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Texas Executes Convicted Killer

January 10, 2002

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A man who stalked teen-age girls was put to death Wednesday night for killing one of the girls’ mothers during a burglary in 1994.

Michael Moore, 38, appeared to choke back tears as he expressed love for his family and sought forgiveness for the slaying.

``I’m sorry. I can’t take back what I have done,″ he said, looking at the victim’s relatives, who watched through a window.

The nine-year Navy veteran confessed to killing Christa Bentley, 35, after he was apprehended the morning of the slaying in Copperas Cove, about 50 miles southwest of Waco.

Authorities said Moore had compiled a notebook including names and addresses of some 300 girls, including Bentley’s daughter. He said he went through high school yearbooks and ``made a list of the most attractive girls and started following them around.″

Several of the girls had reported break-ins at their homes; others had received threatening letters. Authorities said a knife and pistol used in the slaying were stolen during earlier burglaries.

A state appeals court halted Moore’s execution in March, a day before it was scheduled. In November, the same court dismissed his final appeal.

Moore was the first of four Texas inmates scheduled to die this month. Seventeen were executed last year.