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Gang leader executed for college student’s rape-murder

March 13, 1997

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ The leader of a gang that raped and robbed in attacks at Houston apartment complexes was executed Wednesday for the abduction, rape and murder of a college student in 1986.

John Kennedy Barefield, 32, whose criminal record began at age 16 with a Louisiana burglary conviction, was put to death by lethal injection for the the shooting death of Cindy Rounsaville, 25, of Tulsa, Okla.

``I love you all,″ he said as five family members, including three sisters and a brother, watched through a window. ``Tell Mama I love her.″

Ms. Rounsaville was within weeks of her second Rice University degree in architecture and was engaged to be married when Barefield and two other men abducted her at gunpoint April 21, 1986, in the parking lot of her Houston apartment complex.

They forced her to withdraw $70 from an automated bank machine and raped her in a car. Evidence at Barefield’s trial showed he shot her twice in the head as she was on her hands and knees in a field after she ran from the car.

When he was arrested a few weeks later, Barefield had the gun used in the murder and the woman’s Rice University class ring.

Other witnesses at the trial identified Barefield as the man who robbed, beat or raped them in other attacks during a six-month period in 1985-86.

Barefield’s brother, Perry, received a 45-year prison term. A third man is serving life.

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