Stacey Lamont Lawton, 31, was executed by lethal injection on 14 November in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a homeowner during a burglary.
On Christmas Eve 1992, Lawton, then 23, and two accomplices were burglarizing cars and trucks in the neighborhood of Dennis Price, 44. Price's 18-year-old daughter, Jennifer, heard noises outside their home and alerted her father. While Jennifer called 911, Dennis Price went outside and found the trio trying to break into his truck. The burglars greeted Price with a shotgun blast to the chest. The 911 tapes recorded Jennifer crying, "Oh my God! They shot my dad!" Dennis Price died on the way to the hospital. Lawton and the two accomplices -- Karlos Ranard Fields, 21, and a 14-year-old -- fled in two stolen pickups, then abandoned them and stole a third pickup. A witness saw the truck speed away and called police. Lawton and his two accomplices were caught after a high-speed chase.
Court records show that the murder weapon was stolen in an earlier burglary. Lawton's 14-year-old accomplice testified that Lawton was the gunman who killed Price.
Lawton had a prior conviction for delivery of cocaine. He served less than eight months of a 10-year prison sentence in 1990-91 before being paroled. (At this time, early release was common in Texas because of strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.)
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