Convicted Killer Executed for Woman's Death

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A convicted killer has been executed for the death of a woman at her Harris County home 21 years ago.

Michael Richard had at least five felony convictions and had been released from his second prison term just eight weeks before the 1986 murder of Marguerite Lucille Dixon, a mother of seven.

He was the 26th Texas inmate executed this year. The execution last night was delayed about two hours while appeals were in the courts.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down requests to halt the execution because of claims Richard was mentally retarded. Attorneys then asked for a reprieve because of the high court's decision earlier yesterday to consider the constitutionality of lethal injection in a Kentucky case. Almost two hours later, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal.

Governor Rick Perry's office had said the execution of 49-year-old Richard should go forward as planned.