Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Richard Hinojosa

Richard Hinojosa
Richard Hinojosa
Executed on 17 August 2006

Richard Hinojosa, 44, was executed by lethal injection on 17 August 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the rape and murder of a 29-year-old woman.

On 10 May 1994, Terry Wright failed to show up for work. After receiving a call from concerned co-workers, her father went to Wright's suburban San Antonio home. There, he found a window to an enclosed atrium smashed open, and furniture in disarray. Muddy footprints led to Wright's room. Her jewelry box had been rummaged through, the cord to an electric fan had been cut, and her nightgown, torn at the straps, lay on the floor. Her car was also missing, and the telephone lines were cut.

Later that day, police found Wright's car near a freeway intersection. They followed a trail of transmission fluid to a dirt road. They found Wright's nude body in a nearby field, covered in grass. She had been stabbed to death 11 times with a sharp object. The autopsy showed signs of sexual assault, and that she had sexual intercourse within 24 hours of her death.

Wright's boyfriend, who said he had last spoken to her around 11:00 p.m. the previous evening, was not the contributor of the DNA taken from Wright's body.

Richard Hinojosa, then 32, lived next door to Wright. At the time, he was on parole for a manslaughter conviction, so he was questioned. He said that he had came home from work at about 11:00 p.m. on the night of the crime, and stayed there until he left for work again before 8:00 a.m. Family members living with Wright confirmed his alibi.

In December 1994, Hinojosa was arrested on a domestic violence accusation. While he was in custody, authorities took DNA samples from him. Those samples were matched to the DNA found on Wright. He was arrested. Investigators then found that the shoeprints found in Wright's house and at the murder scene matched the brand and model of shoes that Hinojosa's wife had purchased for him several months before the murder.

At the trial, Hinojosa testified that he had been having an affair with Wright. He said that his sex with the victim was consensual and that he was not involved in her murder.

Hinojosa had a previous conviction for voluntary manslaughter and robbery. He served 2 years of an 8-year sentence before receiving parole in December 1988. (At the time, early release was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.)

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