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A jury convicted Hopper of capital murder in March 1992 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in November 1997. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Joy Aylor was arrested in September 1988, but was released on $140,000 bail. The night before her 1990 murder trial was to begin, she emptied her bank accounts and fled to Canada with her attorney, who was also reportedly her lover. After the lawyer was arrested in Canada on a drug charge, Aylor then fled to Mexico, then Europe. She settled around Nice, France, living under the alias Elizabeth Sharp. Her identity was exposed after she became involved in a minor traffic accident while driving a rental car. She was arrested in March 1991. The French government refused to extradite her, however, because of its opposition to capital punishment. Aylor was returned to Texas in December 1993 after the state pledged that she would not face the death penalty. She was convicted of capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
William Garland and Brian Lee Kreafle also received life sentences.
In 1993, Gailiunas' parents won a $35 million lawsuit against Joy Aylor for her responsibility in their daughter's death.
Aylor was also found to be behind the 1986 attempted murder of her husband. Larry Aylor won a $31.2 million lawsuit against his wife in 1990. The two gunmen involved in that crime were also apprehended, convicted, and sent to prison.
The long, intricate story was made into two books: "To Hatred Turned: A True Story of Love and Death in Texas" by Ken Englade in 1993, and "Open Secrets: A True Story of Love, Jealousy, and Murder" by Carlton Stowers in 1994. It also inspired a made-for-television movie, "Telling Secrets," starring Cybill Shepherd in 1993.
"I have made a lot of mistakes in my life," Hopper said in his last statement. "The things I did changed so many lives. I can't take it back. It was an atrocity. I am sorry. I beg you forgiveness. I know I am not worthy of it." Hopper then told his parents that he loved them and said a brief prayer. The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 9 March 2005.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Associated Press, Metro West Daily News.