Michael Wayne Richard, 48, was executed by lethal injection on 25 September 2007 in Huntsville, Texas for the rape, robbery, and murder of a woman in her home.
On the afternoon of 18 August 1986, Richard, then 26, was in front of the Hockley home of Marguerite Dixon, 53. Richard approached Dixon's son, Albert, and asked if the van parked in the driveway was for sale. When Albert Dixon told him the van belonged to his brother who was out of town, Richard left.
A few minutes later, Richard saw Albert and his sister, Paula, leave the property. Richard then entered Mrs. Dixon's home. He forced her into a bedroom, where he raped her. The then shot her in the head with a .25-caliber pistol. He then stole two televisions and the van.
Mrs. Dixon's children returned home that evening. They found the sliding-glass door open and all the lights turned off. After calling a neighbor for assistance, they entered the house and discovered their mother dead in her bedroom.
Richard hotwired the van and drove it to Houston. He traded the murder weapon to a friend for cocaine and attempted to sell the televisions. He then drove the van to another home, where it broke down. He told the homeowner, a friend of his, that he would return for the van, but he never did. The homeowner called a wrecker the next morning to take the van away. When it was discovered that the van had been hotwired and stripped, the police were called. After interviewing the homeowner and the man to whom Richard had tried to sell the televisions, the police obtained an arrest warrant for Richard. He was arrested at his mother's home the next evening.
Richard admitted being involved in Dixon's death and helped police track down the murder weapon. His fingerprints were also found on the sliding-glass door to the victim's home. He claimed that the gun discharged accidentally.
Richard had previous served parts of two prison sentences for home burglary. In March 1978, he was sent to prison on a 6-year sentence. He was paroled in May 1981. In January 1985, he was returned to prison on a 5-year sentence. He was paroled in June 1986, about two months before Dixon's murder.
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