Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Robert Shields

Robert Shields
Robert Shields
Executed on 23 August 2005

Robert Alan Shields Jr., 30, was executed by lethal injection on 23 August 2005 in Huntsville, Texas for murdering a woman after breaking into her home.

On the morning of 21 September 1994, Shields, then 19, broke into the Friendswood home of Tracy and Paula Stiner. He waited for several hours until Paula, 27, came home from work. Shields beat her with a hammer, then stabbed her to death. He then stole the victim's credit cards, checkbook, and car keys from her purse, and fled in her car. Tracy Stiner discovered his wife's bloody body lying on the laundry room floor when he came home from work about an hour later.

There were 28 stab wounds on the victim's body. Police found a bloody footprint and bloody fingerprint at the scene. They also found a wooden-handled screwdriver outside a broken window, and another screwdriver on the carpet inside the window.

About an hour and a half after the killing, Shields used one of the victim's credit cards to buy a suit in a north Houston mall. The manager, Mark Lang, later testified that he noticed a cut on one of Shields' fingers, and a bandage around another. He testified that Shields told him he cut his fingers splicing wires at work.

Robert Shields' parents lived next door to the Stiners, and were informed of the murder by the police the day that it occurred. The next day, his mother, Christine Shields, noticed that some cushions in her garage had been arranged to form a makeshift bed, and some drinks were nearby. She also found her son's pager and one of his shirts near the cushions, even though he had not lived with them for several months. When Mrs. Shields heard from neighbors that a wooden-handled screwdriver had been used to break into the Stiner's home, she suspected the tool came from her home and that her son was involved. She contacted the police and gave him the phone numbers of some of Shields' friends.

Three days after the murder, Shields was arrested in The Woodlands after police spotted him driving the victim's car.

Evidence presented at Shields' trial showed that, at the time of his arrest, he had cuts on his fingers and chin. His underwear was saturated with blood, and he had blood on his shoes. His fingerprints were matched to the prints found at the scene, and his shoes matched the bloody shoeprints found at the scene. Shields was also wearing some of Tracy Stiner's clothing. A cigarette butt found at the scene contained his DNA.

Five of Shields' friends testified that on the day of the murder, they saw him driving the victim's car and/or they noticed cuts on his hands.

Shields had a history of burglary and car theft. In 1992, at age 17, he was arrested for stealing a car and was given probation with deferred adjudication. In January 1994, he and two friends broke into a home and stole some cash and a car. They made their way to Florida, where they were arrested for grand theft auto. In July, Shields was involved in another car burglary. On 10 August 1994, Christine Shields asked the court to issue a warrant for her son's arrest, because he had stolen her car. She also testified that she and her husband had changed the locks on their house twice to keep their son from stealing from them.

Another of Shields' friends testified that in June 1994, Shields loaded a pistol and pointed it at him. When he objected, Shields stood up and shoved the gun in his face stating that he "could point the [expletive] gun in my face if he felt like it." He then went into the backyard and fired the gun twice over the fence.

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