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Texas set to execute second inmate in 2 days

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Texas set to execute second inmate in 2 days
Texas is scheduled to execute death row inmate Daniel Acker Thursday, which would be the state's second death sentence carried out in two days. Photo courtesy Texas Department of Corrections

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The state of Texas is planning to execute its second inmate in two days Thursday.

Daniel Acker is on death row for killing his girlfriend, 32-year-old Marquetta George, in 2000. George's body was found on the side of the road in East Texas and police arrested Acker for the crime.

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Acker, 46, was ultimately convicted of strangling her and and pushing her from a moving vehicle.

Acker says George's death was an accident, and that she jumped voluntarily out of his truck during an argument.

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"This is a real tragedy," said defense attorney A. Richard Ellis. "Daniel Acker is innocent, this was a tragic accident. Not a homicide, yet the courts are not listening."

Acker's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is pending. Short of a reprieve from the high court or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the execution will proceed Thursday night. He's set to die by lethal injection.

Prosecutors don't buy Acker's version of events. They say the couple began fighting at a nightclub and Acker bluntly stated he was going to kill George. Court records show George ultimately went home with a bouncer at the club.

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Later, when George returned to the couple's trailer, Acker said he wanted to go to the bouncer's home to find out what had happened. Prosecutors said on the way, Acker choked George and pushed her out of the truck. Defense attorneys argue that George had voluntarily jumped from vehicles before.

Thursday's would be Texas' second death sentence carried out in two days. Wednesday night, 50-year-old Troy Clark was put to death.

Acker's would be the tenth execution in Texas this year.

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