The Latest: Texas executes man in murder-for-hire scheme

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) " The Latest on the execution in Texas of Rolando Ruiz (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

A paid hit man has been executed in Texas for the contract killing of a San Antonio woman in a life insurance scheme nearly a quarter-century ago.

Rolando Ruiz was convicted of accepting $2,000 to fatally shoot 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez outside her home in 1992 as she was getting out of a car with her husband and brother-in-law, who both orchestrated her murder.

Ruiz was declared dead at 11:06 p.m. local time Tuesday. Ruiz's lethal injection is the third this year in Texas and the fifth nationally.

The execution was delayed nearly five hours before the U.S. Supreme Court rejected last-day appeals from Ruiz's attorneys.

Evidence showed the victim's husband, Michael Rodriguez, stood to collect at least a quarter-million dollars in insurance benefits from his wife's death. He was executed in 2008 in a separate case.

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10:07 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to stop the scheduled execution in Texas of a hit man paid to kill a San Antonio woman in a life insurance scheme nearly a quarter-century ago.

The high court rejected appeals from lawyers for 44-year-old Rolando Ruiz. His execution had been delayed about four hours, pending the ruling from the court Tuesday night. Justice Stephen Breyer would have stopped the execution, saying arguments that Ruiz's more than two decades on death row should be examined to see if that lengthy confinement was unconstitutionally cruel.

Ruiz was convicted of accepting $2,000 to fatally shoot 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez outside her home in 1992 as she was getting out of a car with her husband and brother-in-law, who both orchestrated her murder.

Evidence showed the victim's husband, Michael Rodriguez, stood to collect at least a quarter-million dollars in insurance benefits from his wife's death. He was executed in 2008 in an unrelated case

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430 p.m.

Texas death row inmate Rolando Ruiz has been moved to a small cell near the death chamber to await his scheduled Tuesday evening execution for the contract killing of a San Antonio woman in 1992.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the 44-year-old Ruiz is calm as the U.S. Supreme Court considers at least three appeals his lawyers have filed seeking to halt his lethal injection.

Ruiz could be taken to the Texas death chamber as early as 6 p.m., but prison officials will wait until all appeals are resolved before carrying out the punishment. The execution warrant remains in effect until midnight.

Ruiz was convicted of accepting $2,000 to fatally shoot 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez outside her home. Evidence showed her husband and brother-in-law arranged her murder.

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1:15 a.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering appeals from attorneys trying to keep a paid hit man from execution in Texas for gunning down a San Antonio woman in a life insurance scheme nearly a quarter-century ago.

Rolando Ruiz was convicted of accepting $2,000 to fatally shoot 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez outside her home in 1992. Evidence showed her husband and brother-in-law both orchestrated her contract murder.

Ruiz's lethal injection Tuesday evening would be the third this year in Texas and the fifth nationally.

His appeals included arguments his execution would be unconstitutionally cruel because he's been on death row since 1995, had multiple execution dates and two reprieves, and the lengthy time was the result of poor state-appointed lawyers. The Texas Attorney General's office disputed the claims.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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