The oldest Texas death row inmate is to be executed in April for killing a Houston police officer more than 30 years ago, prosecutors said Tuesday.
A Houston state judge scheduled the execution of Carl Wayne Buntion, 77, for April 21 during a Tuesday court hearing.
Buntion had been on parole for just six weeks when he fatally shot Houston officer James Irby, 37, during a June 1990 traffic stop. Buntion, who had an extensive criminal record, was a passenger in the car that Irby pulled over.
"He shot a policeman in the head more than 30 years ago, and it is time that he be held accountable for his horrific crime," said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
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Buntion was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1991, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacated his death sentence in 2009. A jury in 2012 returned him to death row following a new sentencing trial.
In October, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by Buntion's lawyers. But in a statement, Justice Stephen Breyer said that Buntion's "lengthy confinement, and the confinement of others like him, calls into question the constitutionality of the death penalty."