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Double Murderer Executed in Va.

April 3, 2002

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JARRATT, Va. (AP) _ A man who never tried to appeal his death sentence was executed Tuesday night for killing his 4-year-old daughter and her 14-year-old half-sister in 1999.

Daniel Lee Zirkle, 33, died by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center at 9:07 p.m.

``I would just like to say that I’m sorry to everyone who’s been hurt in this tragedy that I’ve had,″ Zirkle said after being led into the death chamber.

He stabbed to death his daughter, Christina Zirkle, and her half-sister, Jessica Shifflett, 14, on Aug. 2, 1999.

Zirkle and Barbara Jo Shifflett, the mother of both girls, had just broken up. Zirkle had been released from jail for violating a protective order by assaulting her. They had lived together since 1972.

While Shifflett was at work, Zirkle went to her house, stabbed Jessica and took Christina to an overlook where he stabbed her to death and cut his own throat.

Zirkle pleaded guilty to killing both girls, asked for the death sentence at both trials and refused to let his lawyers present mitigating evidence.

Zirkle did not appeal his sentence. He was the second person executed this year in Virginia.

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