Bobby Lee Hines, 40, was executed by lethal injection on 24 October 2012 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of a woman in her apartment.
On 19 October 1991, Mary Linch drove in from out of town to visit her friend, Michelle Haupt, for the weekend at Haupt's apartment in Carrollton, a suburb northwest of Dallas. In the evening, they left Haupt's apartment to go to a nightclub. While they were there, Haupt, 26, became ill. A friend drove Haupt back to her apartment. Linch had originally intended to return to Haupt's for the night, but she changed her mind and spent the night with another friend instead.
That same evening, Hines, then 19, appeared uninvited at a party in Haubt's apartment complex. When the hostess asked him who he was, he said he was the brother of the apartment manager. He told another guest that he was part of the maintenance crew at the complex. He pulled out a ring of keys and stated that he could enter any unit at any time.
At about 6:00 the next morning, Haupt's next-door neighbor heard a woman screaming. His wife called the police. Two officers arrived after the screaming had stopped. The neighbor was uncertain where the screams had come from, and the officers eventually left.
Later that morning, other residents discussed what they had heard, and they became concerned for Haupt. The apartment manager decided to check her apartment. After knocking and receiving no answer, the manager opened the door and found Haupt lying on the floor, just inside the door, with wires wrapped around her neck and apparently dead. The manager had someone call an ambulance.
Haupt was found lying face up, wearing only a robe that was tied on tightly. She had 18 puncture wounds on her body, but the robe had no corresponding puncture holes, indicating that it had been put on her after she was stabbed. Stereo speaker wires were drawn tightly around her neck. She had abrasions to her neck and jaw, contusions on her neck, and a fractured hyoid bone.
An object resembling an ice pick was found nearby on the couch. The medical examiner testified that the puncture wounds could have been made by that object. A bloody fingerprint and palm print were also found within the apartment.
Hines, the apartment manager's brother, had been staying next door to Haupt, in the unit belonging to the maintenance man. He was arrested that afternoon. He was found with blood on his clothing and with scratches under his eye and on his neck and cheek. He had a gold sand dollar charm necklace in his pants pocket. A bowl of pennies and a Marlboro cigarette carton containing four packs were found under the couch where he had been sleeping. The cigarette carton had a stamp on it reading "Brookshires' Store".
At Hines's trial, Mary Linch testified that she had brought a Marlboro cigarette carton with her, which she purchased at a Brookshires store in Corsicana. She testified that the carton had four packs remaining in it, and she left it at Haupt's apartment when they went out for the evening. She also testified that when they went to the club, Haupt was wearing a gold sand dollar charm necklace.
Two residents who were in the unit directly below Haupt's testified that on the morning of the murder, they were awakened by loud screaming from above. They heard a noise sounding "like a bowling ball being dropped on [the] floor" at least twenty times. The screaming lasted for approximately fifteen minutes.
Testimony at Hines's punishment hearing indicated that at age 13, he pulled a knife on another student in school and threatened to kill him because the student refused to give him a sheet of paper. He was placed on juvenile probation. He subsequently escaped from custody, stole a car, attacked an elderly woman, and burglarized a church.
As an adult, Hines pleaded guilty to two separate charges of burglary of a building. He received a ten-year prison sentence for the second offense. He was released, however, on "shock probation" in October 1990, after serving only three months. (At the time, early prisoner release was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.)
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