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Killer of Austin Officer Is Executed For 1978 Slaying

June 16, 2010  | 

David Lee Powell was executed Tuesday, 32 years after he killed an Austin police officer with an AK-47 assault rifle, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Powell's case involved three trials and multiple appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection of the latest appeal on Tuesday. He was 59.

Following a drug binge in 1978, Powell shot officer Ralph Ablanedo as he sat in his car on a dark Austin street. The officer had pulled him over. Here's an excerpt from the report:

About 150 current and former Austin police officers traveled to Huntsville for the execution, meeting for lunch in a local hotel to watch a video about Ablanedo's life. Most retired officers were wearing black "Journey to Justice" T-shirts.

After being escorted to the prison by Huntsville police, the Austin officers assembled in seven lines—those who had worked with Ablanedo stood at the front—to serve as an honor guard for the slain officer's family.

Read the full report.

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