August, the Texas Department of Public Safety stated that technicians should not have been so definitive in their testimony about blood found.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week dismissed Swearingen's challenge to blood evidence and pantyhose, referring to the "mountain of evidence" that "seals Swearingen's guilt for killing Trotter." The Court of Appeal disagreed with the defense's contention that the testimony of the blood evidence and the matching of the pantyhose were false and misleading.

Blackburn stated that Suringen was trying to get people to lie to give him an alibi. After his arrest, Swaringen received another prisoner to write a letter to Swearingen, drawn in Spanish, claiming he was the real killer and sent it to his lawyer. In 2017, Suringen and another inmate, Anthony Shore, come up with a plan to make Shore take responsibility for Trotter's murder. Shore, who was on death row for another crime, was executed last year.

Riting said Suringen was guilty of having done "some very stupid things," but prosecutors have no evidence that he killed Trotter.


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