Texas executes man for 2001 mechanic murder

WASHINGTON - The state of Texas executed a man Thursday night for the 2001 murder of a 75-year-old auto mechanic, prison authorities said, the seventeenth execution in the US this year.

Gregory Russeau, 45, was declared dead by lethal injection at 1849 local time (2349 GMT) at the Huntsville prison, said Jason Clark, a Texas criminal justice spokesman.

Russeau had spent 14 years on death row after being convicted of bludgeoning to death mechanic James Syvertson at his garage.

Authorities said Russeau was under the influence of crack cocaine and that his DNA was found at the garage.

In October, the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal.

Of the 17 people executed this year in the US, nine have been put to death in Texas, the state that executes the most, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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