A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas may execute suspected serial killer Henry Lee Lucas for the 1979 murder of an unidentified hitchhiker.
U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings lifted a stay of execution he granted last September to the drifter who confessed to more than 600 murders in 26 states but now denies killing anybody. No execution date has been set.
Defense attorney Danny Burns of Fort Worth promised to appeal what he called “a total miscarriage of justice.”
At a hearing last month, Lucas testified that he was working as a roofer in Florida at the time the woman known as “Orange Socks” was killed in Texas. Her body, nude except for a pair of socks, was found off I-35.
The defense had witnesses and time sheets to prove Lucas was working in Florida, but prosecutors attacked their credibility. The hearing was to examine defense contentions that prosecutors had suppressed evidence in the original trial.
A jury in San Angelo sentenced Lucas to lethal injection in 1984.