Condemned killer heads to execution

Wednesday, September 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Spared earlier this year in an unprecedented action by Gov. George. W. Bush, condemned killer Ricky McGinn was not expecting another reprieve to keep him from the Texas death chamber.

``I'm ready to go,'' McGinn said in death row interview. ``I guess I'm just tired.''

McGinn, 43, was set for lethal injection Wednesday for raping and bludgeoning with an ax his 12-year-old stepdaughter more than seven years ago.

An execution date set for earlier this year was postponed after some of his paperwork was lost when a tornado struck his attorney's Fort Worth office.

Then on June 1, only moments before he could have been put to death, Bush for the first time used his gubernatorial authority to issue a one-time, 30-day reprieve for McGinn so additional DNA tests could be run on evidence in his case.

When the test results completed in August again linked McGinn to the crime, the execution was reset for Wednesday.

``I'm tired of living the way I'm living,'' McGinn said. ``Any way I leave here, I'm going to be better off.''

Bush's reprieve, in the midst of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, was viewed as an example of his compassionate conservatism, a favorite campaign theme. McGinne said he appreciated the reprieve but accused the governor of using his case for political gain.

The new DNA tests on crime scene evidence supported Brown County authorities who said McGinn killed Stephanie Flanary on May 22, 1993, and dumped her body in a culvert where it was found three days later.

``Certainly it helps to have that reconfirmed in even stronger terms,'' said Brown County District Attorney Lee Haney, who prosecuted McGinn. ``I think everyone involved in the case right now is just looking for a sense of closure.''

Despite the test results, McGinn continued to deny any involvement in the girl's death.

``I still want the world to know I'm not guilty,'' he said. ``Somebody else put that there. I know they did it and they know they did it.''

Haney said McGinn's contentions that evidence was planted or tampered with were unfounded.

``He already had that claim lined up before this all started,'' Haney said.

McGinn's wife had left her daughter in his care while she left for the day. McGinn said the girl got sick after they drank beer together and dozed off, then went for a walk after waking up. She never returned.

Blood evidence tied him to her rape and slaying. A jury also heard from three other sexual assault victims, including one who said she was attacked by him when she was a pre-schooler.

McGinn would be the 33rd convicted killer to receive lethal injection in Texas this year.


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