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Execution set for Alabama inmate convicted of killing teen

The Associated Press — By KIM CHANDLER - Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has set an execution date for an inmate sentenced to death for the 1995 fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl.

The Alabama Supreme Court set a Feb. 7 execution date for Dominique Ray.

Tiffany Harville disappeared from her Selma home on July 15, 1995. Her decomposing body was found in a field a month later.

Ray was convicted in 1999 after co-defendant Marcus Owden testified that Ray cut the girl's throat after they picked her up from her home and raped her. Owden said they also took the girl's purse which had $6 or $7 in it.

A judge sentenced Ray to die after jurors voted 11-1 to recommend that he receive the death penalty.

Months before his death penalty trial, Ray got a life sentence for the 1994 slaying of two brothers, 13-year-old Reinhard Mabins and his 18-year-old brother, Ernest Mabins.

Newspaper reports from the time say another man had been initially charged in Harville's slaying, but those charges were dropped when Owden confessed to a role in all three killings. According to Owden's confession, the Mabins brothers were shot in February 1994 after they refused to join a gang organized by Owden and Ray.

Owden was sentenced to life in prison.

Lawyers for Ray unsuccessfully sought to overturn the death sentence, arguing Ray's defense lawyers were not told that Owden was suffering from schizophrenia at the time he implicated Ray and testified against him.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016 upheld the death sentence, rejecting defense claims that Ray's trial counsel had failed to present mitigating evidence regarding his traumatizing childhood, mental deficiencies and steroid abuse. The appellate court wrote that while it was "troubled by the paucity of counsel's mitigation investigation, our confidence in the outcome of the sentencing is not undermined."

Alabama last carried out an execution in April when 83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody was put to death for killing a federal judge with a mail bomb.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Walter Leroy Moody was the last inmate executed in Alabama.