By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas, Sept 26 – Texas plans to conduct two executions this week, starting on Wednesday when it is set to put to death a man convicted of drowning a woman in a bathtub 20 years ago and dumping her cement-encased body in a remote area.
Troy Clark, 51, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT). On Thursday, Texas plans to execute Daniel Acker, 46, who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering a woman in 2000.
Both men have maintained they are innocent. If the executions go ahead, they would be the 17th and 18th this year in the United States.
Texas has already executed eight inmates this year and has put more prisoners to death than any state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
Clark was convicted of killing Christina Muse in 1998. Clark lived with his then-girlfriend, Tory Bush, and the two used and sold methamphetamine, according to documents filed in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Muse lived with the pair for a short period of time and when she moved out, the two thought she might report their illicit activities to law enforcement. They conspired to attack her when she returned for a visit to the residence, the records said.
Muse was tortured with a stun gun, bound with duct tape and tossed in a closet for several hours. She was then taken to a bathtub, beaten with a board and drowned, the records showed.
Muse’s body was placed in a barrel filled with lime and cement, according to the records. Her body was found about four months later by police, with the help of Bush, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.
Clark has said he did not take part in the killing and has blamed others for the murder.
Bush testified against Clark, who said he was the mastermind in the plot. In return, she received a sentence of 20 years in prison for her part in the murder, news reports said. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)