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Texas Executes Man Convicted Of Rape And Murder Of Teenager

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Texas carried out its fourth execution this year on Wednesday, when 48-year-old Larry Swearingen, convicted of raping and murdering a teenage college student, was put to death by lethal injection.

Swearingen is the 12th inmate to be executed in the United States in 2019.

Swearingen was executed at the state prison in Huntsville Wednesday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his lawyers' plea to stay the death penalty.

Swearingen maintained his innocence in the murder of Melissa Trotter, 19, while his lawyers argued that the testimony regarding pantyhose used to strangle the victim was false, and that DNA under her fingernails was not their client's.

Prosecutors asserted that there is a "mountain of evidence" against Swearingen.

Swearingen had a casual relationship with Trotter, and they were seen together last on December 8, 1998.

Trotter's body was found by hunters 25 days later in the Sam Houston National Forest in Texas.

He was found guilty of abduction, rape and murder charges in 2000, and was sentenced to death, but it was delayed as he received five stays of execution since then.

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