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Okla. Executes Convicted Killer

January 7, 1999

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ A twice-convicted murderer who said he likely would have killed again had he remained free was executed by injection early Thursday.

John Walter Castro Sr., 37, was declared dead at 12:22 a.m. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. He was the third killer executed in Oklahoma in a month and the 14th since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977.

Juries condemned Castro in the unrelated murders of two women, but one death penalty was later overturned.

He was executed for the April 18, 1983, death of Beulah Grace Sissons Cox, 31, near Stillwater. Castro, who was hitchhiking, stole her car at gunpoint and later shot her in the head several times.

About three months later, Castro stabbed Rhonda Pappan, 29, to death while robbing the restaurant she owned in Ponca City.

In a recent interview, Castro said he isn’t sure why he killed the women.

``If I hadn’t been caught and stopped, I probably would have killed someone else,″ he said.

The Supreme Court rejected Castro’s last appeal more than a month ago, and the state Pardon and Parole Board denied him clemency last month.

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