NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s been nearly 21 years to the day since Michelle Wendy Haupt was found beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled to death in her Carrollton apartment. Tomorrow the man convicted of her murder is set to die and prosecutors in Dallas County wanted to make sure there were no unnecessary execution delays.
Bobby Lee Hines was found guilty of murdering Haupt and was scheduled for execution earlier this year, but Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins asked for a delay.
For years Hines has claimed he’s innocent. So, since there was DNA evidence at the crime scene and sophisticated tests weren’t available in 1991, Watkins decided to test the samples.
Considering Hines continued claims Watkins said, “We just thought that there may be another person that may have committed the crime, unfortunately for this defendant the DNA came back and showed that he did.”
In addition to having definitive proof that Hines was the murderer Watkins said he wasn’t going to give the defense the option of raising the issue at the last minute. According to Watkins, had the defense asked for the same test, it could have delayed the execution by years.
“We would have had to go through the legal proceedings to get to a point to where a judge would make a determination and so it would have prolonged the ability of the state to carry out the punishment,” he said.
Hines had a previous execution date of June 6. Since prosecutors had just ordered the DNA tests in May they asked that the date be withdrawn, pending test results.
While the results only confirmed Hines as the murderer, Watkins doesn’t regret the delay or additional testing. “Our position is if there is science involved in any case we want to pursue that to make sure that — and especially in cases where we’re seeking the ultimate punishment — that we’re correct in the position that we’re taking.”
Michelle Wendy Haupt was 26-years-old when she was murdered. Police later found some of her personal items in the apartment where Hines was staying.
If carried out, Hines lethal injection will be the 11th execution this year in Texas.
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