Texas death row inmate dies after December surgery for tumor

HOUSTON (AP) — A person who had been on Texas’ dying row for almost 30 years after being convicted within the killings of his girlfriend and her two sons has died of pure causes, a spokesperson for the state jail system stated Thursday.

Henry “Hank” Skinner, 60, died Thursday afternoon at a hospital in Galveston, stated Texas Division of Felony Justice spokesperson Robert Hurst.

In a press release, Skinner’s attorneys stated he died from issues following surgical procedure in December to take away a mind tumor.

Skinner had been scheduled to be executed Sept. 13.

Skinner was convicted of capital homicide for the New 12 months’s Eve 1993 deaths of 40-year-old Twila Jean Busby and her sons — 22-year-old Elwin Caler and 20-year-old Randy Busby. They have been discovered lifeless of their house in Pampa, positioned northeast of Amarillo within the Texas Panhandle.

Prosecutors stated Skinner used an ax deal with to kill Twila Busby after which fatally stabbed her sons, who have been each mentally impaired.

Skinner had lengthy maintained his innocence. He had stated he was handed out on a sofa from a mixture of vodka and codeine on the time of their deaths. Skinner and his attorneys had pointed to Twila Busby’s now-deceased uncle, Robert Donnell, because the doable killer.

“Mr. Skinner was nonetheless difficult his conviction on the time of his dying, and we’re deeply sorry that he handed away earlier than these proceedings have been full,” his attorneys stated in a press release.

Prosecutors had stated traces of Skinner’s DNA have been in blood within the bed room the place Randy Busby was discovered stabbed to dying and that his DNA additionally matched blood stains all through the home the place the murders came about.

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Skinner as soon as got here inside an hour of execution in March 2010 earlier than the U.S. Supreme Court docket granted him a keep so he may pursue DNA testing of things from the crime scene that hadn’t been examined.

This proof was not examined on the time of Skinner’s trial as his lawyer had feared the check outcomes could be extra damaging to his case.

“I’ve been framed ever since,” Skinner advised The Related Press in 2010. “They’re fixing to kill me for one thing I didn’t do.”

Testing was achieved on the extra proof. His attorneys had argued the outcomes of the testing confirmed it was “moderately possible” he would have been acquitted for the slayings if the jury had heard testimony about this extra proof. Prosecutors had argued many of the DNA proof implicated Skinner.

In 2014, a decide dominated Skinner in all probability would have been convicted even when the extra DNA proof had been launched at his trial.

In October, the Texas Court docket of Felony Appeals upheld the decide’s ruling.

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Observe Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/juanlozano70.