Texas executes convicted killer in '94 rape, death

By MICHAEL GRACZYK | January 26, 2012 | 8:45 PM EST

This photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Rodrigo Hernandez. Hernandez, 38, is scheduled for lethal injection Thursday, for murder. His DNA linked him to the abduction, rape and strangling of 38-year-old Susan Verstegen. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A convicted killer has been executed in Texas for the abduction, rape and strangulation of a 38-year-old woman 18 years ago.

Thirty-eight-year-old Rodrigo Hernandez received lethal injection Thursday for killing Susan Verstegen more than two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal.

Verstegen was attacked behind a supermarket where she was working. Her body was found dumped in a garbage barrel behind a San Antonio church.

The 1994 slaying went unsolved for eight years until Hernandez, as a requirement for parole from a Michigan prison, submitted a DNA sample that went into a national database and linked him to her death.

DNA also tied Hernandez to a 1991 slaying in Michigan.

Verstege's son, Charles Monney, says he supports the death penalty, but it won't bring his mother back.