Friday, February 13, 2004

February 12, 2004

...Bucked off...

Last Meal: Hopkins had no final meal request.

The skinny: Hopkins, 36, a former bull rider from New Mexico, was executed for the fatal slashing and stabbing of two young women while he was on probation for a drug conviction.

He attacked the first girl with a knife, cutting her over 40 times. Hopkins was also cut during the attack. When the second came downstairs, Hopkins attacked her at the foot of the stairway, stabbinig her 66 times. Both girls died from the knife wounds.

Hopkins was on probation for dealing cocaine when his name surfaced as authorities canvassed a crowd outside the home where the killings occurred. Bystanders told officers that Hopkins previously was at a party there and had argued with one of the vitims over $40 missing from her purse.

A Texas Ranger tracked down Hopkins. A blood spot on his boot matched the blood of the victims. A bootprint from the slaying scene matched Hopkins' boot. His blood was found throughout the apartment.

Confession? Hopkins was questioned eight times and held in isolation for 15 days, refusing to confess. A detective he knew from Hobbs, N.M., came to talk with him and during a four-hour interview Hopkins told how he went to the home, a struggle ensued and he stabbed the girl. He also said he was cut in the fight.

The confession became an issue in Hopkins' appeals because of questions about whether he was properly informed of his rights and whether it should have been allowed into evidence. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, while saying it was troubled by the methods used to obtain the confession, last year characterized the error as harmless because of overwhelming circumstantial evidence against Hopkins.

Denials: Hopkins insisted he wasn't responsible for the slayings. Hopkins accused authorities of taking vials of his blood and sprinkling the contents throughout the crime scene.

Delay: His execution was held up for about two hours while appeals were considered.

Last words and such: When asked if he had a final statement, Hopkins replied, "Warden, at this time I have no statement, sir."

Factoids: You can buy a four-pack of Bobby Ray Hopkins drawings at

Hopkins was the...

12th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
897th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
6th murderer executed in Texas in 2004
319th murderer executed in Texas since 1976