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Rapist-murderer executed in Texas

June 4, 1997

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A man who raped his neighbor, then strangled her in a bathtub 11 years ago was executed by injection.

Serial rapist Kenneth Bernard Harris, 34, was convicted of killing legal secretary Lisa Stonestreet, 28. Both lived in the same Houston apartment complex.

In his final statement Tuesday, Harris asked for forgiveness and thanked witnesses who showed up in the death chamber.

``I am sorry for all the pain I’ve caused both families _ my family and your family, too,″ he said, nodding to his victim’s sister and brother-in-law standing behind glass a few feet away.

``I hope he saw no bitterness or hate in our hearts,″ said Vicki Haack, Ms. Stonestreet’s sister. ``We have forgiven him but that does not mean he does not pay for his crime.″

Ms. Stonestreet was found slumped over the side of her bathtub with her head submerged in water on June 9, 1986. When her missing car was found, Harris’ palm prints were detected on the burned wreckage.

Police, acting on a tip, arrested Harris about six weeks later and found his fingerprints at the scenes of numerous rapes in Houston.

He confessed to killing Ms. Stonestreet, blaming a crack cocaine habit for his behavior. During the punishment phase, prosecutors had five rape victims tell a jury how he attacked them.

Harris was the second of four inmates scheduled for execution this week in Texas.

Harris was the 18th convicted murderer executed this year in Texas, nearing the record of 20 the state set in 1935.

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