Tony Roach, 30, was executed by lethal injection on 5 September 2007 in Huntsville, Texas for murdering a woman while burglarizing her home.
On 8 June 1998, Roach, then 21, knocked on the door of Ronnie "Kitten" Hewitt's Amarillo apartment. Receiving no answer, he pried open a window and crawled inside. Roach then saw Hewitt, 29, sitting in the living room, but she did not see or hear him. Roach hid from Hewitt for about fifteen minutes while she took a shower and spoke on the telephone. Then, when she was walking down the hallway, Roach came out of hiding and grabbed her, putting his hand over her mouth. He told her he would not hurt her, and she pleaded with him not to. Roach then pushed her into the living room. They struggled. Roach then placed a belt around Hewitt's neck and strangled her. He then had vaginal and anal intercourse with her body. After taking some rings, a knife, money, and beer, and helping himself to some food from the refrigerator, Roach set fire to the victim's apartment using hair spray and a cigarette lighter, then left. The victim's body was discovered by firefighters.
About ten days later, Roach was arrested in Guymon, Oklahoma, for stealing some cigarettes and reselling them. While being questioned, he confessed to killing a woman in Amarillo named Kitten. According to his confession, he promised not to hurt Hewitt, but then after he pushed her into the living room, she began kicking and scratching him, so he strangled her.
In addition to Roach's confession, the prosecution presented DNA evidence from the victim's body and evidence showing that Roach pawned the victim's rings in Amarillo and Oklahoma. He also made a statement to police that he wanted to be executed.
Roach had a criminal history in four states, going back to his days as a youth in South Carolina, where he was committed to juvenile facilities five times for burglary and theft. In 1993, he committed a car theft and two armed robberies and assaulted his girlfriend by pointing a gun to her head and threatening to blow her brains out if she did not accompany him to Florida. He was sentenced to six years in prison and was paroled in 1998 after serving five years of his sentence.
In May 1988, Roach stole a vehicle, a video camera, and some cash from his boss in Greenville and drove to Jacksonville. He got a job there, but then he stole money from a motel and fled by bus to Amarillo. About three days before Hewitt's murder, he robbed and beat Carroll Doshier. The victim, who was 71 and had only one leg, died of a heart attack after the beating. Roach also shoplifted from a store, snatched a purse, stole a radio from a car, burglarized a home, and cashed stolen checks.
In Guymon, Oklahoma, after the murder, Roach stole a bicycle, burglarized an office building, and burglarized a convenience store.
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