Posted: Oct 23, 2012 2:17 PM by Associated Press
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Bobby Lee Hines showed up uninvited at a party at a suburban Dallas apartment complex and said he was part of the maintenance crew, flashing a key and bragging he could enter anyone's apartment at any time.
The passkey, though, belonged to the apartment maintenance man who was sharing his place with Hines, a 19-year-old probationer with several burglary convictions.
On Wednesday, Hines is set to die for robbing, stabbing and strangling Michelle Wendy Haupt, a 26-year-old woman who lived next door to him at the complex in Carrollton, just north of Dallas, 21 years ago.
His execution would be the 11th this year in Texas. Another lethal injection is set for next week in the nation's busiest capital punishment state.
Hines was scheduled to die in June, but the Dallas County district attorney's office withdrew the death date for additional DNA testing of evidence. When the tests confirmed his guilt, his execution was reset for Wednesday.
Hines, 40, declined to speak with reporters as the execution neared.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last week rejected an appeal from Hines, whose lawyer argued Hines' trial attorneys "failed to adequately investigate, develop and present to the jurors the full extent of the abuse, neglect and violence that Bobby was subjected to at a very young age, and which continued throughout his youth."
Attorney Lydia Brandt also contended lawyers early in the appeals process likewise failed to investigate the claims. She unsuccessfully tried to negotiate the execution date so it fell after a U.S. Supreme Court conference next week when justices are expected to discuss whether to review another Texas death penalty case with similar issues.
Lisa Smith, a Dallas County assistant prosecutor, argued Hines' trial lawyers had presented "a detailed and credible picture of a child who suffered and faced significant struggles."
The Texas appeals court said Hines "had not presented a compelling reason" to re-open his case and refused his appeals.
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year refused to review his case.
Haupt had moved to Texas from the Pittsburgh area to work at a Dallas computer firm.
A neighbor heard screams in the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 20, 1991, and police were called but couldn't find the source of the outburst. When other residents later in the morning also told the apartment manager about screams and loud noises like a bowling ball being dropped repeatedly, they persuaded him to open Haupt's door.
Her body was on the floor, wrapped with a tightly bound robe put on her after she'd been stabbed some 18 times, likely with an ice pick found on a couch. A stereo cord was around her neck.
Hines' older brother, a manager at the complex, told police he suspected his brother was involved, according to court records. Police interviewed Hines, noticed he had scratches on his face and neck and got consent from Hines' roommate to search his apartment where Hines slept on a couch. Detectives found items belonging to Haupt, including in his pants pocket a gold sand-dollar charm she wore on a necklace.
Defense evidence showed Hines' father had abused him and other family members, that he and his siblings spent time in foster care and he had learning disabilities. Prosecutors showed Hines first was arrested at age 12 for auto theft and had other arrests for assault and burglary, including burglary at a church. He was on probation when the slaying occurred.
"All I remember is a real young kid who had very tumultuous childhood, and never really had a chance," William Hughey, one of his trial lawyers, recalled this week. "It was a case where it was clear his childhood had a significant impact as to who he was and how he ended up where he is."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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