HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Texas carried out the rare execution of a woman Wednesday, putting to death by lethal injection Suzanne Basso, who was convicted of murdering a man to claim his life insurance payout.
Basso, 59, lured a mentally handicapped man, Louis "Buddy" Musso, from New Jersey on the promise of marriage in August 1998. Instead, she and five accomplices brutally beat him to death with belts, baseball bats and kicks with heavy boots, later dousing his body with bleach in pine oil and scrubbing it with a wire brush before dumping it beside a Harris County road.
The five other accomplices are serving sentences from 20 years to life in prison.
Defense attorneys argued, unsuccessfully, that she lacked the understanding of her crime, and that her mental health issues were never properly presented to the jury at her trial. But two psychiatrists testified at Basso's competency hearing that she was fit for execution, meaning she was aware she was to be executed and why.
Basso became the 510th inmate executed since Texas reinstated capital punishment in 1982,and just the fifth woman.