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Texas Man Executed for Killing

April 12, 2002

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A convicted killer was executed Thursday night for gunning down a man in 1981 after robbing him of $110 in Texarkana.

``I just want to tell my mom that I am sorry I caused her so much pain,″ William Burns, 43, said as he was strapped to the death chamber gurney.

Burns became the eighth Texas inmate to receive lethal injection this year.

Both Burns and his brother, Victor, were convicted in 1981 of capital murder and sentenced to death for killing Johnny Hamlett, 18. Five years later, an appeals court threw out the convictions because of improper jury instructions.

William Burns was tried again and sentenced to death. His brother pleaded guilty to a lesser murder charge and received a life term. He remains behind bars, was rejected for parole last year and can make another parole request next year.

In 1989, Burns’ capital murder conviction was overturned again. He was tried a third time, convicted and condemned.

Two more executions are set for later this month, including one next week.

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