A Texas death row inmate who says his victim died accidentally during sex was executed Wednesday night after attorneys lost their battle for an eleventh-hour reprieve.
Richard Masterson, 43, was convicted of killing female impersonator Darin Shane Honeycutt in 2001, and then fleeing to Florida in the victim's car, where prosecutors said he stole another car.
Masterson was sentenced to death and died by lethal injection Wednesday at 6:53 p.m. local time.
Masterson testified at his Houston trial that Honeycutt's death was due to accidental asphyxiation during sex and that he was not a murder.
Lawyers for Masterson filed multiple appeals with the U.S. Supreme Court, in a bid to block his execution, the Associated Press reports.
The attorneys argued that Honeycutt died as a result of a heart attack and not strangulation. They say the medical examiner who testified to Honeycutt's cause of death had questionable credentials and Masterson's previous counsel was negligent in failing to uncover that information.
The state maintains that Masterson's attorneys have revealed no new scientific evidence since his trial.
The state also says in court filings that Masterson confessed to police, his brother as well as then-Attorney General Greg Abbott--who is now the governor of Texas--that he murdered Honeycutt.
“I meant to kill him,” Masterson reportedly wrote to Abbott. “It was no accident.”
Evidence presented at trial showed that Masterson dumped Honeycutt's body in Gerogia, where it was found on Jan. 27, 2001.
After fleeing to Florida, prosecutors said Masterson met a man at a Tampa gay bar who testified to having survived an attack from Masterson. The attack was similar to the one that killed Honeycutt, who Masterson also met in a bar.