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Ohio Executes Man for Rape, Murder of Child

September 26, 2002|From Associated Press

LUCASVILLE, Ohio — A man convicted of abducting an 11-year-old girl from a park 20 years ago and then raping and strangling her was executed Wednesday for the crime.

State and federal courts had turned down Robert Buell's last-minute appeals that were based on objections to the hypnotizing of witnesses at his trial.

Buell's execution was the state's fifth in three years.

Buell, a former Akron city planner who lived in nearby Clinton, claimed he was innocent and that there was no eyewitness or DNA evidence connecting him to the crime. Prosecutors said fibers found on the girl's body matched fibers taken from carpet in Buell's van.

The victim, Krista Harrison, was abducted July 11, 1982, as she collected cans in a park across the street from where she lived in the village of Marshallville.

In another execution Wednesday, Texas put to death a former landscaper and parolee for killing a man during a 1994 drug deal.

Calvin King, 48, became the 28th person executed this year in Texas, the nation's death penalty leader, and the second in as many days.

King was the 283rd person executed in Texas since it resumed capital punishment in 1982, six years after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a national death penalty ban.

King was convicted of stabbing drug dealer Billy Wayne Ezell, 21, to death at a Beaumont motel on Feb. 26, 1994.

King, who had several theft convictions, was on parole during the killing.

Strapped to the gurney in the Texas death chamber, King made a brief statement:

"I want to say God forgives as I forgive. God is the greatest. Thank you." Lethal drugs were then injected into his veins.

King's execution was the second of two scheduled on consecutive days this week in Texas. On Tuesday, Rex Mays, 42, was put to death for fatally stabbing two young girls after they refused to turn down loud music.

For his final meal, King requested fried chicken cooked with garlic powder and red pepper, French fries, a Dr Pepper and hot sauce.

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