Convicted child killer execution date set

Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:44 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A judge in Texas has set a November date for the execution of a man who raped and killed a young girl 12 years ago.

State District Judge Mary Roman announced Tuesday that Guadalupe Esparza is to be executed by lethal injection Nov 16, the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News reported.

Esparza's attorney asked that the execution be postponed until next year so an investigation could be made for an appeal base on mental retardation claims.

"We're glad that the judge reconsidered and stuck with the initial date," said Enrico Valdez, chief of the district attorney's appellate division.

Esparza was convicted in 2001 of the 1991 murder of Alyssa Vasquez. He was sentenced to death after investigators were able to match his DNA to semen found in the girl's body and bloody clothes were found outside his home.

"I've missed a lot of years with her," said Diana Berlanga, the child's mother. "I had seven years with her [while] he's had 12 years to breathe."

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