Texas has executed a man for a rape and fatal shooting carried out more than 22 years ago.
Rickey Lynn Lewis, 50, was found guilty of killing 45-year-old George Newman and raping Newman’s fiancee, Connie Hilton. While Lewis (pictured below) confessed to the rape of Hilton, he always denied killing Newman.
Lewis had a lengthy criminal history. He had been in and out of prison five times in less than seven years by the time of his 1990 arrest for the murder and rape of Newman and Hilton.
He was executed on Tuesday evening with a single lethal dose of pentobarbital. In the minutes leading up to his execution, Lewis told Hilton, who stood behind a glass window a few feet away:
“If I hadn’t raped you, you wouldn’t have lived. I didn’t kill Mr. Newman and I didn’t rob your house. I was just there. I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. It wasn’t me that harmed and stole all of your stuff.
“When I saw you in the truck driving away, I could have killed you, but I didn’t. I’m not a killer.”
Lewis said that the two individuals responsible for Newman’s death were still alive but refused to identify them.
Hilton, who agreed to be identified by her real name in the media, did not offer a statement after Lewis’ execution.
As the pentobarbital was prepared for Lewis’ execution, the convict thanked his friends who watched through a nearby window. Choking back tears, he said:
“I thank the Lord for the man I am today. I have done all I can to better myself, to learn to read and write. Take me to my king.”
Shortly after the drug was administered, Lewis said he could feel it “burning my arm.” He added, “I feel it in my throat. I’m getting dizzy.” Lewis then began to snore and, just seconds later, lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead 14 minutes after the drug had been injected.
Lewis is the second execution in Texas this year. The first, Carl Blue, was executed on February 21.