Texas set to execute 'Tourniquet Killer' Anthony Shore after he asked for the death penalty
A Texas man who confessed to raping and strangling girls — and who asked the jury to give him the death penalty — is set to be executed Wednesday evening.
Anthony Allen Shore's lawyers said in court papers that their client, known as the "Tourniquet Killer," should be spared death because he is brain damaged, and they argued that his trial lawyer did not put on a robust defense.
But appellate judges rejected his appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the case. It's not clear whether Shore's lawyers will file a last-minute challenge.
Shore, 55, was convicted in 2004 of raping and strangling Maria del Carmen Estrada, 21, in 1992. He was prosecuted after investigators linked the Estrada murder, a cold case, to DNA that Shore had provided in an unrelated matter. Although he was tried for just her murder, police said he also confessed to killing three other women from 1986 to 1995.
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At his trial, his attorney told jurors that they should find that the crime included aggravating circumstances that called for the death penalty.
"Anthony has asked on his behalf that we ask you to answer those questions in such a way that he's sentenced to death," the lawyer told the panel.
"Anthony still believes ... it is time for him to sacrifice his life for what he has done."
His current attorneys contended that the defense team should have challenged the state's case during the punishment phase. They also argued that mental illness should make him ineligible for execution.
The courts disagreed. In January, one panel of judges noted Shore's long history of violent behavior.
"Shore's sister testified that he stabbed a kitten to death when he was 4 or 5, that he pushed a screwdriver through his sister's head when they were children, and that he used his sister to get girls in the neighborhood to come out of their houses so he could grope and try to kiss them," they wrote.
"Shore's daughters testified about being abused, drugged, and molested by Shore. His wife and former girlfriends testified that he drugged and raped them, choked them while having sex, used drugs, and kept pornography of young girls."
They said the clinical director of a sex offender program "testified that he had superior intellectual and abstract reasoning abilities; was grandiose, opportunistic, manipulative, and narcissistic; understood what was socially acceptable but had sexual deviations and would break a law if he thought he could get away with it; and scored high on a measure of psychopathy."
If Shore is executed Wednesday, it will be the seventh lethal injection in Texas this year — more than in any other state.