Texas to execute robber dubbed ‘Lovers’ Lane’ killer for 2003 murder

A man dubbed the "Lovers’ Lane" killer was set to be executed in Texas today after robbing a man at gunpoint before shooting him dead.

Juan Castillo, 37, was convicted of ambushing 19-year-old aspiring rapper Tommy Garcia on a remote road in San Antonio.

Officials said Castillo was set to be put to death at 6pm (11pm UK time) by lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville.

There has been no confirmation yet whether the execution went ahead.

It would make it the 11th execution this year in the United States and the sixth in Texas, which has executed more inmates than any state since the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Castillo has maintained his innocence, saying he was not at the scene.

On Tuesday evening, there were no last-minute appeals for him registered in online US court records.

Prosecutors said Garcia was set up by his then girlfriend, who lured him to the remote spot with the promise of sex and drugs but plotted to have him robbed by Castillo and two others.

After Garcia parked, Castillo, brandishing a pistol, smashed a car window, opened a door and demanded Garcia give him his money and jewelry.

When Garcia refused and tried to run away, Castillo shot him seven times, prosecutors said.

Of the four people in the plot, only Castillo was sentenced to death and his lawyers have said there was no physical evidence that linked him to the crime.

They also said he was convicted due to tainted testimony that included a jail house informant who told a Texas court Castillo confessed to him that he was the triggerman.

The informant later recanted and said he lied to help himself, court documents showed.

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