Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Karl Chamberlain

Karl Chamberlain
Karl Chamberlain
Executed on 11 June 2008

Karl Eugene Chamberlain, 37, was executed by lethal injection on 11 June 2008 in Huntsville, Texas for the rape and murder of a woman in her apartment.

On 2 August 1991, Chamberlain, then 21, went to the apartment of Felecia Prechtl, 30, bringing duct tape and a .30-caliber rifle with him. Chamberlain and Prechtl lived in the same apartment complex in Dallas. Chamberlain forced Prechtl into her bedroom and bound her hands and ankles with duct tape. After raping her, he shot her once in the head. He then left and returned to his own apartment.

A few minutes later, Prechtl's brother discovered the victim's body in her bathroom, with her jeans and underwear pulled down to her knees, and wearing no other clothing. Police found a roll of duct tape at the scene. Some fingerprints were taken from the duct tape, but no matches were found in the police department's data base. Investigators also found sperm in the victim's anal cavity. Chamberlain was questioned on the night of the murder, but he denied any knowledge of the crime and was not arrested.

The case remained unsolved for five years. In 1996, the fingerprints from the duct tape were checked again. One of the potential matches identified was Chamberlain, whose prints had been taken after an arrest for attempted robbery in Houston. Police arrested him on 17 July 1996. In a written confession, he stated that on the day of the murder, he went to Prechtl's apartment to borrow sugar, and she was scantily dressed when she answered the door. He went back to his apartment with the sugar, but then decided to return. He claimed that he had consensual anal intercourse with the victim, but shot her after she threatened to tell his wife. Chamberlain also told police that the murder weapon could be found at his father's house. DNA from a blood sample he gave at the time of his arrest was matched to the sperm sample taken from the victim's body.

Chamberlain also had a conviction for theft as a 17-year-old juvenile.

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