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Texas killer executed after appeals fail

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas, June 30 (UPI) -- A Texas man was executed Wednesday evening for murdering a Beaumont businessman who tried to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend more than 18 years ago.

David Ray Harris, 43, was pronounced dead at 6:48 p.m. CDT after receiving a lethal injection for the 1985 murder of Mark Mays in a parking lot shootout.

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When asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Harris said: "Yes I do. Sir, in honor of a true American hero, 'Let's roll.' Lord Jesus receive my spirit."

Harris' execution came after two days of last-ditch appeals that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. A Houston federal judge Tuesday stayed his execution after hearing arguments that the lethal drug combination was inhumane. That ruling was overturned.

The U.S. Supreme Court in May announced it would hear the appeal of an Alabama man who alleges the drug combination is inhumane. The argument is that pancuronium bromide paralyzes the convict and masks the pain from potassium chloride.

Harris was the 10th convicted killer executed in Texas this year. Mays was shot and killed when he tried to stop Harris from kidnapping his girlfriend, Roxanne Lockard. She was not harmed.

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