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Renfro Executed in Texas

February 10, 1998

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A man who fatally shot three people in a drug-induced rampage was put to death Monday by lethal injection.

Steven Renfro’s death received little of the attention that accompanied Karla Faye Tucker’s execution last week.

Hundreds of spectators and media from around the world converged on the grounds of the prison for the execution of the pickax-killer. She was the first woman put to death in Texas since the Civil War and the second in the nation since 1984.

Renfro, 40, voluntarily headed to the death chamber on a conviction less than 10 months old. He asked that no appeals be pursued and his execution be carried out as soon as possible.

Rick Berry, a high school classmate and the prosecutor in the case, said the decision not to fight was Renfro’s way of trying to get into heaven.

``By voluntarily going ahead and being punished, it’s like an atonement,″ Berry said before Renfro was put to death.

On Aug. 25, 1996, after taking what he told authorities were 70 doses of the tranquilizer Valium, along with liquor, Renfro put on camouflage clothing, blackened his face and armed himself with four guns, including a military assault rifle, and 500 rounds of ammunition.

He shot and killed his live-in girlfriend, Rhena Fultner, 36, then killed an aunt who lived with them, Rose Rutledge, 63. He went to the nearby trailer of an acquaintance, George Counts, 40, against whom he had a grudge, and shot him, too, firing more than 150 rounds into the mobile home.

When police responded, he opened fire again, wounding a police officer.

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