Timothy Tyler Titsworth, 34, was executed by lethal injection on 6 June 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of his girlfriend.
On 23 July 1993, Titsworth, then 21, and his girlfriend, Christine Sossaman, 26, had an argument in their trailer home in Amarillo. Titsworth left the trailer to buy crack cocaine. When he returned, he took a dull axe from a closet and struck Sossaman, who was sleeping in her bed, about 16 times. Titsworth then stole Sossaman's credit cards and car.
Over the next few days, Titsworth and some of his friends returned to the trailer at least twice to steal additional property, so they could sell it for money to buy more crack.
The victim's mother found the body in the trailer and notified police. Titsworth was then arrested as he was making another trip to the trailer. He was driving Sossaman's car at the time of his arrest, and he was illegally in possession of a firearm.
Titsworth initially denied any involvement in the murder, but later he confessed. He said that Sossaman accused him of "messing around" and slapped him, then he left the trailer and bought drugs. He ingested the drugs, went back home, took the axe from the closet as Sossaman slept, and struck her with the axe - by his recollection, four or five times. He admitted stealing her money and possessions and selling them for drugs. He said that on one of his return trips to the trailer, he observed that the victim was still breathing and had apparently tried to crawl into the bathroom.
According to evidence presented at Titsworth's trial, he had lived with Sossaman for about two months. The day before the murder, Sossaman told a friend that she intended to ask Titsworth to move out, because he was stealing from her.
The medical examiner testified that at least seven of the axe blows occurred after the victim had fallen off the bed, and was on the floor. He also testified that one axe blow was made to the body after the victim died, which he estimated could have been anywhere from twenty minutes to several hours after the attack.
Titsworth had a criminal record from childhood. At age 13, he broke into a shed. He was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to undergo psychological counseling. At age 15, he was arrested for drug possession and was again put on probation. In February 1992, Titsworth received a felony conviction for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and was sentenced to five years in prison. After less than three months, he was released on "shock probation." (At the time, Texas was under strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.) His probation was revoked soon afterward, however. There was an arrest warrant out for him at the time of the murder.
While awaiting trial, Titsworth and some other inmates escaped from the Randall County Jail by crawling through ductwork. Titsworth was captured about 12 hours after the escape, after leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car.
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