SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Sheriff Jim Boutwell, under questioning by defense attorneys, today admitted that on several occasions he reminded capital murder defendant Henry Lee Lucas about details of the 1979 slaying of a hitchhiker in central Texas.
During questioning by defense attorneys, Boutwell said Lucas while confessing to the crime initially was unsure where he had left the body, the time of year of the killing or the woman's hair color.
Lucas, already sentenced to prison in two Texas slayings, faces a possible death penalty for the first time if he is convicted of raping and strangling the hitchhiker along Interstate 35 near Georgetown in October 1979.
Prosecutors began presenting their evidence Monday and were expected to end their case today.
Defense attorney Max Parker of San Angelo today said Boutwell showed Lucas pictures of the woman, who has never been identified, and the culvert where her body was found when he first questioned him in a jail in north Texas where he faced his first murder charge and where he began confessing to more than 150 slayings in the past decade.
'I'm not sure I did show him the photos. I refreshed his memory,' Boutwell reponded.
'I feel like on June 22 he was pretty definite about it,' Boutwell said of the first time Lucas confessed to the slaying.
Defense attorney Don Higginbotham has not discussed his strategy for the defense of the 47-year-old drifter and former mental patient, but court records indicate insanity will be used as a defense.
Three people from Jacksonville, Fla., have been subpoenaed to testify as alibi witnesses for Lucas, who is charged with strangling, kidnapping, raping and robbing the unidentified woman. One of those expected to appear is Florida inmate Ottis Toole, Lucas' former traveling companion.
Jurors Tuesday saw videotapes made on three different dates last year in which Lucas admitted killing the hitchhiker. Boutwell testified that Lucas led authorities to the site when the woman's body was found on Aug. 2, 1983.
The videotape, which Higginbotham viewed for the first time Tuesday, portrays Lucas in handcuffs, showing how he dragged the body over a guardrail to the culvert.
'I object to this taped confession,' Higginbotham told Lucas repeatedly. 'You're talking yourself into a very possible death penalty.'
But Lucas replied, 'I already tried to kill myself so they ain't gonna do nothin' but kill me for me.'