Frances Elaine Newton
Frances Elaine Newton was only 21 years old when she committed three counts of capital murder upon her husband and two children. Motivated by the prospect of $150,000 in life insurance money, Newton systematically murdered her family members using a .25 caliber handgun that belonged to her boyfriend.
The life insurance policies on her 7-year-old son and 21-month-old daughter were taken out in March of 1987, one month prior to the murders. Newton had separated from her boyfriend at approximately the same time. Newton admitted to carrying a gun to her husband’s apartment the night the killings took place, but she claimed it was for protection and that her family members had still been alive when she left the apartment.
Newton admits to being involved with illegal drugs and drug sales, and that trouble regarding these matters was the justification for her desire to carry a weapon. When she attempted to file insurance claims after the murders, Newton was arrested and charged with capital murder. This sentence cut short a probation sentence stemming from a previous forgery conviction from February 1986. Newton was placed on the Texas Death Row roster.
Despite her lawyers’ attempts to secure a 120-day reprieve of execution so that they could more carefully investigate her case, Newton was executed on September 14th, 2005. Newton declined to make any last statement at the time of her execution.
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