Texas executes white supremacist convicted of strangling woman

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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF) The state of Texas on Wednesday executed a man convicted of murder for the 2002 strangulation of a woman he feared might divulge to police the location of a drug den where he and other members of his white supremacist gang held meetings.

Justen Hall, 38, was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 6:32 p.m. CST at the state execution chamber in Huntsville, according to a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 2005 for the slaying of 29-year-old Melanie Billhartz three years earlier.

According to prosecutors, Ted Murgatroyd, a recruit to Hall’s gang, got into a fight with Billhartz that day in her truck on the way to a convenience store in El Paso County.

When the pair returned to the drug house where gang members were gathered, Hall decided to kill Billhartz to keep her from reporting the fight or the meeting place to police, according to court documents in the case.

Hall left the drug house with Billhartz in her truck and returned five hours later with her body in the back of the vehicle. He then ordered Murgatroyd to get a shovel and machete and accompany him on a drive to New Mexico, where they buried the victim’s body, court records said.

A month later, Hall confessed to police after they pulled him over while he was driving Billhartz’s truck. Police later recovered Billhartz’s remains, and an autopsy determined she had been strangled with […]

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