Texas Execution Information Center

Richard Anderson

Robert James Anderson, 40, was executed by lethal injection on 20 July 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of a 5-year-old girl.

On 9 June 1992, Audra Reeves was walking home from an Amarillo park. As she passed in front of Anderson's house, Anderson, then 26, abducted her and took her inside. After attempting to rape her, Anderson choked her, beat her with a stool, and stabbed her with a paring knife and a barbecue fork. Anderson then took the girl into the bathroom and drowned her in the bathtub. He then placed her body in a foam ice chest and, using a grocery cart to transport it, left it in a dumpster behind another residence. The ice chest containing the girl's nude body was found in the dumpster by a homeowner throwing out his trash.

The person who found the body also witnessed Anderson near the dumpster earlier. Other witnesses reported seeing Anderson pushing a grocery cart along the street, carrying a white ice chest. The witnesses gave a description of the suspect to police, and Anderson was arrested as he was walking back home.

Anderson gave a written confession in which he admitted kidnapping and killing Audra. He said he had recently had an argument with his wife.

Anderson had no prior criminal arrests, but ample evidence was presented at his punishment hearing of his previous sexual assaults on young girls and his violent nature.

  • His stepsister, Rebekah Anderson, testified that when she was five years old, Anderson had her sit on his lap, then he unzipped his pants and removed her shorts. Rebekah's sister, Delores Davis, testified that when Rebekah was three, she saw Anderson with his hand beneath Rebekah's skirt as she sat on his lap.
  • Anderson's 11-year-old niece, Charity Anderson, testified that about six months before the murder, Anderson babysat for her and her brother and sister. He frequently invited Charity's 8-year-old sister, Raven, to sit on his lap, and on one occasion, he held her 6-year-old brother, Jeremiah, by the throat for several minutes.
  • Anderson's biological sister, Myra, testified that Anderson sexually assaulted her from age 7 to age 13. He forced her to engage in oral sex and attempted to have intercourse with her. Myra also testified that Anderson pushed her down a hill once, and that he once held her down and hit her repeatedly on her knees with a baseball bat.
  • Another stepsister, Helena Garza, testified that Anderson began fondling her when she was six years old. When she was ten, Anderson forced her to have intercourse and perform oral sex about once a week, for about a year, by striking or threatening her with a baseball bat. Anderson also raped Helena when she was 15 or 16.
  • Myra's friend, Carla Burch, testified that when she was 12, she spent the night at the Anderson home. She was awakened during the night by someone touching her face. Anderson was standing in front of her wearing only a towel. He had pulled the covers off of Carla and raised her nightgown. He asked her to come to his room, but she refused.
  • Anderson's ex-wife, Debbie Kay Anderson, testified that Anderson was physically abusive towards her, and that he often padlocked her in their apartment when he left. Debbie also testified that when she was babysitting a 2-year-old girl, she heard the girl crying and walked into the room to see the girl with her diaper removed and Anderson with his pants down. Anderson then grabbed Debbie and began choking and hitting her, telling her not to tell anyone.

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