Texas to execute man convicted of murdering elderly woman and her daughter in 2003

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By Brendan O'Brien

Sept 4 (Reuters) - A man convicted of killing an elderly woman and her daughter in their home and then stealing the daughter's car and credit card is scheduled to be executed in Texas on Wednesday.

Billy Crutsinger, 64, was sentenced to death by a jury in 2003 after being convicted of the murders of 89-year-old Pearl Magouirk and her 71-year-old daughter, Patricia Syren, earlier that year. He is set to die by lethal injection at the state's death chamber in Huntsville.

Crutsinger was accused of entering the women's Fort Worth home on April 6, 2003, and stabbing them multiple times and slitting their throats. He then stole Syren's Cadillac and credit card, according to prosecutors.

Detectives later arrested Crutsinger in Galveston, where he had used Syren's credit card in several bars, court documents showed.

Crutsinger confessed to police that he had killed the two women and took their property. He also told them where they could find evidence, court papers said.

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Investigators found DNA evidence that matched Crutsinger and the victims on a broken knife found in a bathroom in the victims' home, inside Syren's vehicle that was abandoned at a bar and on men's clothing found in a trash bin near the car, court documents said.

During the past 16 years, Crutsinger has waged several unsuccessful appeals in state and federal courts. As of Wednesday, he had a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, arguing his due process rights had been violated.

Crutsinger would be the fifth inmate in Texas and the 14th in the United States to be executed in 2019, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Texas leads the United States in executions since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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