Feds Execute Man Who Buried Texas Teen Alive

Orlando Hall is 8th federal inmate executed this year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2020 3:06 AM CST
Feds Execute Man Who Buried Texas Teen Alive
This Aug. 28, 2020 photo shows the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Orlando Hall got stiffed on a drug deal and went to a Texas apartment looking for the two brothers who took his money. They weren't home, but their 16-year-old sister was. Late Thursday, Hall was put to death for abducting and killing the teenager, Lisa Rene. His was the eighth federal execution this year since the Trump administration revived a process that had been used just three times in the past 56 years. A judge’s stay over concerns about the execution drug gave Hall a reprieve, but for less than six hours. After the Supreme Court overturned the stay, he was put to death just before midnight at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, the AP reports. Hall, a changed man in prison according to his lawyers and a church volunteer who had grown close to him, was consoling his family and supporters at the end. “I’m OK,” he said in a final statement, "Take care of yourselves. Tell my kids I love them.”

Hall’s attorneys also had sought to halt the execution over concerns that Hall, who was Black, was sentenced on the recommendation of an all-white jury. According to federal court documents, Hall and three accomplices kidnapped Rene in Arlington on Sept. 24, 1994. The men drove to a motel in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where Rene was repeatedly sexually assaulted over the next two days. On Sept. 26, Hall and two other men drove Rene to Byrd Lake Natural Area in Pine Bluff. They led her to a grave site they had dug a day earlier. Hall placed a sheet over Rene’s head then hit her in the head with a shovel. When she ran, another man and Hall took turns hitting her with the shovel before she was gagged and dragged into the grave, where she was doused in gasoline before dirt was shoveled over her. A coroner determined that Rene was still alive when she was buried and died of asphyxiation in the grave.

(Read more execution stories.)

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