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Texas executes man for beating 2-year-old to death

Written by: Staff

HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Mar 23 (Reuters) A Texas man convicted of beating a 2-year-old girl to death in a 1997 attack was executed by lethal injection here.

Robert Salazar, 27, was the sixth person put to death this year in Texas, which leads the nation in capital punishment.

He was condemned for beating his girlfriend's daughter, Adriana Gomez, so badly on April 23, 1997, that she died from a fractured skull and internal injuries.

Salazar had been baby-sitting the girl at her mother's Lubbock, Texas, home and told police she fell backward and hit her head when he struck her because she would not quit crying.

He placed the child in her crib and left to go drink beer with his friends, police said.

In a final statement while awaiting the lethal injection, Salazar said he was sorry the girl had died, but that he did not deserve the death penalty.

''I am sorry that the child had to lose her life, but I should not have to be here. Tell my family I love them all and will see them in heaven,'' he said yesterday.

Salazar was the 361st person executed in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982.

Reuters DH VP0715

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