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Texas Executes Killer by Injection

June 16, 2000

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A former security guard who raped and strangled a 61-year-old woman while high on drugs and alcohol was executed by injection Thursday night.

Paul Nuncio, 31, was the third Texas inmate to be executed this week and the 22nd this year.

In a lengthy and rambling final statement, Nuncio said he said he was sorry that Pauline Farris was murdered but insisted he did not commit the crime.

``I don’t want you to have guilt of executing someone innocent because I am,″ he said, directing his comments to the children of the victim.

Nuncio was condemned for killing Farris at her Plainview home on Dec. 3, 1993. The prosecutor called the crime ``animalistic″ and said it was the worst capital murder case he had ever seen.

``He literally beat her face in so she was unrecognizable,″ Hale County District Attorney Terry McEachern said.

Nuncio was on probation at the time of the killing for a felony theft conviction. He also had misdemeanor theft convictions in two counties.

On Wednesday, John Albert Burks, 44, was executed for killing the owner of a Waco tortilla shop in an attempted robbery 11 years ago.

On Monday, Thomas Wayne Mason, 48, received lethal injection for the shotgun deaths of the mother and grandmother of his estranged wife 8 1/2 years ago.

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