Austin Cop Killer Executed for 1978 Slaying

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Texas-- Convicted killer David Lee Powell has been executed for using an assault rifle to kill an Austin police officer during a traffic stop 32 years ago.

The 59-year-old Powell received lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt his punishment Tuesday evening. It's the 13th execution of the year in Texas.

Attorneys had argued his exemplary behavior on death row over the past three decades showed jurors were wrong when they decided he would be a continuing danger and should die for killing 26-year-old Ralph Ablanedo.

Powell became the longest-serving inmate executed in Texas since the state began carrying out executions in 1982. He's also one of the longest-imprisoned in the nation to die. In 2008, a prisoner in Georgia was executed after spending more than 33 years on death row.

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