The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

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October 24, 2012

Dallas man set to die for ’91 murder

HUNTSVILLE — A Dallas County man who used a master key to break into a 26-year-old woman’s apartment and then murder and rob her almost 21 years ago is set to be executed today.

Bobby Lee Hines, 40, is scheduled for lethal injection for the stabbing and strangling of Michelle Wendy Haupt, who lived next door to him at a complex in Carrollton in 1991. He would become the 11th inmate to be executed in Texas this year.

The night of the murder on Oct. 19, 1991, Hines showed up uninvited at a party at Haupt’s complex, bragging that he was part of the maintenance crew and showed witnesses a set of keys that he said could get him into any unit. As it turned out, Hines was actually staying with the apartment maintenance man and Haupt’s body was found the following morning.

This is the second execution date for Hines, who at the time of the murder was on probation with several burglary convictions. He was scheduled to go to the death chamber in June, but the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office voluntarily withdrew the date to conduct DNA testing on fingernail clippings collected from the victim’s body. The testing did not exclude Hines as a source of the DNA in August and his execution was rescheduled for today.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last week rejected an appeal from Hines, whose lawyer argued Hines’ trial attorneys “failed to adequately investigate, develop and present to the jurors the full extent of the abuse, neglect and violence that Bobby was subjected to at a very young age, and which continued throughout his youth.”

The Texas appeals court said Hines “had not presented a compelling reason” to re-open his case and refused his appeals.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year refused to review his case.

Haupt had gone out to a club with friends the night she was murdered, but became ill and was taken back to her apartment. The witness who dropped her off said she locked the door behind her.

In the early hours of Oct. 20, 1991, neighbors reported that they heard screams and loud noises that sounded like a bowling ball being dropped. Police were called, but they could not identify where the noises were coming from.

Later that morning, residents persuaded the apartment manager to check on Haupt. After she did not answer her door, he opened it and went inside. Haupt was found dead with a cord wrapped around her neck and she had 18 puncture wounds to her body. An ice pick believed to be used in the stabbing was found on her coach.

Later that day, Hines was found to be in possession of several items taken from Haupt’s apartment. He had blood on his clothing, as well as scratches on his face and neck. His fingerprint and bloody palm print were also found in Haupt’s apartment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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