Preston Hughes (Texas prison photos)
HUNTSVILLE (November 15, 2012)-Texas inmate Preston Hughes, 46, was executed Thursday night in Huntsville for the stabbing deaths of a teenage girl and her 3-year-old cousin 24 years ago in Houston.
Hughes insisted he was innocent in the deaths of Shandra Charles, 15, and her cousin, Marcell Taylor, who were found lying on a path behind a Houston restaurant.
Taylor was dead and Charles was gravely wounded and near death after the attack in a wooded field.
Charles told an officer at the scene, "Preston tried to tape me."
Tests later confirmed that she had been raped.
Both she and her cousin were stabbed in the chest and neck and their aortas and jugular veins were severed, authorities said.
Police went to a nearby apartment complex at the end of the dirt path and found Hughes, who was the only person named Preston among the residents.
Officers found the girl's eyeglasses in the apartment and evidence of blood on Hughes' clothing.
Hughes later provided two written statements in which he admitted he stabbed both the boy and the girl.
He was probation for sexual assault of a child at the time of the murders.
Hughes and his attorneys filed numerous motions in the courts to block the execution, which was delayed Thursday evening because of pending appeals, although the U.S. Supreme Court refused earlier to review the case.
It was the second execution of the week.
Wednesday evening Ramon Hernandez, 41, was executed for the 2002 robbery, rape and murder of a 37-year-old woman in San Antonio.