Texas to execute man convicted of killing veteran police officer

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2015 7:19 AM

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas plans on Wednesday to execute Daniel Lopez, 27, who was convicted of killing a veteran police officer in 2009 and has waived his rights to appeal his death sentence.

The execution by lethal injection is set for 6 p.m. local time at the state's death chamber in Huntsville. If the execution goes ahead, it would be the 528th in Texas, the most of any state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Lopez was convicted of striking Corpus Christi Police Lieutenant Stuart Alexander at high speed with a sports utility vehicle as he was fleeing from police. Alexander, 47, and on the force for 20 years, was laying spikes on the road to flatten tires when he was sent flying about 175 feet (53 meters) in the air, according to court documents.

Lopez, who police said rammed patrol cars and tried to run over other officers in a pursuit that started when he fled a traffic stop, was shot twice in the incident.

Lopez later said he tried to flee because he thought there was a warrant out for his arrest for parole violations. He has said he did not intend to kill the officer but felt that he deserved to die for the crime.

He fought for years to speed up the date of his execution and drop appeals for a stay of execution.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)