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Execution Plans On Track For Gun-Shooting Killer Of Three

Mon., Feb. 9, 1998

A man convicted of killing three people in a blaze of gunfire that turned a police car into “Swiss cheese” is scheduled to be executed without the attention given to pickax murderer Karla Faye Tucker.

Steven Renfro asked that no appeals be pursued and that he receive the lethal injection tonight for the Aug. 25, 1996, rampage that killed his live-in girlfriend, an aunt and an acquaintance and wounded a police officer in Marshall.

At his trial less than a year ago, he told his jury he should be put to death.

“He felt he would kill people in the future, injure people,” said Harrison County District Attorney Rick Berry, who prosecuted Renfro and was a high school classmate in Marshall.

Renfro, 40, has shunned the media spotlight, refusing to speak with reporters, and no court actions are pending to save his life.

That’s in sharp contrast to last week’s execution of Tucker, 38, convicted of a pickax attack in Houston that killed two people. She was the first woman executed in the nation since 1984. Her attractive looks and professions of born-again Christianity kept her in a media spotlight while her attorneys waged a frantic legal campaign to keep her alive.

Renfro’s crime had greater carnage than Tucker’s.

Berry said that in the history of crime scene investigations by the Texas Department of Public Safety, only the Branch Davidian shootout at Waco and the Luby’s restaurant massacre in Killeen rival the amount of gunfire.

After a night of what authorities called a drug-booze orgy, Renfro became angry, put on camouflage clothing and makeup and armed himself with assault weapons and large-caliber pistols along with 500 rounds of ammunition.

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