Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Roger Vaughn

Roger Vaughn
Roger Vaughn
Executed on 6 May 2003

Roger Dale Vaughn, 48, was executed by lethal injection on 6 May 2003 in Huntsville, Texas for the rape and murder of a woman during a burglary of her home.

On 14 October 1991, Vaughn, then 37, fled from the Lubbock County jail, where he was a trusty who was facing charges of forgery and robbery. Vaughn then located a friend, Larry Shaw, and told him he had been paroled. Vaughn got Shaw drunk, stole his car, and beat him severely until he was partially paralyzed. He also stole Shaw's identification.

The next day, Vaughn attempted to contact a friend by telephone. He ended up speaking with the friend's mother, Dora Watkins, 66. Vaughn made arrangements to stop by her house in Vernon the next evening.

On the afternoon of 16 October, Vaughn burglarized his aunt and uncle's house in Vernon, stealing two pairs of boots and two rifles. He pawned the rifles in Wichita Falls, then returned to Vernon. That evening, Vaughn, then 37, broke into Watkins' house. Vaughn sexually assaulted Watkins, then strangled her to death with a piece of cloth. Vaughn stole some checks and jewelry from the home.

Vaughn was arrested the next day in Wichita Falls after an unsuccessful attempt to cash one of Watkins' checks. He had Watkins' identification and checkbooks in his possession. He also had several pawn receipts made out in Larry Shaw's name, and was driving Shaw's car.

According to the prosecutor, Watkins had a bite mark on her face that matched an impression taken of Vaughn's teeth.

Vaughn had a previous conviction for burglary of a habitation. He was sentenced in 1977 to 10 years' probation, but after only two months, his probation was revoked because of an aggravated assault, and he was sent to prison. He was paroled 2½ years later, in 1980. Vaughn was granted clemency in August 1985 and was discharged from parole. However, in 1986 he was convicted in Wyoming of receiving stolen property and put on probation. Later that year, he was convicted of forgery and sent to prison. The date of his release was not reported. He was arrested on fraud and robbery charges in August 1991 and sent to the Lubbock County jail.

Vaughn was also court-martialed by the U.S. Army in 1973 and convicted of being AWOL. He was subsequently discharged for character and behavior disorders.

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